[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Roge Antonio
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Comics should be fun. Even if there is a terrible threat to human kind, the fun aspect has to come through and not be too overwhelmingly heavy. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 manages to do just that. Oh, and there’s nothing like people putting aside their differences for the common good!
A grumpy Commissioner Gordon is in the hospital and Babs is visiting. Apparently, he’s never taken a sick day- until now. Also, the mayor, chief of Police, and most of the City Council have been stricken with this bug. Lois Lane unexpectedly appears to interview Gordon on the matter, which doesn’t make him any happier.
Babs gets called away and the scene switches to the airport where Dinah is waiting on Oliver to arrive from Seattle. It’s not long before she’s called away and has to leave Ollie alone instead of a “perfect weekend.” Helena’s gets a message at school at about the same time, and it’s little problem as school has been cancelled. All the boys have called out sick.
The Birds converge on an abandoned warehouse following a lead on white van connected to kidnappings around the city. It’s Professor Pyg and he doesn’t put up much of a fight as he apparently has caught what’s going around and he feels terrible.
At the Clocktower Babs does a little deducing and they realize that everyone with the illness is male. A little cogitating gives them the notion it may be Poison Ivy behind the virus. With Harley Quinn (Joker’s sick too) and Catwoman in tow they confront Ivy at Terracare. Turns out it’s not her, but things have escalated quickly as Amanda Waller has arrived to quarantine the city and take over the investigation. Then Batwoman throws in. And Gotham Girl. And Spoiler. And Orphan. Oh, and Wonder Woman shows up too!
All the interactions between the characters are executed extremely well and make this book about the people and relationships and not simply an epidemic. It starts with Babs and her father, but there is suddenly concern for Ollie’s safety. Quick phone calls keep Superman in Metropolis and reveal that it’s already too late for Batman, Alfred, and Nightwing. It is somewhat humorous to imagine Batman feeling under the weather and awaiting a bowl of chicken soup.
Antonio does a nice job of handling a larger cast than normal and making them all look good. As usual, he gets the most out of his facial expressions as well.
Only a couple times does it seem like it’s going to degenerate into in-fighting and bickering as Batwoman is not happy with the alliance with those she perceives as villains. It’s very minor.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 continues to build on the foundation laid in the first year. The characters always come first, and the dynamic between the main characters drive the series. This looks to be extra fun with the added Bat-family characters along for the ride this time.