REVIEW: Birds of Prey #0

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Birds of Prey #0 depicts the august beginnings of the vigilante supergroup featuring the Black Canary, Batgirl, and more. Major Spoilers’ review tells you if this book can take flight.

BIRDS OF PREY #0
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Penciller: Romano Molenaar
Inker: Vicente Cifuentes
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover: Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Previously, in Birds of Prey: I am not a regular reader of this title, and this is a zero issue. So we’re good to go!

IS A BLACK CANARY EVEN A THING?

One of the goals of DC’s zero month is to introduce their properties to readers who didn’t pick up on a series in the wake of the New 52 relaunch a year ago. By providing a jumping-on point, DC is trying to capture that rarest of beasts, the new comic reader. And indeed, I have not been reading Birds of Prey myself, but I like Batgirl and the emphasis on Dinah Lance in Team 7 #0 made me curious enough to check this out.

Swierczynski’s script focuses on Dinah Lance, the Black Canary, as she infiltrates the inner circle of one Oswald Cobblepot in an attempt at doing a little freelance anti-terrorism work. Once in the Penguin’s employ, she encounters another similarly bird-themed mercenary (Starling) before butting heads with Batgirl as they both pursue some sort of bioterror bomb. Thus, the usual “heroes fight over a misunderstanding before the invariable team-up” is delivered. This issue is pretty much a well-told, if somewhat typical, superhero caper, with a slight twist at the end that ties into Dinah’s origins with the disbanded Team 7. The flight-themed vigilantes all end up friends at the end, although series regulars Katana and Poison Ivy are nowhere to be found.

THAT’S NOT WHAT A SPORTS BRA LOOKS LIKE

Molenaar and Cifuentes execute the action well. Much of the action takes place in the Penguin’s ice palace, a locale which might perhaps lend itself towards skimpy depictions, but Molenaar made sure to pencil in enough detail to keep the backgrounds interesting. This is good-looking stuff. I do take slight issue with a bit of unnecessary cheesecake at the end. DC got deservedly raked over the coals for their mishandling of many of their female characters when the New 52 relaunched. So in a book with good female protagonists, it is a little disheartening to cap the issue with the main character disrobing for seemingly no other reason than to show her in her underwear then plop her in the shower.

BOTTOM LINE: TOLERABLE, BUT NOT HANDSOME ENOUGH TO TEMPT ME

As an introduction, Birds of Prey #0 hit the right beats. I have a better sense of the characters than I did going in, and I know the general set-up for the series. It was a decent, pleasurable read. But I’m reading enough decent comics right now, and this didn’t do enough to clear the bar into my pull list. But if you’ve got the room in your budget, Birds of Prey looks like it might be a good title for some stand-up superheroics. Birds of Prey #0 earns three out of five stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
Reader Rating

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.17 out of 5)


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