Birds Continuity

bop11

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.

 

Birds 9 and 10

birds9

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.

birds10

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

bop8

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

batgirl_and_the_birds_of_prey_vol_1_1

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!

batgirl_and_the_birds_of_prey_vol_1_2

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.

Continue reading

Secret Six 32 – 36

secretsix32
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

rco001_1468896196
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.

rco001_1469152353

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

bop10

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!

Birds of Prey 8 and 9

bop8

Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #8
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Guillem March

Black Canary is in trouble and as always the Birds are in a terrible situation. That is one thing that is great about the Birds – they always seem to be in these situations where I have no idea how they are going to get out of them but they always succeed. That is what makes them great to read about. Huntress’s reaction to seeing Bruce was great too!

bop9

Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #9
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Inaki Miranda

I like these Inaki Miranda’s art. I know she or he is not staying on this title but DC should put him or her somewhere. Anyways, this was a good issue as Dinah proves too strong for Mortis and Calculator believes he has killed Oracle (But we all know he hasn’t.)

Kord Tower

bop7

Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #7
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ardian Syaf

This was a great issue as we learn more about the new Birds base: Kord Tower – it is pretty damn awesome and apparently Oracle wants to fake her own death. Hmmm…how? Mortis has an interesting power for a supervillain and the Birds go to a strip club! Great stuff! I was sad to see Cass left off the list of people that have access to the tower – but I suppose we can chalk that up to her being in Hong Kong now it wasn’t needed.

A Good Friend

bop6

Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #6
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Alvin Lee and Adriana Melo

 

The Huntress shows just how good of a friend she is by deciding to fight Lady Shiva in the place of Dinah. This is pretty much suicide and I loved the moment where she turns to God – Helena has always been a strict Catholic and Simone really got her characterization well here (as she always does) and it was great to see Sin again and I am glad she is alive and well. Can’t wait to see what the next arc will be like!

Needs A Consistent Artist

bop5

Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #5
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Alvin Lee and Adriana Melo

 

Well this certianly got odd quickly. The art is all over the place and a confusing mess even without Benes. Can we just have once consistant artist on this book please? Anyways, Black Canary heads to Bangkok and is followed by Huntress and Lady Blackhawk but they soon discover that Black Canary is now wearing the White Canary costume and being called a mistress by a bunch of students??? What the hell is going on? Interesting and Gail’s writing is still top-notch but damn they need a new art team for this book. I love that Oracle is now working out of Kord Tower – a nice nod to her relationship with Ted Kord. I wonder if we will ever see Platinum Flats again though?

Sister In Silk

bop4

Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #4
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ed Benes and Adriana Melo

Black Canary defeats White Canary using her sonic scream in a freaking awesome moment you won’t want to miss. I loved it! The intensity of this story arc was amazing. If only it had all been handled by an artist that drew backgrounds! Ugh! We find out who White Canary is and it is a big pay off for long time fans of the Birds. In fact, this whole story arc had really been a look back at Gail’s previous run on the book with Savant and Creole and Dinah’s training in Singapore and all that. Now that we know Lady Shiva is involved it can only get more crazy.

Penguin Party In My Pants

bop3

Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #3
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ed Benes and Adriana Melo

 

Shit this is the most intense suspenseful edge-of-your seat comic DC is putting out right now. Every page was filled with revelations and shocking moments. Creole and Savant alive and working for the White Canary! The White Canary is somehow Sin! (I think) The Penguin is also working for the White Canary and financed her plans! Hawk is injured! The GCPD have a tank! It’s all so awesome, go read it! Cassandra Cain gets another mention and Dinah knows Cass wouldn’t say she would piss on corpses, loved that! Oh and I loved how Penguin hallucinates and declared a Penguin Party in his pants haha the only downside to this is Benes still won’t draw backgrounds ugh.

Birds of Prey: Wanted

Birds of Prey #2 001 Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #2
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ed Benes and Adriana Melo

Um pretty much EVERYTHING goes to hell for the Birds of Prey in this issue. Black Canary is blamed for the death of the Iceland guy from last issue and is now a wanted criminal and the Birds ended up fighting the cops. The White Canary is pretty awesome whoever she is and seems to be behind this. I sure hope it is not Cassie (But I don’t think it is anyways). Creote and Savant are murdered. There goes another gay character. Come on Gail, you of all people are not who I would expect to be killing off the few gay characters in the DC Universe. That bothered me. Oracle decides it is time to go to war with whoever is behind all this and Black Canary’s secret identity is revealed to the world! I have a feeling this has something to do with Sin. Could Sin be the White Canary somehow? I don’t know. The only bad thing about this issue was the damn art. Benes couldn’t even finish the issue and he didn’t draw backgrounds for the pages he did run. They are in Gotham and we are supposed to believe their are no backgrounds!

The Birds Are Back In Town – And Maybe Cassandra Cain Too!

bop1

Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #1
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ed Benes

 

Okay first of all let me get something out of the way, I am still really annoyed that no one is mentioning that Hawk – before he died and came back to life – was fucking Extant! The genocidal mass murderer why is he being allowed to act like a hero and no one is mentioning it! That better be explained soon. That being said, I fucking adored this issue! It is so great to have the Birds back and Simone really brought them back in style. She reintroduced them for new readers and made sure that old readers would enjoy all the references to their past. I did not realize how much I missed this team – they just work together and they need to be part of the DC Universe. But the greatest part of this issue, the one that makes me want to kiss Simone write on the lips – was the reveal at the end of the “White Canary”. An asian woman who Dinah guesses is either Lady Shiva or —- Cassandra Cain! Now I don’t think she is Cassie but I love that Dinah knows that if they were fighting  Cassie  – “There is a good chance neither of us will make it out of this alley tonight.” That shows that  Simone respects Cassandra Cain and this is the first respect we have seen from a writer since well – Frank Tieri on Outsiders. I am sooo happy right now.

Lame Ending For A Great Series

Birds of Prey #127
Written by Tony Bedard and Kevin Van Hook
Art by Claude St. Aubin
and Fernando Pasarin

Meh….this series ended after ten years with a rather lame story about Calculator gaining some Kilgore powers and blah blah blah. Barbara has had mission go wrong a lot, and now she decides to disband the Birds? I don’t buy it. It was all too rushed and didn’t give a proper end to this series. And if DC even think about making her Batgirl again….I will scream! She is Oracle, she has grown as a character, let’s not live in the past. Not to mention we all know Cassandra Cain is the one true Batgirl. What a lame ending to a great series.

True Faces Of Evil

bop126

Birds of Prey #126
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Claude St. Aubin

This was another fantastic issue of Tony Bedard’s run which is sadly coming to an end next issue. Out of all the Faces of Evil issue, this one was the most “faces of Evil”-ish of them all. Most of the issue, in fact, all of the issue is dedicated to the Calculator. This must take place after Final Crisis, as we get mentions of the internet going down like it happened during Final Crisis. The true evil that is Matchmaker is also shown this issue as he matches a young serial killer with a victim. Luckily he is stopped by Huntress. I’d like to reiterate that I really hope these Platinum Flats characters are used in other places around the DCU. They are really great villains.