Fofo’s #CBR5 Review #21: Birds of Prey, Volume 2 by Duane Swierczynski, Jesus Saiz and Travel Foreman

Birds of PreyTarget: Duane Swierczynski’s Birds of Prey: Your Kiss Might Kill.  Art by Jesus Saiz and Travel Foreman.  Collecting Issues #8-12 and Issue #0 of Birds of Prey (N52)

Profile: Comics, Mystery, Science Fiction

I really enjoyed the first collection of the new Birds of Prey, so it is with mixed feelings that I report that Volume 2 leaves much to be desired.  Between the jerky plot jumps and the ill-conceived Poison Ivy arc, the issues in this volume never really get down to business.  Some of this is due to the Night of Owls and Issue #0 ‘crossover’ events, which derail the existing plot lines in really jarring ways.  But even the two arcs that belong to the Birds feel clunky and don’t have the same storytelling hook present in Swierczynski’s first arc.

But before I can get into the details, we have to go back to the end of Volume 1.  In my review of Trouble in Mind, I noted that by the end of the collection, they had only really gotten one layer off the onion-like mystery that was the first story arc.  Evidently, I was the only one who liked that.  So, instead of diving further into this story of biological weaponry and clever brainwashing, we are dropped ass-first into a totally new arc that looks to be about Black Canary’s New 52 backstory.  No time is given to the old plot and there is literally no resolution to be found anywhere in Volume 2.

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Read Fofo’s reviews of Birds of Prey (N52)

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Fofo’s #CBR5 Review #1: Birds of Prey Volume 1 by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz

Birds of Prey Trouble in MindTarget: Duane Swierczynski’s Birds of Prey: Trouble in Mind.  Art by Jesus Saiz.  Collecting Issues 1-7 of Birds of Prey (N52)

Profile: Comics, Mystery, Science Fiction

I came to (American) comics relatively late in life, and entirely because of Joss Whedon.  I started collecting the Buffy Season 8 trade paperbacks in college, but couldn’t really get excited about trying to break into the enormous continuity clusterfuck of ether DC Comics or Marvel’s main universe. I would read a few stray issues here or there if an author I liked was guesting, but that was about it.  When DC decided to do a partial reboot of their continuity it seemed like a good opportunity to start seriously exploring comics.  That lasted all of three weeks, but now that the first trade paperbacks from the reboot are coming out, I decided to take another stab at it.

Birds of Prey is an interesting series that walks in the shadows of some of DC’s biggest names, but has managed to stand on its own as both a concept, and as a storyline.  The original concept was the pairing of a paralyzed former Batgirl, now called Oracle, and the impulsive Black Canary taking on organized crime in the city of Gotham.  The team grew over the years, but at the core of the series was the conflict between the headstrong Black Canary and the cautious and organized Oracle.  The reboot undid Oracle’s paralysis, and made Black Canary the team leader in charge of a new batch of unknowns, including the mentally unstable Katana and the former bio-terrorist Poison Ivy.

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