Thursday, July 28, 2016

Let's Get Hyped! :: DC Comics Rebirth (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Issue 1)

DC Comics

Ah, that new comics smell. When you pick up a new issue of your favorite comic, it’s beautiful and new (plus your cat hasn’t chewed it up yet). The next thing you know, the moment’s shattered. You’re flying through the pages. The world may just end if you don’t finish this issue right now! This week I picked up the new DC Comics' rebirths of both Batgirl and Nightwing. I was especially looking forward to Batgirl because it’s featuring the Birds of Prey. Let me tell you, if I had to pick a girl gang to back me up it would be these birds. Here’s what I thought about the first issue of DC’s Rebirth Batgirl and the Birds of Prey.


Issue one of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey is created by J. Benson, S. Benson, Roe, and Passalaqua. First off--Roe is the last name of one of my favorite Band of Brothers characters (don’t look at me I’m emotional) so I was pretty hyped about the creators. I thought that I wouldn’t be a huge fan of the art style since I prefer art that’s more like this (from the Gail Simone Era)…

DC Comics

…but honestly, I found it to be very good overall and I love the fresh style.

This comic tells the first part of a new storyline (hence the name Rebirth), but it intersects with several different stories about the lives of the main players. Including, from Batman: 'The Killing Joke' when Barbara Gordon was shot in the stomach and paralyzed. Then how she hung up her Batgirl cape but continued to fight crime as the superhero Oracle in partnership with Black Canary (Dinah Lance) while they called themselves the Birds of Prey. They also introduce Helena Bertinelli’s Huntress briefly at the end (another classic member of the Birds of Prey) and reveal parts of her mob background; it becomes obvious that, though Dinah and Barbara were running as the Birds of Prey earlier, Helena wasn’t a part of their partnership yet.

The series sets up the origin stories for the main three characters and opens up a whole new wave of possibilities for the duo. This comic book will also run alongside the rebirth of Batgirl's standalone comic, where they promise to take her across the world (yes, I want Babs to climb Mount Everest and taste foreign cuisine I want my fave to live her life happily okay?!).

Plot Summary

The comic opens on Barbara Gordon, as Batgirl, fighting crime per usual (you know, just another Tuesday night). She uses the thumbprint of an unconscious perp to see what they were up to on the roof (get it? Up to? I'll see myself out) and she discovers they’d been given privileged information by someone calling themselves The Oracle, Barbara’s old codename. Babs does some digging and finds that the person calling themselves "The Oracle" has all of her old files and all of her old skills, and she realizes that they've been using this to sell information to mob families. Startled, she seeks out help from her old friend Dinah Lance to try and find the person slandering her former image. She finds Dinah working as a bouncer for her old band and convinces her to team up again. So, Barbara as Batgirl joins up with Dinah Lance as Black Canary for a ‘one night only’ partnership to try and figure out who is using the Oracle’s name to sell information to mob families.
Meanwhile, we're introduced to Helena Bertinelli as she sits in Catholic confession. She's talking to the priest about her work with Grayson (Dick Grayson, former Robin, Nightwing, and international spy) and the organization they both worked for, Spyral. It seems as though she'd gone AWOL from the organization and they shut down her hypnos implant (a device that gives one the ability to confuse and hypnotize others, as long as they don't have the device). Totally on her own, but armed with her crossbow and espionage skills, she's going to resume her own mission of vengance to kill mafia hitmen "wherever [they] hide."
Later on, the Birds of Prey arrive to get information out of Louis Terroni, who may know the identity of the fake oracle, but while taking out Terroni's entourage Huntress appears. She tells them some about her personal vendetta and her plan to kill him, but the Birds tell her they need information first. Believe it or not, that isn't what Huntress wanted to hear so the three of them start fighting over Terroni long enough for him to get away. Angrily, Huntress spits out Dinah and Barbara's real names and reveals she knows everything about them.

Will I continue reading? Probably. I'm a sucker for Batgirl and I love the classic Birds of Prey. Would I recommend this to a novice comic reader? Not without reservations. There's a lot of information flying around that would possibly confuse someone who doesn't know much about the background of the characters. This is only the first issue, so maybe they'll go into more detail as it goes on, but the reader may need to be okay with a little bit of confusion starting out (or a little bit of googling what the heckity heck Huntress has been up to with Spyral). All and all I like this comic; I'm still getting used to the fact that timelines and worlds change as the comic "eras" do, and thus so do the attitudes of the characters. Nonetheless, this issue was a great read and I'm pumped for the whole DC Comics Rebirth.

DC Comics

What DC Comics Rebirth series are you most excited for?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! This sounds fantastic. I haven't heard of it yet, but I will definitely be adding it to my list. The Birds of Prey sound DELIGHTFUL.