Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Birds of Prey #1

Series: Birds of Prey
Words: Gail Simone Duan Swierczynski
Images: Jesus Saiz
Issue Number: 1
Release Date: In reality September but our cover reads November 2011
Format: Comic

Okay so Birds of Prey is one of the few Gotham settings influenced by the reboot. This arbitrary nature of the reboot is getting to me. Heck! Even Batgirl spent her time in a wheel chair!

Instead D.C. just totally erased all the lovely character development that Gail Simone did with some of these characters. And there really was some mind blowingly good stuff in her run or Bedard's run or McKeever's run.

So that you have a context for my sheer fanrage. Birds of Prey pre-relaunch was founded by Oracle. I understand that Babs is no longer free to be in charge of the Birds. What with her sudden move back to Gotham from Metropolis following her sudden ability to use her legs again. I'm not happy but I can live with it.

Essentially her next in command would have been Black Canary. Canary was the second member of Birds of Prey. Through the pre-relaunch version you watch her come to terms with a horrific assault that left her feeling completely powerless. Watch while during her drive to never be that powerless again she almost loses herself totally. See her rediscover her sense of connection to the world in the form of a child she shelters from being the next Lady Shiva. And have her come full circle and semi retire from the hero field in order to avoid making her mother's mistakes. Of course like all good super heros she eventually is drawn back into the Justice League.

So when I saw Black Canary on the cover with what I have seen from the rest of the Gotham based comics in the relaunch. I was expecting that Babs decided to step away from Birds of Prey (understandable given that she was attracting them a lot of negative attention and potential take overs). Handed over control to Black Canary and vola it can now grow and develop even more with out Oracle or Babs.

Imagine my surprise when I open up the only Gotham based comic that was actually rebooted.

“And as much as I would like to believe there's a some covert ops team run by a bunch of super criminal hotties... I still need this teeny little thing journalists call facts.” My hopes were dashed by page two when I read that line. Still I soldered ahead like only someone who was emotionally invested could.

And I got my “facts”.

There was no handing off of Birds of Prey. The new reboot totally ignores Babs' involvement. Instead in this version they are started by a criminal Black Canary. Who then recruits other criminals. And yes they are super hotties. Corsets and boob shots and all. There is a great little side story into the reporter trying to track down Canary and her team. Where you watch them at a bar acting like hottie little bar stars getting wasted.

So yes they devolved some of the best developed women in the D.C. universe.

There was an attempted nod to the old Birds of Prey series. There was an interaction where Black Canary tried to recruit Babs. into the team. There is some brilliantly painful and ableist interactions between the two:

Babs: Dinah lance as I live and breath.
Black Canary: Good to see you, Barbara living, breathing and walking.

The interaction is brief and to the point and totally awkward. Not what I would expect for two characters who were supposedly very, very, very close friends.

Over all it was a total disappointment.

In order to ease my fears that I was too invested in the creator and the original writer. I had my boyfriend read the comic. Thankfully he still loves me after I stopped cooking to follow him with kitchen stuff tapping him with them until he broke down and read the comic. I am a lucky lady that this man puts up with me, I know.

Of course he watches Survivor and has a Grease mashup in the car and I still love him.

So I figure we're pretty much even.

Anyways back to my point. Even he was disappointed with the Birds of Prey reboot.

My advice is maybe buy the first few issues. If you dislike those then don't bother with the trades at all. If you read and liked Suicide Squad this is probably right up your ally and by all means go crazy with it.

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