What happens when a mysterious new villain threatens to expose the secrets and identities of everyone in the superhero community? Call in the Birds of Prey!

Birds of Prey #1

Written by Gail Simone

Art by Ed Benes

Colors by Nei Ruffino

Letters by Swands

Cover by Ed Benes and Nei Ruffino

Variant Cover by Cliff Chiang

Our story opens with Dinah Lance AKA Black Canary traveling to Iceland to negotiate the terms of the release of a little girl who was kidnapped by terrorists. The child, who is the daughter of wealthy Icelandic officials and suffers from a heart condition, is being held at gunpoint on the edge of a glacier. Black Canary listens to one of the kidnappers impossible demands (a man named Chasco) but is in fact stalling. After giving a signal, a helicopter arrives as backup and takes out the armed guards. Black Canary takes Chasco down but during the battle the little girl Katy ends up on the very edge of the glacier. A bloodied Chasco attempts to shoot her but Dinah causes the glacier to crumble using the Canary Cry and snatches the child as she leaps into the air and successfully grabs onto the helicopter. Afterwards, Dinah meets Zinda Blake otherwise known as Lady Blackhawk, at the hospital where they are watching the news coverage of Katy’s rescue. Zinda points out that Dinah isn’t mentioned and Dinah informs her that she requested to be left out of the spotlight. While at the hospital Lady Blackhawk receives a phone call from none other than Oracle who is calling from the Batcave. Oracle is summoning members of the disbanded group Birds of Prey and makes a call to Huntress next who is busy kicking butt in an alley. Elsewhere the recently resurrected Hawk is fighting a band of teenage hoodlums who call themselves the Pep Squad. Dove is fighting by his side and is horrified when Hawk dangles one of the female hoodlums by the throat over the edge of a rooftop. He eventually returns her to safety and a few hours later Hank and Dawn retire to a nearby bar where Dawn is joined by Zinda Blake.

As Hank gets intoxicated, Zinda approached Dawn and hands her a business card and expresses concern over Hank.  Later, Black Canary, Oracle and Huntress meet on a rooftop to discuss why Barbara has brought them back together. Files were recently delivered to Oracle containing personal information regarding members of the superhero community, heroes and villains alike. Secret identities, home address, family members and more are in the files which also include information on our lovely ladies. The person who obtained the information stated that they will kill everyone listed in the files every hour on the hour until the Birds of Prey can stop him. If the women refuse to “play along” the information will be posted on the internet starting at midnight. It appears that Oswald Copplepot is the first victim and Black Canary and Huntress show up just in time to save The Penguin’s life and find out who is behind this plot. In a matter of moments the unknown attacker defeats both Back Canary and the Huntress before sticking an arrow through the Penguin’s throat. We get our first real look at their opponent who is an Asian woman with a long braid dressed in white. The issue closes with her challenging our heroes to save the Penguin.

Let me first say that like many, I was not only ecstatic that the Birds of Prey title was being relaunched but that the dynamic duo of Gail Simone and Ed Benes would be at the helm. Their combined talents has yet to disappoint me and this story along with it’s striking art made for an intriguing story and left me pondering in the end if this new would- be villain was in fact Cassandra Cain or Lady Shiva. It’s exciting to think of both possibilities especially that of Cassandra who is currently MIA. Issue 2 will be titled “Rage of the White Canary”. Could this be the new villain’s official name? Once I laid eyes on her all I kept thinking was what an incredible cosplay this “White Canary” would be and I would have to put her down on my ever growing cosplay to-do list but back to business… For fans of the series this is a great storyline to bring the birds back into the game. At the same time it is new reader friendly should easily rope in new fans.

Like many who were resurrected by the white lantern entity, Hawk is experiencing a great deal of confusion along with anger. True, Hawk always had a bad temper but it appears his tactics to fighting evil are more severe than usual. He seems to be a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Both Hawk and Dove are listed in the files and I feel once Hank is aware of the situation he won’t take it lightly. I predict that he won’t hesitate to assist the Birds of Prey but will he be able to work alongside them when his views are so different? Would Barbara or any of the others be able to help him come to terms with his resurrection? The relaunch of this series is strong; a fan pleaser that introduces a bad ass new character. I give Birds of Prey #1 four stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Victoria

Victoria

In 2006 Victoria began the hobby of cosplay which quickly turned into a passion. Her other hobbies include collecting comics, dolls and writing poems and short stories. Victoria loves reporting on the world of comic books almost as much as she enjoys eating a slice of pizza and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Favorite writers: Geoff Johns
Favorite artist: Billy Tan, Jim Lee, Ian Churchill, Billy Tucci and the late Michael Turner

If you want to see more of Victoria in her cosplay gear, head over to cosplaygirl.webs.com

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14 Comments

  1. Brian G.
    May 20, 2010 at 11:24 am — Reply

    I seriously hope Hawk and Dove are only temporary additions to the team. If DC has told me anything about their teams over the last few years, it’s that their starting roster never sticks around to see issue 15. I know it’s stupid but I don’t like the idea of a guy on the team.

