Reviews – DC Comics: Birds of Prey #20

Posted: May 20, 2013 in Reviews - DC Comics
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Written By: Christy Marx
Pencils By: Romano Molenaar / Inks By: Jonathan Glapion / Colours By: Chris Sotomayor / Letters By: Taylor Esposito
Price: $2.99

Sometimes the last page really does make all the difference. We’ve all seen the lt page cliffhanger reveals before. The villain who’s been hidden in the shadows for pages or issues finally showing his face. The ally showing up at the last minute to save the day. Or in this case, the next issues guest star making their first appearance. It’s a device that’s probably used more often then it should be, but it keeps getting used because it works. It can make an issue better as a whole. It can simply make it more memorable. Or, more importantly for the people who worked on the book, it can make people want to buy the next issue. Now, I’m not going to spoil the reveal here, I’m sure the information is easy enough to find if you really want to, but I will be honest with you here and tell you that it was good enough for me that I bumped the score for this issue up just a little bit higher.

Alright, with all that out of the way, lets talk about Birds of Prey. This may be the most unique team book that DC has going right now, and it’s not because its an all-female team, because, well, it actually isn’t anymore. No, what makes the Birds unique, is that while the Justice League is still the same Justice League and the Teen Titans are still the same Teen Titans, the Birds of Prey continue to evolve. Old members leave, new members join. Not a new concept I know, but I do believe its the only DC book doing it so far in The New 52. I mention this fact because issue #20 has seemingly set the Birds up for another roster shuffle as one of the founding members appears to make her departure. Issue #20 picks up where issue #19 left off, in the midst of the Birds battle with Mr. Freeze in a Court of Owls laboratory and the bulk of the issue focuses on explaining, or at least dealing with, last issues cliffhanger reveal, that Starling was working with Mr. Freeze. While Christy Marx doesn’t go too deep into detail, what is explained however fits together nicely enough as the book has shown us in the past that Starling hasn’t always played on the side of the angels. The other primary focus of the issue, as it has been for awhile now, was the continuing mystery of Black Canary’s powers, or rather her seeming inability to control them. This particular thread is wearing on me a bit. It’s a little tiring watching the team leader face almost the exact same moment of doubt issue after issue, so hopefully they’ll wrap that storyline up sooner rather then later. Though I do admit, that those doubts exist for Black Canary did make the moment she uses her power in this issue that much more meaningful.

Ok, so when you get right down to it, Birds of Prey isn’t a bad book, and issue #20 certainly isn’t a ba issue. For me it wasn’t great, at least not until the final reveal, but it was definitely net resting and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story progresses. I should note though, that the imact of the reveal at the end is of course entirely dependant on how much you recognize of care bout the revealed character.

Score: 7.5

  1. GP says:

    Reblogged this on misentopop.

  2. Nyuuron says:

    I just picked up the series at #18, and was not particularly impressed. Issues 18 and 19 seemed to spend too much time spinning their wheels. I decided to give it one more issue since it was apparent I was in a transition. I also happened to pick up the last issue of Talon, since they mentioned it in 18 and I thought it might be significant.

    And I would agree, the last few pages of this one is what convinced me not to drop it just yet. Hopefully it improves after the crossover issues.

    • The book does have its share of problems, as most do, but it is definitely in a bit of a transitory phase at the moment. Christy Marx just picked up the writing duties with, I believe, issue #18. She has an interesting or potentially interesting cast of characters to play with, particularly Strix, so hopefully she’ll get her feet under and get things really rolling by the end of the current story arc.

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