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Royal Reviews: Birds of Prey #1

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Rain Partier

Postby LOLtron » Fri May 14, 2010 9:37 am

ImageRoyal Nonesuch reviews the new BIRDS OF PREY #1, published by DC Comics!

Credits & Solicit Info:
Writer : Gail Simone

Artist : Ed Benes

Manufacturer / Publisher :  DC

Description :  "Soaring out of BRIGHTEST DAY, the Birds are back in town! Because you demanded it, fan-favorites Gail Simone (WONDER WOMAN, SECRET SIX) and Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE, GREEN LANTERN) reunite to reinvent the book where they made their explosive debut as a team. Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress and Lady Blackhawk all return to Gotham City where they belong � and they've brought a couple of new friends (or are they foes?) along with them!

Guest-starring a major Bat-villain and the first appearance of the most dangerous, most twisted new Birds villain ever!"

"One day these women will learn to say what they really feel without thinking it makes them vulnerable.  If I have to beat the living crap out of 'em to make it happen."

In 2003, Gail Simone took over as the writer of DC Comics' BIRDS OF PREY series and under her pen, the book became something of a sleeper hit.  Simone's gentle characterizations and hard-hitting action made the book an absolute pleasure to read.  Now Simone has reunited with her original penciller on the title, Ed Benes, to revive BIRDS OF PREY with a new #1. 

The theme of old friends reuniting extends into the plot of the issue, which is narrated by Black Canary.  The scenes detailing the introduction of Hawk and Dove to the book feel a bit more disjointed, and don't entirely mesh well.   The pacing in general somehow feels a little rickety.  Neither the Birds nor Simone fall into their old rhythms all that easily, but it's obvious that there is a clear plan for the book going forward.  Certainly the plot, which leads to the revelation of a new villain, justifies this team coming back together.  A superhero team book needs a sense of purpose, and the Birds have theirs: protect all the other superheroes.  

Ed Benes has mercifully toned down his overtly sexualized depictions of female characters here in favor of better storytelling.  He's able to simply fit a lot more on each page due to a greater focus on page layout and story flow.  There are still some trouble spots (like characters switching places from one panel to the next), but it's much preferable to his first tenure on this book.

Overall,  Gail Simone and Ed Benes working on BIRDS OF PREY again is a welcome sight for the fans of these characters, but this issue isn't quite the opeing shot they may have been hoping for.  Still, there are a lot of reasons to look forward to everything coming up in this series, and that's all one can really expect out of a #1 issue. 


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