[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Marcio Takara
Colors: Jordan Boyd
“Eco-Deadly!” Tasked with a new mission by the secretive Spyral, Huntress enlists Batgirl and Black Canary to help infiltrate an exclusive tech conference. Searching for an arms dealer masquerading as a tech investor, the Birds of Prey must uncover the mysterious plans for Weather Wizard’s missing wand before the City of Lights finds itself plunged into permanent darkness.
The original Birds of Prey concept featured Black Canary globe trotting for Babs as her operative. As the title developed, the Huntress joined and both she and B.C. forged a strong personal friendship with each other as well as Barbara. Many adventures were single issue stories and yet manifested the above attributes. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 achieves all of the above as well as fitting firmly into the contemporary DC Universe.
This issue illustrates everything that makes the Birds of Prey concept work. It hinges on these three women- Barbara Gordon, Dinah Lance and Helena Bertinelli- working together and forging real relationships through globe trotting espionage adventures. Within the scenario this issue, Dinah’s deception in making contact with Bast is not only enjoyable, but slightly humorous as well. Throughout the issue, Dinah is continually recognized as having been part of The Black Canary Band. While this functions as a gag, it also firmly sets this book in the modern DC Universe, proving a successful re-invention of the classic Birds of Prey concept. Finally, the resolution with Babs, Dinah and Helena weathering the offer of Spyral and fame from the B.C. Band strengthens their relationships, both personal and professional.
There comes a time in the life of many a comics book series where the creative team hits all the right notes month after month. It usually happens when the core concept is explored through character driven stories. For fans of the Birds of Prey concept, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey is succeeding where the “New 52” version struggled. No negatives here.
It’s nice to have a one off story. But, it’s even better when that story is meaningful. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 not only tells a fun story of international espionage, but it also adds to the relationship between the three main characters. The Birds of Prey concept has always been about the relationship between the characters, and the success of this version is no different. This current version has managed to find that sweet spot with the characters and it’s just a joy to see them interact. My only question is when Zinda will rejoin the team.