Batgirl & The Birds Of Prey #1 Review

Posted August 17, 2016 by John Newby in Comic Books

Written by: Julie and Shawna Benson

Art by: Claire Roe

Publisher: DC Comics

Do you remember that short-lived Birds of Prey TV show? Well, it was pretty terrible. The concept was great, but the creators didn’t stick the landing. It was a missed opportunity for such an interesting property. Luckily, the duo of Julie and Shawna Benson (writers of The 100 on the CW) are at the helm of the new series featuring the trio of crime fighters: Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress. This comic series is supposed to be the Birds of Prey story that you want, complete with action, intrigue, and plenty of dead mob bosses. And you know what? The Bensons do a solid job fulfilling the expectations. 

Birds of Prey starts with the all-important backstory introducing the readers to Black Canary and Barbara Gordon, aka Oracle. Despite being short-lived, this backstory does a solid job showing off Black Canary’s powers and gives a better understanding of the duo’s relationship. More importantly, you also get to learn that Black Canary is the narrator of the entire issue. This storytelling device is similar to other DC Comics and humanizes the characters in a way that other comics don’t quite achieve. 

Fast forward to present day; Oracle/Batgirl and Black Canary are hot in pursuit of a mob member with connections to someone else using the Oracle name. This mysterious character is hellbent on causing destruction and ruining the good name of the hero. Unfortunately, the only thing standing in the way of the duo is the always angry Huntress. This crossbow-wielding psychopath is focused on destroying the mob and doesn’t care how many people die in the process. Huntress also doesn’t care about Oracle and Black Canary’s plan to get information from the mob. 

Given the combination of characters, it’s unsurprising that things don’t go as planned for either side. The Huntress gets in Oracle and Black Canary’s way, and they continuously return the favor. Even worse, there is a mysterious enemy going around murdering key players in the story. It’s a very combustible situation that serves as a solid plotline throughout the first issue.

Ironically enough, Birds of Prey is surprisingly goofy. Given the prominence of Black Canary and The Huntress, you would expect a large amount of seriousness throughout the story. Yes, there are moments that follow this traditional path, but Julie and Shawna Benson take the characters in an entirely different direction. Batgirl is inherently goofy, and even Black Canary seems to enjoy cracking wise. I noticed references to both Star Wars and Indiana Jones during the first issue, not to mention a lot of wise acre comments. One of the best moments takes place later on as Batgirl’s cell phone ruins an important moment, and Canary proceeds to make fun of her. 

Birds of Prey is a solid start to this series, and the goofiness is a fun break from the fairly serious subject matter. The only issue is that a beloved character only makes an appearance for one panel. Hopefully, it’s a glimpse into an expanded role as the series continues.

About the Author

John Newby

A random dude obsessed with coffee, blue heelers, and most nerdy things. Big fan of Star Wars, Borderlands, Arrow/Flash, and a whole lotta video games. The Saboteur is underrated, and Silverado is the best movie ever made.