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A Clever Setup

July 19, 2010

Birds of Prey #2 continues the Birds’ fight with their mysterious antagonist, the White Canary.  Oracle sends help while Black Canary and Huntress stare down White Canary, and the Penguin bleeds on the sidelines.  When they start fighting, Black Canary can’t help but notice White Canary’s skill and rage.  Then, the backup arrives in the form up Lady Blackhawk and the two newest members of the team, Hawk and Dove.  And Black Canary isn’t too happy to see Hawk.  White Canary actually manages to draw blood from Hawk, but Hawk does the same.  At the same time, Oracle sees news articles about how the terrorist Black Canary dealt with last issue has died, and that the police are after her because she didn’t have the legal authority to do so.  White Canary takes her leave as the police arrive, but the Penguin tells everyone to go to his club.  Dove tends to the Penguin while the rest of the team fights to break through.  Oracle gets a message from Creote, who says that White Canary has killed Savant on the basis of association.  He then commits suicide, wanting to join Savant.  The Birds stop the Penguin’s bleeding, but as they run, they see a TV that shows that the press now knows Black Canary’s real identity and is attacking her both for these actions and her involvement with Sin, as they claim she “abandoned” her.  Then, Oracle, realizing that she’s become complacent, decides to fight back against their mysterious foe with all her skills.

Well, at this point, if it’s not obvious that Sin is the White Canary, or that Gail Simone wants us to think so, then I don’t know what is obvious.  It’s a very good story choice, even if I’m not entirely sure how Sin would have grown up so much and gotten so tough in so little time.  Hence why Simone might just want us to think that.  Anyway, this is a dang good issue, just like last one.  It’s interesting to see someone who’s so much better than Oracle with information stuff and so much tougher than Black Canary basically toss the team around.  And even though Hawk is an ass, he brings an interesting new dynamic to the team.  Aside from simply by virtue of being a guy.  I mean, he’s even more powerful and dangerous than Huntress.  And, again, I’m happy to see someone as sleazy as the Penguin play off against the rest of the team.  It’s Simone’s chance to show her Secret Six skills in this book, and a lot of it is done simply by implication.  That’s how good she is.  And it’s so sad to see Savant and Creote go like that.  I really hope that’s not truly the end of them.  My biggest complaint is the sudden art shift.  I do very much like Ed Benes, despite his love of butt shots, since his art is so solid.  And it’s very nostalgic.  So it’s rather strange to see things suddenly shift to Adriana Melo.  Melo is another Birds of Prey alumni, but her style is not the same as Benes.  The change is enough to bring you out of the story.  If Benes is already unable to meet his deadlines just two issues into the series, that’s problematic.  Oh yes, and even though Melo is good, her art isn’t as cinematic as Benes.  So this was a good issue, but I hope they can solve this art problem ASAP so that this relaunch doesn’t suffer.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 8.6      Dialogue: 9.3      Overall: 9.0

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