BIRDS OF PREY #33 written by Christy Marx and pencils by Robson Rocha, inks by Oclair Albert and colors by Chris Sotomayor is a good old super hero team throw-down book.
BIRDS OF PREY #32 ended with the team face to face with supervillain/hero team the (old) Suicide Squad. Both teams had been sent in to rescue the same target, and by the looks of things there wasn’t going to be a lot of cooperation in their futures. Thankfully, BIRDS OF PREY #33 finally delivered on the what the cover of #32 promised, and we got a whole issue brawl.
This issue didn’t back down from that promise, and I appreciate how devoted it was to not only being a fight comic, but a well reasoned, character based one as well. The fight doesn’t start because of a misunderstanding between teams or from just not agreeing. It starts because Batgirl and Harley Quinn have huge, understandable beef with each other, and the opening salvos launched between them drags the other members of their teams into the brawl. Black Canary stops the fight at one point to call out the Suicide Squad’s boss, Amanda Waller. Canary abducts her and the fight, having only stopped for a couple of pages, is immediately back on as the Birds try to stop the Squad from rescuing their leader, and it continues for the rest of the issue. On top of that, we get a fist fight between Waller and Canary.
All this fighting wouldn’t amount to much if it wasn’t drawn well, and Rocha and Albert, along with Scott McDaniel doing breakdowns, do a pretty good job with it. Everybody gets to show off their powers and weapons and there are some pretty good match ups. The fighters change opponents in places, but the chaos of the battle field isn’t confusing or nonsensical. Canary and Waller’s fist fight is fairly well choreographed as well. Having grown up reading comics in the 90s, I’ve always been a fan of the heavy cross-hatching style employed here. There’s hardly a clean, undetailed space. Considering this issue is set wholly in a desert type area, this works extra well.
There seems to be a lot of moves towards resolving what I believe to be ongoing plot threads here as well. I hadn’t read any of this series before the most recent issue, so I can’t say for sure, but from the way Waller and Canary are talking it certainly sounds like they are tying up story lines in preparation for the series ending in a couple of issues.
Despite the battle playing out pretty well, around the halfway point, the art loses track of the man the two teams were sent to rescue. He is cowering or being helped by both teams in many panels in the first fight, but he just totally disappears around the time the fight stops. Since the action got even more heated in the second battle, it would have been nice to keep a focus on him as he is endangered by the people who were sent in to save him.
I have no history at all of Amanda Waller, and only know the basics of her character. I do know that a lot of people were very unhappy with the New 52 recasting her as a skinny woman. Her holding her own in a fist fight with Black Canary probably isn’t going to make those people any happier. It’s not a problem for me, but if you are still pining for the days of “The Wall,” you might want to stay away from this.
I don’t really have anything else bad to say about this comic. I didn’t really have much of a strong reaction to it. I said a lot of good things about it up there, but those were easy things to talk about. It was a comic I read. It was fine. There really wasn’t anything wrong with it. Nothing more and nothing less.
After posting my review of last month’s BIRDS OF PREY, I started second guessing myself. Was it actually a bad comic? Was it actually a terrible comic!? Did I go way too easy on it? This issue cleared up those doubts. It’s not a bad comic. It’s totally fine. It delivered on what it was supposed to deliver on, and it did it pretty well. It just isn’t particularly resonating with me.
Pick up this comic if you like (almost) non-stop action, cross-hatching, or Harley Quinn hitting people with a giant hammer.