    Gotta give mad props to colorist Nei Ruffino for doing an outstanding job with Ed’s lines. Ed Benes is one of my favorite artists and Nei gave his work such a beautiful dimension. I hope she stays on the title as long as Ed and Gail are on.

    As for this new villian … i’m sure it’s someone familiar with a new identity but i’m not putting my oppinion out there just yet. We’ve only really seen her for 2 pages so far so i’m going to wait until next issue to place a bet.

  2. May 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm — Reply

    I seriously hope Hawk and Dove are only temporary additions to the team. If DC has told me anything about their teams over the last few years, it’s that their starting roster never sticks around to see issue 15. I know it’s stupid but I don’t like the idea of a guy on the team.

    I don’t see the guy as the odd man out. With Black Canary, Hawk, Dove, Lady Blackhawk and the former Batgirl working together, the Huntress is the one who doesn’t fit the name scheme…

    • Brian G.
      May 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm — Reply

      Yeah but shouldn’t she get the pass because of being a prior team member? I was always hoping the team was going to be Barb, Zinda, Dinah, Helena, Batgirl and Red Robin back when we were working with shadow images.

      • Brian G.
        May 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm — Reply

        To clear things up, I only wanted to see Red Robin on the team because i thought for sure that it would have ended with Tim leaving with Stephanie after the first arc and having someone like Cassandra fill the space. Not only that but having Tim there would add more depth to Barb working in Gotham again.

  3. Ricco
    May 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    I have 2 guesses on who White Canary might be:

    1st,the Crime Doctor’s daughter, during the “One Year Later” story arc or Birds of Prey we saw Dinah go to Shiva’s “training ground” and Shiva took her spot in the Birds of Prey and asked to be called Jade Canary(wearing Dinah’s fishnets by the way). At the end of this arc we had Dinah leave the place Shiva trained with Sin (she became her adoptive daughter). Shiva got a beating at the hand of Prometheus during the mission to capture the Crime Doctor who had access to all of Society’s medical files(so his daughter having them makes sense), the Doctor killed himself to save his daughter who was been targeted by the society to get to him and she is last seen leaving with Lady Shiva to be her apprentice. The age difference can easily be fixed by magic, drugs, or simply writer’s whim (it’s a comic book after all)

    2nd, the new mystery daughter of Rhas Al Ghul.

    P.S.- I just hope it’s not Shiva/Casandra, too obvious.

    • Brian G.
      May 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm — Reply

      While it’s obvious, we need to figure out where the hell Cass. has been for the last … i don’t know … few years? Last thing i remember her doing was giving Supergil a beat down in the late teens of Supergirl’s book.

      • Ricco
        May 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm — Reply

        She was last seen undressing and handing her Batgirl costume to Stephanie Brown after a fight (as girls usually do), back in the second issue of the current Batgirl comics.

        • Brian G.
          May 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm — Reply

          Really?! Holy crap! I gotta look into that. Thank you! (mind you, not for the undressing but for her appearing in a comic again.)

          You know, that could be strong symbolism right there too. She discarded her old costume to maybe take a new one?

          • Ricco
            May 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm — Reply

            She appeared in Batman and the Outsiders before appearing in Batgirl by the way, if I remember right she was officially adopted by Bruce at the end of that particular arc.

            • May 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm — Reply

              She appeared in Batman and the Outsiders before appearing in Batgirl by the way, if I remember right she was officially adopted by Bruce at the end of that particular arc.

              Have you ever wondered what the Gotham City adoption officials think about Bruce Wayne taking all of these orphans and waifs into his home, only to have them die/disappear/get beaten to death with crowbars? This would seem to be an issue… Although a millionaire playboy who kept adopting children while having no wife and a public playboy persona is probably suspicious enough.

              • Ricco
                May 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm — Reply

                How about the fact a ton of people knew Cassandra Cain was Batgirl? You’d think some of the bad guys might go:
                “Wait Bruce Wayne adopted Batgirl!? Humm…”

                “Have you ever wondered what the Gotham City adoption officials think about Bruce Wayne taking all of these orphans and waifs into his home, only to have them die/disappear/get beaten to death with crowbars? This would seem to be an issue…”

                He probably donates millions to orphanages just to make sure no one asks too many question:
                Orphanage manager *on the phone*: “Very well Mr.Wayne the papers have been finalised and thank you for your donation”
                Manager *to another employee*: “Put me on the Wayne dead/missing pool for next month”
                The other employee:”Bought another one did he?”

          • Ricco
            May 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm — Reply

            Oups! Checked my comics once I got home, it’s Batgirl #1, not 2.

  4. brainypirate
    May 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm — Reply

    I love, Love, LOVE that Canary speaks Icelandic! (And now I see that Zatanna speaks Spanish!) And aren’t Hourman and Liberty Belle speaking Italian in their back-up feature?

    I love that DC is becoming polylingual!

  5. eric
    May 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm — Reply

    I love the first run of Birds of Prey even though I collected it in Trades. I will do so with this run also, but I see DC just pulling at straws and throwing some items against the wall to see what sticks. They did not have to end the first run to just make a come back to a number one issue just to get people to buy and spend money.

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