[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Marcio Takara
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
In the world of modern comic books, most teams have inner tension and conflicts that nearly always threaten to tear the team apart. One of the refreshing and unique aspects with the Birds of Prey is that these ladies actually get along. Sure, as they coalesced over the first couple story arcs there were moments that appeared they would pull Helena out and she would chase the wrong rabbit. However, there is an intimacy that the Birds share which creates a familial bond.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 depicts the Birds on a day off, as they engage in other activities, but they can’t seem to get away from it for long.
Babs is in the tower talking on the phone to Helena as she is headed out of town on an overnight field trip with her students. Helena has convinced Dinah to tag along to chaperone, as well. It’s not long before Babs gets another call- it’s Batman and he’s a bit frantic as he and his team are caught in a water trap. He needs Babs as Oracle for some tech help. Babs is happy to oblige. This ends up leading her around the internet to an alarm at a nearby bank. With no one to call to action, she takes the opportunity to hit the street as Batgirl and take the mission for herself.
After foiling the bank job she ends up in the middle of a turf war between two gangs and has to call in some back up in the form of Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Meanwhile, Dinah and Helena are at a Colonial site outside Gotham learning about its historical significance which happens to include Deacon Blackfire! The story Helena tells her students turns out to be true as they encounter the Deacon in a secluded cave. Dinah and Helena end up saving the students as well as putting Blackfire back to sleep.
After successfully ending the gang fight, Catwoman and Ivy invite Babs over for some R and R. Babs declines as she decides to hunt down Helena and Dinah in the woods. She makes it just in time for s’mores.
It’s always nice to see what our favorite heroes do on their day off even if it eventually leads to costumed shenanigans. It is gratifying when Selina and Ivy reach out to Babs on a personal level. Though she chooses to chase down her regulars – Dinah and Helena – it indicates a growing bond and respect between the three. Ending the issue with Dinah, Babs and Helena around a campfire reinforces the strength of their relationships and it just makes you feel nice inside.
The only thing that stood out to me in a negative fashion was the appearance of Helena’s students. It was difficult to tell how old they were supposed to be. It’s minor, but it was a little confusing at first.
The bonds between the Birds are strong and this change of pace issue is not only fun but also heartwarming. Throw in Catwoman and Ivy and there’s the makings of an even bigger family. It might take their formal permanent addition to take the inner turmoil of the Birds of Prey to the edge.