Birds Continuity

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #11
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

So the Rebirth Continuity has slowly been restored to the Pre-Flashpoint timeline but in this issue Barbara Gordon describes her time as Oracle leading the Birds of Prey and fighting the Calculator in the past – which seems to mean the Gail Simone run is back in continuity or at least the characters remember it but the Huntress is still suppose to be new to the Birds in this series therefore she wasn’t around for that arc – so who was their third member back then? I guessed in my head the bad guy behind Gus would be the Calculator but I am happy that we are seeing the Birds’ Pre-Flashpoint history returning. The cliffhanger ending has Catwoman being the person who paid Calcultor for intel! Now that makes me happy. To be honest, Catwoman works best as a thief instead of the borderline hero she has been since Ed Brubaker wrote her solo series. I kike that the Bensons are bringing the cat burglar element of Selena’s character into play.

 

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Birds 9 and 10

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #9
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

Wow it looks like Blackbird has taught Black Canary to use her powers in ways I don’t remember her ever having including manipulating the sound waves so she can hover off the ground and directly destroy certain objects. It’s all a ruse though as she plans to steal Canary’s powers. Blackbird could become one of the most powerful metahumans ever if she keeps this up. It looks like Black Canary’s pre-New 52 upbringing is still not back in continuity…I can’t wait till the idea that she was raised by a JSAer returns.

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #10
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

The Birds of Prey team up with Nightwing and Green Arrow to defeat Blackbird who is a formidable foe for them. I do think how she was defeated in this issue was way too easy – why doesn’t the Huntress do that hypno thing with all the villains? I mean I guess she said she could only use it once right but still. Meanwhile, it looks like Gus the new Oracle’s secret is about to be revealed soon.

 

Birds Undercover

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #8
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

Nightwing guest stars in this issue as the Birds team up with him to fight Gemini who tells them about a metahuman doctor named Black Bird. Once again, I have to point out how great the editors are at keeping continuity in he DCU these days. Nightwing’s relationship developing in his solo series is mentioned here as are his past relationships with Babs and Helena, both of whom he also had a thing for Pre-Flashpoint. This series continues to be in the top 5 Rebirth books for me. This Blackbird seems like an interesting foe for the Birds of Prey (I love how the Bensons have consistently had Bird motif villains so far in this book.) as she is able to steal metahuman powers. Meanwhile, Black Canary goes undercover working for Roulette reminding me of one of my favorite Justice League Unlimited Episodes.

Oracle and the Birds of Prey 1 – 7

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Claire Roe

As much as I HATE the idea of Barbara Gordon being Batgirl instead of the great Cassandra Cain, and I think Babs’s current costume is ugly, and she works much better as Oracle…this comic book was a ton of fun. A new person going by the name Oracle is working for Gotham’s mobsters so Barbara Gordon recruits her old team mate Black Canary to figure it all out when they run into the Huntress. Babs and Dinah don’t seem to know Helena anymore (Memories being erased by Dr. Manhattan I suppose) so this basically allows for them to redevelop their team again and Huntress will probably go through the same growing pains she went through in Gail Simone’s run on Birds of Prey but hey at least she has a much better costume this time. I mean now that her abdomen is not exposed…God Hush ruine so much. Anyways, I love that Rebirth has returned Barbara’s time as Oracle to continuity and is bringing our Birds of Prey back together, in the Gotham Clocktower where they belong too! It is a shame that this means that really only Chuck Dixon’s run on Birds is the only one really in continuity….well unless it turns out the rest of their history has just been erased from their memory. But I gotta say the Bensons write some charming dialogue here with these characters and they are complicated on some amazing art by Claire Roe. If this series remains as good as this first issue, it might be the best of Rebirth outside of Detective Comics!

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Claire Roe

Okay the second issue did not disappoint! More happens in this comic than in six issues of the Justice League of America book. The dialogue is funny and witty just like during Simone’s run. I still hate Barabara as Batgirl instead of Oracle and I probably always will…especially with that costume. How can you be the Dark Knight Damsel running around in purple and yellow? The answer is you can’t because only Cassandra Cain is a real bat. I am so not used to Barbara looking and acting so young it is kind of jarring for me but I am liking this book a ton.

