Batgirl and The Birds Of Prey Rebirth Special #1 Review

Posted July 20, 2016 by Alexander Handziuk in Comic Books

Written by: Julia Benson and Shawna Benson

Art by: Claire Roe

Publisher: DC Comics

The Birds of Prey are back! A series that has lain dormant since before the launch of the new 52 has finally returned with new mystery and some classic members. What this issue tries to do is set up a reason for these members to meet up once more and it succeeds , although their reunion is bogged down by heavy exposition, strange character interactions and some ugly facial rendering.

The issue begins with Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) fighting bad guys and finding a link to a criminal hacker, codenamed Oracle. This is a cool start to the book as Oracle was Barbara’s crime-fighting alias back when she was paralyzed, and this creates a natural link into her past. What follows is Barbara trying to get Dinah Lance (Black Canary) back on her team which of course leads to an impromptu meeting with Helena Berteneli (The Huntress). This creates an interesting dynamic as both Dinah and Helena don’t really want to be back in the Birds Of Prey and while this dynamic doesn’t get a lot of page time this issue it’s something that promises to play out over the course of the coming issues.

What does get alot of page time is Batgirl’s inner monologue, which recounts many major events from her past. There are some truly interesting moments, specifically Batgirl going over the events that led her to be paralyzed that features a new insight about the moment. This moment, while surrounded in a large amount of exposition, shows great grasp of Barabara’s character and the new angle is an interesting one. That being said, there is a rather large amount of exposition in this book and the issue comes across as a little bloated as a result. This is a pattern that many rebirth specials have faced thus far, in that they are trying hard to give background on the upcoming series characters’ and coming off as an information dump as a result.

On the art side, Claire Roe cashes in a bit of a mixed bag, with action sequences that are dark and fluid, and characters whose facial structure are ugly and at times off-putting. It’s not a bad thing to have non perfect looking characters, in fact seeing relatable looking characters in comics is a joy, but I found myself stopping multiple times throughout the issue to just take a second glance at the strange bucktoothed faces that make up the book. That being said, Roe’s backgrounds are strong and moody, which fits the tone of the issue well.

Batgirl And The Birds of Prey Rebirth Special #1 is a mediocre start to a promising series, that finds itself bogged down by the familiar over exposition that most of DC’s rebirth specials have also been guilty of. There is potential in this series as the characters are intriguing, the action pieces are well rendered and the overall mystery of the new Oracle’s Identity is an interesting one. If you’re on the fence about this series after this special then waiting for the true #1 issue is something I’d recommend.

About the Author

Alexander Handziuk

Alex is a comic aficionado who loves Aquaman, Overwatch, the musical Hamilton and medium length strolls on beaches. Check him out on the Comics Dash Podcast, on twitter at @axehandziuk and in real life patrolling the borders of Canada.