The classic BoP are back in play, but they’re not all on the same side… yet. Your Major Spoilers review of Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey #1 awaits!
Previously in Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey: “Batgirl and Black Canary are together again, working a case that strikes right at the heart of their partnership! Someone’s uncovered the greatest secret Barbara Gordon ever kept: her time as Oracle, the most powerful hacker on the planet. And not only do they know her secret, they’re using her name to sell dangerous information to criminals! Now one of those deals has brought some major heat to Gotham City: Helena Bertinelli is out of Spyral, wearing the hood of the Huntress, and making mafia blood run in the streets! Everything you thought was hidden will be revealed if the Oracle has their way…”
LOVING THIS BLACK CANARY
This issue opens with a really lovely flashback sequence of Black Canary and Oracle working together in previous years, which may be the first overt reference to the Birds Of Prey existing in this universe… Of course, with Rebirth in play, it may not be the same universe anymore, which is confusing, so… Skip it. We transition to modern-day Gotham City, where Dinah and Babs are engaged in a running motorcycle chase with the mysterious Huntress, tracking a mafia goon named Terroni through the streets of Gotham. “You know the old saying,” thinks Black Canary, “If it’s not on fire, it’s not Gotham”, earning her the line of the year so far and a wonderfully funny character moment. When they catch up to Huntress, they find Terroni already dead, and she threatens Batgirl and Black Canary with knowledge of their real identities before racing off into the night.
AN UNEASY ALLIANCE
The design of the new Huntress is phenomenal, as far as I’m concerned, and she (along with our other heroes) looks great in action throughout the issue. This issue brings us car chases, some downtime for Dinah and Babs in the clock tower (recently repurchased with Barbara’s windfall), lions, tigers and zebras, as well as a creepy new villain and some snake-punching, and it all looks really great. Best of all is a quick moment where a determined Black Canary pulls her jacket back on as Batgirl remasks, with both women showing their determined game-faces. As the issue ends, BG & BC discover the identity of The Huntress, and agree to work with her (with perhaps a bit of help from Jim Gordon), while another threat lurks in the shadows, making me want next issue right now!
THE BOTTOM LINE: I’M LIKING IT
Strangely, it can be hard to do street-level super-tales in the mainstream shared comics universes, but this book nails the tone and also gives us some lovely interplay between the three heroes. Black Canary is low-key hilarious and witty, Batgirl smart and determined, and Huntress driven and mostly hostile, making for a good balance between the three main characters, leaving Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey #1 with a very strong 4 out of 5 stars overall. It’s not the classic Birds Of Prey interactions of yore, but it is something that echoes parts of that, and manages to be its own new thing. I’m officially on-board with this series.