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Secret Six 32 – 36

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Secret Six (Volume 3) #32
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

The Secret Six travel to hell in a fantastic issue. I forgot how much I missed reading this book with it’s hilarious but dark characters and it’s beautiful artwork. I loved how Bane seemed shock that he might be damned to hell because he considers himself to be good. I loved that Ragdoll doesn’t want to return to earth because he is going “sane.” I loved it all.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #33secretsix33
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Catman goes to make sure that his father is in hell where he deserves to be only to find that his mother is in hell too – she eats his father every day as a lioness to torture him. Etrigan tells Catman this is heaven for his mother. I guess his Dad got what he deserved! That is some dark humor there and I love it. We even get to see the personal hells of all of the Secret Six. Some were sad like Bane’s but then Gail Simone – the master 0f writing comedic relief – shows King Shark’s hell as a vegetarian restaurant. Anyways, Lady Blaze tells Scandal her other girlfriend’s soul will soon belong to her in hell. I can’t remember who Scandal’s other girlfriend was.

secretsix34Secret Six (Volume 3) #34
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

Did Jeanette quote Julian of Norwhich in this issue? Scandal sure did lie to her girlfriend in this issue didn’t she? Anyways, this was a heartwarming issue in a dark heartwarming disturbing way only the Secret Six can bring. Bane goes on a date and gets in a fight. Jeanette seems to have decided to turn good? And it was just a lot of fun.

 

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #35secretsix35
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Bane decides to lead the team in another assault Batman after realizing that he never got to really break the Batman like he wanted to back in the day. They start by drafting the Penguin to join the team. I enjoy the way Simone writes Penguin…it reminds me of Batman Returns a bit. And that is my favorite Batman movie. This was a fantastic issue.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #36 secretsix36
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

This is the final issue of a great series that I will miss. Gail Simone is a creative genius. You writes complex characters who are so well-rounded it is like they are real people. She is truly a gem in the comic book world. Also, she has a scene in this where they feed a man to King Shark on a fishing hook. So she is hilarious too. The part where Scandal decides she wants to marry both Knockout and Liana was a tad strange though but hey these are crazy people this book is about. The only problem I had was it is really hard to believe all of those supeheroes would show up to fight the Secret Six like they are Darkseid or something. But they sure got their asses handed to them and this villain team went out in a blaze of glory. What a fitting finale to an amazing series!

 

Birds of Prey 11-15

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Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #11
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Pere Perez

If Catman is suppose to be so hot, why does Pere Perez draw his abs so strange in this issue. That is my only complaint about this beautiful book. In this issue, the Huntress and Catman work together and Helena is debating whether to fall for him or not…ultimately Catman purposely shows her he is not worth her time. It was a sweet story. I love the continuity of Catman mentioning how he used to be fat.

 

rco001_1468987111Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #12
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Jesus Saiz

Gail Simone begins a new arc bringing in the Question to the Birds of Prey team and a scary villain in Ragdoll’s daughter. Did she appear in this book or Secret Six? I can’t remember but I remember thinking this villain was freaky before. And this whole issue was very unsettling but exciting. I usually enjoy Jesus Saiz but I found his art lacking a bit in parts of this issue.

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Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #13
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Diego Olmos

This was an action packed edge-of-your seat issue as the Huntress and the Question try to get to the basement of the building where Black Canary and Dove are fighting Junior who nearly murders Dove. Oracle calls Catman for some advice who tells her Junior hates being seen. It works, but the Birds decide in the end they need to go back in and go after Junior. It was a lot of fun to read but why does this book keep changing its artist?

 

rco001_1469152306Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #14
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Billy Tucci and Adriana Melo

So the last issue ended on a sort of cliffhanger and now we get an issue that is completely unrelated and not written by Gail Simone? In this issue the Birds of Prey go to a veteran’s benefit. A woman tells her Black Canary’s mom, the original Black Canary, was an inspiration during the War….I think Black Canary debuted in 1947…after World War 2. I guess she means a different war or Andreyko did not do his research. Also why would this woman know it was her mom…is Black Canary’s secret identity not so secret? Anyways the art in this was clearly rushed because it is not very good and very inconsistent. And this isn’t event a one and done issue. Gail Simone just abruptly left this book?!

rco001_1469152248Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #15
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Billy Tucci and Adriana Melo

Ugh this is the final issue before DC made the dumb mistake of making Barbara Gordon Batgirl again. Andreyko is not a bad writer by any means but this was a rush job and very disappointing. As far as I am concerned this is the last issue of the real Birds of Prey ever (the whole point of the Birds is Oracle) so this is a sad sad ending.

 

Hidden Oracle

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Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #10
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Inaki Miranda

Cassandra Cain gets name dropped again as Tim asks why she doesn’t have access to Kord Tower. I don’t know that I am completely satisfied with the answer that she has too much going on now because well…we are never shown what the hell she has going on. I hope this wasn’t a throw away line and Gail or DC editors plan to show us what is going on with Cass soon enough. This was an otherwise fantastic issue that showed off how tough the Birds are and how it was a good plan to fake Oracle’s death. Loved the bit with Catwoman too!