The Birds are BACK and the assortment is as kooky as ever. (This reviewer was on vacation when the first issue dropped so I decided to review the first two issues at the same time.) As a fan of the Gail Simone/Oracle/Black Canary era, I was very excited for this series to drop, especially with the inclusion of Big Barda. I was less excited to see Harley’s addition and felt absolutely nothing about Zealot. Regardless, a new Birds of Prey era is a good thing, so let’s dive in.
Spoilers ahead for both issues.
Can we, first and foremost, commend Leonardo Romero for his lively and retro brand of art? The details spill off each panel, emphasizing the best parts of each character. Batgirl’s fight with Harley Quinn in issue 1 and the team fight with the golems in issue 2 are great examples of how his art kind of smacks the reader in the face. In a good way, of course.
I genuinely loved the story being set up from the start as Dinah trying to find Sin and save her. The Cynthia Lance plot being dropped for so long pissed off a lot of diehard Dinah fans, so thankfully Kelly Thompson is picking it up here. Does this mean we’ll see Lady Shiva and Oracle in the future? One can only hope.
Another fantastic moment was how Black Canary went about building her team. I may not agree with every choice, but I can appreciate the reasoning and the detail the creative team showed as to why. I ADORE every single moment between Big Barda and Cassandra Cain. Barda is an underappreciated character, who is more than just a big lady with a big stick, married to Mister Miracle. Thompson nails her matter-of-fact attitude and amusement at all things human-related. Romero captures just how imposing she is, without fetishizing her.
While I don’t know much about Zealot, I’m enjoying her inclusion so far mostly because she’s a mystery to me. In the first issue, I was a bit irritated by the Harley of it all, but I think I’m being won over so far. I enjoy Dinah and Harley’s interactions and everyone’s general exhaustion with her. Harley being the wildcard may not always work in every setting, but it can work here with thoughtful writing.
I’m also intrigued by this Themyscira plot and how much it will overlap with the drama that’s going on in Tom King’s new Wonder Woman run. If you’re not caught up, Amazons have been banned by the United States of America after a “domestic terrorist attack” by an Amazonian warrior. There’s also the Queen Nubia branch of the Amazons. Will we be seeing her at all? All this talk about Wonder Woman, when it’s Nubia who sits on the throne of Themyscira.
Overall, I’m having a lot of fun with this new Birds of Prey run. I enjoy seeing the assortment of himbos (Oliver Queen, Cole Cash, John Constatine) parade around lending a hand to the team. I hope after some of the action dies down, we get an issue where the ladies are bonding over cocktails or at the beach. We readers deserve to see our heroes relax a bit.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BLACK CANARY’S ALL-NEW TEAM ON THEIR FIRST MISSION! Black Canary has built an all-new team with a very specific and very dangerous first mission: extraction! Their target: [REDACTED]! She’s being held on [REDACTED] and guarded by a battalion of [REDACTED]. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, then we’re explaining it wrong! It’s a terrible mission! And before it can even be launched, the Birds have to gather a few mysterious supplies and see some old familiar faces…that they punch!
Written by: Kelly Thompson Art by: Leonardo Romero Colors by: Jordie Bellaire Letters by: Clayton Cowles Cover by: Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire Price: $3.99