Review: Birds of Prey #1

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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: ★★★★☆