Review: Birds of Prey #1

Published on May 20th, 2010

A book that stood out to me as overall amazing last week was Birds of Prey.  The cover by Ed Benes and Nei Ruffino, the artist and colorist team who also does all the interiors, caught my eye and it was all up hill from there. The cover alone was beautiful. A dull grey and green background helps the colors of the “Heroes” pop. Oracle, Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk, Huntress, Dove and Hawk all look so powerful, like you really don’t want to mess with this group of good looking people.

birdsofprey1This was a  great first issue. You find out just enough about each character to be intrigued by where they can take them. They created a full range of family members for this group. Oracle (Barbara Gordon) is the matriarch. She calls the shots and keeps everyone organized and up to date. Lady Blackhawk (Zinda Blake) is the fun big sister who kicks ass and looks great doing it.  Black Canary (Dinah Lance) is the motherly middle sister. She’s strong and confidant but has her heart on her sleeve. Huntress (Helena Bertinell) is the tough little sister. She’s a fighter who uses her aggression to hide her emotions. Hawk (Hank Hall) and Dove (Dawn Granger) are the twin cousins who are polar opposites. Hawk is the hot head who is looking for a fight, literally, and Dove is the compassionate heart who tries to find peaceful means if at all possible. Every characters adds an extra depth to the story. No two will see things the same way even if they all want the same outcome.  These characters working together will be both challenging and fun if Simone can keep that medium.

The story was simple yet complex. Oracle contacts all of them to help with a major problem. Someone has files on all the heroes. Not just basic information but details that nobody should know. Not only do they have information but they are using it to bait Oracle, Black Canary and Huntress into playing a sick game. They must stop them with little information or someone in those files will die every hour. When they arrive at their first destination, we meet the enemy, kind of, it’s a villain they are calling White Canary. Black Canary immediately thinks of Casandra Cain and Shiva Woosan. I’m not convinced it’s either of them,I think it’s too easy to say in the first issue who you should be looking for. For all I know, they are telling us who to look for and people who over think things, like myself, won’t believe it and will be surprised anyway when it turns out to be one of them. Either way, it’s fun to speculate.

The art in this book is really well done. There are some amazing facial expressions, which is one of the first things I notice. Looks of shock and compassion seem to have got equal attention by Benes. There is lots of details in movement, clothes, hair and background. Each character has a distinct look and feel to them. The use of color in this book are really great. Bright where they need to be but very dark to add the drama. There is also a great use of light. The shadowy figure is menacing and gives you that uneasy feeling of not knowing who you are up against. It is a nice to look at it as it is to read it.

Like I said overall, amazing. I wasn’t familiar with all these character before but am excited to learn more about them now!

Christina Flores