This is the last of the current series of Birds of Prey as we know it. For long term fans of the comic, indeed people who are enjoying the New 52 run – when I began to read the older Birds of Prey it was a bit of a disappointment – so I was hoping this run would conclude nicely as it had done, I mean Batgirl finished it run rather nicely so why shouldn’t this?
You could guess that this issue is a downer. I know, before you say, that Gail Simone was the writer for Batgirl, not Birds of Prey, but her ending, the neat way she did it and made it glide on towards the new writers and Barbara Gorden’s new adventures was just nicely done.
However I am reviewing Birds of Prey, not Batgirl – which was my last review.
Birds of Prey was just messy in this issue, really messy. Black Canary was fighting this woman and it wasn’t for information, it wasn’t to be a warning or anything, it was because Black Canary wanted revenge. It should also be noted that Black Canary didn’t even tell Batgirl what she was doing – or Batgirl would have talked her out of it and made her see sense in how stupid her plan was to begin with. It was rather out of character for Black Canary to be like that, to be out for revenge, even putting her friends and colleagues lives in danger for it.
Black Canary isn’t exactly a hot headed character, from what I have seen Batgirl tends to be more of the strike first when she is emotionally involved – see issue 33 of Batgirl to get what I mean by that. So this kind of acting out is just not like her, although you can also argue that this is the New 52 and the old Black Canary is gone; I don’t think so, I think all the characters have kept their characteristics, that’s why readers and fans keep reading these comics, because they love the character, the only this that has changed is that they have tweaked them up a little bit more than before.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t read the whole of the Birds of Prey series of the New 52, I know that Black Canary is/was married, I know something terrible happened and for some time she though that she killed him; then she learned that she hadn’t and he was alive but in a coma. So maybe it was all the heart-ache that caused her to lash out like that, but surely she would talk to Batgirl about this kind of thing, or go along to seek this woman out? Regardless of what happened, Black Canary was always protective of her friends so this was odd for her.
From other reviews that I have read – who wrote their reviews at the time the comic came out – a lot of people are of the same opinion, Black Canary was out of character in that issue. It did mean the climax of the issue was to split the Birds of Prey and when the next issue comes out – not focusing on Black Canary though – hopefully it will mean new members and Black Canary being more responsible. I do think that Huntress, who showed up in Batgirl issue 33/34 will be a member of the Birds too, hopefully.
Sadly this issue was a bit of a dud, there was action, good quotes, but it had bad characterisation, although you could see what they were trying to do, it just didn’t work for that character.