Saturday, October 1, 2011

Birds of Prey #1

There's a recurring problem that a lot of the contestants on competition show "Top Chef" run into. They make a perfectly suitable dish but present it to the judges using a name of a specific dish. Inevitably, the judges find fault in the dish, because, while it's good, it's not exactly what the chef called it. In other words, don't take a random cut of steak and call it a t-bone. That's the problem that writer Duane Swiercyznski runs into in this first issue of Birds of Prey.

Birds of Prey is a concept that predates the reboot. Writers Chuck Dixon, Devin Grayson, and Gail Simone did great work in establishing Black Canary, Oracle, and Huntress into both a team and a family. And that's where this series fails. Black Canary's there, but Oracle only cameos and Huntress is nowhere to be seen. In their place we have a couple of new characters, specifically Starling, a completely new hero, and Katana and Poison Ivy (though they are only on the cover, not in the actual first issue). Birds of Prey doesn't just mean "super-heroes capable of menstruating", you can't just throw any female characters into the book and call it BOP.

Jesus Saiz (not Jesus Christ, that's a different guy), does an okay job on the art. He's one of the few comic artists out there who excels at drawing humans and fails at drawing the more exciting stuff in comics. Everyone looks realistic, but the action just isn't compelling. And it should go without saying that Black Canary's new suit looks like total ass.

Buy again: No

New reader friendly: I could see new readers being confused by only having half of the characters on the cover show up in the actual comic.

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