Review: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #6

by Matthew Lloyd
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Roge Antonio
Colors: Allen Passalaqua

Huntress knows Fenice, the mobster they’ve been trailing, is her mother. Batgirl and Black Canary are prepared to let Helena sit this one out, but she refuses. Fenice takes Santo to the old Majestic Movie Theater where the Snakes are waiting to ambush the Birds. Babs decides to leave the new Oracle behind the computers alone and go into the field to assist.

At the theater, there is the standard good guys vs. bad guys fisticuffs with Helena catching Fenice. The new Oracle has called in some underworld back up and Barbara has called in the Gotham PD for the same. Helena corners Fenice and reveals herself to her mother. Fenice then reveals what really happened all those years ago between the Bertinelli and Santo families.

Helena is ready to kill her mother and Santo for destroying her family. But she doesn’t. The Birds regroup and make sure that Helena knows that the Birds of Prey are a family and Helena is part of that family. They welcome the new Oracle as a trial member of the team and all seems well. But, then he gets a message from someone and it appears the new Oracle may be up to something after all.

Just when it seemed like the fight between the Snakes and Birds was going to be protracted, the story immediately shifted to Helena and her mother. This is the real meat of it after all. Fenice’s story between the death of her husband and her rise as a mob answers a lot of questions and gives the reader a sense of where she is emotionally. It also gives Helena the opportunity to evaluate the consequences of her actions as she has the opportunity to kill Santo. The issue is peppered with small nuggets of goodness such as Babs musing what would happen if her father knew she was Batgirl. This certainly seems like a tease for a future story line.

Not sure about the new Oracle being a threat. I would’ve hoped that this arc would’ve cleared that up. I suppose it’s a good kind of stress in that it provides more story potential, but by keeping the new Oracle’s motives in doubt keep him as a threat and this aspect of the series doesn’t move forward.

This was a great character driven conclusion to an opening arc that continued to improve issue to issue. The Birds of Prey are back and have bonded in this Rebirth era whilst keeping intact most of the dynamic that worked so well in their pre-Flashpoint incarnation.

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