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Birds of Prey #100 – Opening Up The Game

by  in Comic News Comment
Birds of Prey #100 – Opening Up The Game

Three cool points to the first person to tell me where I got that title from (and why I think it fits with Birds of Prey #100).

With Birds of Prey #100, writer Gail Simone and new artist Nicola Scott begin a new era on Birds of Prey, with the departure of the co-lead of the book, Black Canary and the addition of a group of new Birds of Prey. I thought the lead story was good. The back-up story was not all that good, but I do not think a poor back-up story is enough to bring down a comic if the main story is strong enough. Was the main story strong enough?

Read on.

First off, back in May, I remarked on a comic that Nicola Scott drew that “Nicola Scott looks like a name we will hear a lot of in the future,” so it’s good to see her get a prominent mainstream assignment, as she is a good artist. Meanwhile, pairing her with Doug Hazlewood was a stroke of genius (Mike Carlin edits this book? Didn’t know that. Makes sense that he’d be familiar with Hazlewood).

The main story consists of three parts: 1. Oracle picking her new team, 2. The team in action and 3. The introduction of a new “bad guy.”

I would rank them as following:
3
1
2

So the fact that 2 has the most pages devoted to it was a bit disappointing, but not overly so.

The new bad guy was handled very nicely. I especially liked the way she quite succinctly pointed out why they had to eliminate the Birds of Prey. And the final page cliffhanger was a cool cliffhanger, in that it was one of the rare cliffhangers that is not telling us the action, but rather, just a cool character moment. The “action” part occured on the previous page (“Blow them up!”) – the cliffhanger is just the bad guy being cool.

Oracle choosing her squad opened with some nice cameos of various female superheroes. Although it also included a hideous drawing of Power Girl, where Nicola Scott must have been using Glenn Fabry as her reference…{shudder} I liked the dialogue between Lady Blackhawk and Oracle. The hallway of female heroes is kinda creepy/cheesy, but it’s a minor part of the story.

The mission introduces us to the new members of the team, and they’re given some nice action scenes (not much character work, but that’ll come later). Although, if you just gave me only their dialogue during action scenes in their respective titles, I do not think I would be able to tell you which lines came from Big Barda and which lines came from Knockout in Secret Six – I get that they’re both from Apokolips, but still…

What I had slight issue with is the plan itself. It was this highly detailed, elaborate infiltration and then the grand plan? “Fake her death with a squib” It was also, amusingly enough, basically how the A-Team escaped from the firing squad in the last season premieres of the A-Team, squibs and all. I loved how they were trading the daughter for the father, though. That was really cool.

As for the back-up story…well, I’m one of those folks who think Sin is a fairly lame character. I’ve seen “Cousin Oliver” bandied about as a description, which I think is a bit harsh (but only a bit…hehe). Anyhow, the back-up story featured a number of Sin’s Yakov Smirnoff jokes, which grew old precisely three seconds before the first one was told, but otherwise, it was a decently standard encapsulation of Dinah’s life. While I can see folks being pissed at Dinah and Ollie apparently getting back together, I don’t see why this story gets knocked for that, as this story barely even addresses the whole possibly getting back together thing, if it addresses it at all. So I can’t blame the story for that – I can only blame it for being a fairly routine retelling of Black Canary’s life story mixed with lame Yakov Smirnoff jokes.

But ultimately, it wasn’t so lame as to pull the book down enough – so, due to the good lead story, I would still recommend this comic.

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