[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writers: Julie & Shawna Benson
Artists: Claire Roe & Roge Antonio
Colorists: Allen Passalaqua & Hi-Fi
“Who Is Oracle?” really picks up in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2. The team finally starts to come together as they take Santo to a safe house with police protection. Of course, Barbara had to call in her dad, Commissioner Gordon, to assist with this aspect. Gordon tries to get a little time with Batgirl to express his concern, and while she is able to mostly convince him, one wonders if Gordon suspects or outright knows that Batgirl is his daughter.
The Birds go back to the Clocktower and Canary and Huntress get a little quality time while Batman talks to Barbara. He offers his assistance and she convinces him she and the Birds don’t need his assistance. It’s another nice moment for Barbara as she shows the second most significant male in her life that she is capable, as are the other Birds.
The Birds later get a line on Oracle by back tracing a message sent to Barbara. They trace the signal to a an internet server farm. It turns out to be a trap, but it gives the Huntress the opportunity to gain Dinah and Barbara’s trust.
The issue opens with a wonderful chase sequence as the Birds escape Santo’s men to get him to the safe house. It’s executed extremely well from pacing to staging and the Birds showing how well they can work together and how formidable they are. However, the strongest aspect of this issue is the character work. The team comes together because the individuals are allowed to get a better understanding of each other. Dinah and Helena have a friendly sparring session which allows them to relate to each other in a manner that is truly meaningful to them. Additionally, when Huntress saves Batgirl and Black Canary from the trap, it is the ultimate proof that Huntress has their backs. With the dynamic of the Birds of Prey team, nothing is going to be more important than trusting one of the other members will come through for you.
In the previous two issues there’s been a bit of a disconnect between the individual characterization and the dynamic between the characters, with the dynamics between the characters being spot on. With this issue being more about the team coming together this disconnect is very, very minimal. While Claire Roe has some moments of real brilliance in the staging of the chase sequence at the beginning of the issue, her face work is troubling because the width of the character’s faces can change from panel to panel. The inconsistency is distracting and sometimes Black Canary especially looks like two different characters.
This is a stronger issue and you can feel the story building and the team coming together with great promise. The Birds all get moments to shine and with the intensity of their purpose increasing Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 is a great read and a perfect example of a book on the rise.