[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Roge Antonio
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
One of the hallmarks of the Birds of Prey has always been the female camaraderie. This issue lacks for none as it includes not only the Birds but nearly all the Gotham Good Gals and the Sirens as well. And, just in case that’s not enough, Wonder Woman and Lois Lane are there to add some additional hands to the women of Gotham.
The team assembled on the Gotham rooftops, they split into groups with separate missions: 1. get blood samples; 2. get into the hospital to check for a sample of the virus; 3. save a construction crew that’s in trouble.
Wonder Woman handles the construction crew, Helena gets a blood sample from Dick Grayson, as Orphan does the same from Clayface at the Belfry and Harley, Ivy, Catwoman, Black Canary and an “undercover” Oliver Queen get the virus sample from the hospital. In the hospital, the nurse attending to the not-sick Mr. Queen attempts to infect him, thus revealing her as a member of the Daughters of Gotham.
While Batwoman and Batgirl interrogate a suspect at Police Headquarters, there’s a touching scene with Selina and Bruce Wayne, who’s clearly trying to overdo it while infected by this man-virus.
Shortly, everyone reconvenes downtown with Amanda Waller (she showed up at the end of last issue) in a tirade over her absent acting mayor, City Councilwoman Muir. Turns out, Muir is the field leader of the Daughters of Gotham, and once they’re done ridding Gotham of men, they wouldn’t mind turning their attention to those trying to help them….
The “all in it together” vibe is infectious. It’s not often Ivy and Catwoman are going to be firmly on the side of the heroes, but a lot of work has been done to make these fan favorites more anti-heroes than villains. Very often their motives are valid even if their methods are not. Nothing is as feel-good as everyone helping out for a common cause. It’s hopeful.
The threat here is quite serious and that comes through clearly, however, it also addresses subconsciously the role of women in society as well as their treatment. Despite their methods, the Daughters of Gotham do have a point. It makes you think.
Harley’s line about the “Broad Squad” is truly funny. Harley is usually an annoyance for me, but she really plays her role well this issue with some light moments and her “crazy” reputation gets her what she wants.
There are a few instances where Antonio’s art looks a little rushed. He’s got a lot of characters to depict and some of the group scenes have less detail than he normally includes. It certainly appears stylistically different. It’s not distracting, but simply noticeable.
I was surprised to see Dinah so starstruck at working with Wonder Woman. This did not ring true for me, but it’s also a minor element.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 is another outstanding issue. The hopeful quality of the allied heroes and “villains” demonstrates that it’s possible to put differences aside for a common cause. Perhaps, it’s a lesson we can all use once in a while.