It’s bye-bye birdies week at DC, with the Birds of Prey following Robin’s example by flying the coop. And while Tim Drake’s upcoming changes can be seen as a story-led evolution of the character, the Birds’ goodbye feels forced.
Sure, writer Tony Bedard does as good a job as probably anyone could in the circumstances, ending the threat of the Silicon Syndicate, but what follows left me feeling empty – Barbara decides she has to cut her ties to the team, because she feels she’s lost her edge. Hmm, won’t we be surprised when regaining her edge reverts her to the status of Batman supporting character? Sure, Oracle’s getting a mini series, but she already had an ongoing.
Oracle’s mini is set up in the Origins and Omens back-up. According to Scar, the black and blue Guardian, her heart is becoming darker blah, blah and blah again. The script’s written by Kevin Vanhook, who is handling Oracle’s mini, and it’s economic and effective, zooming through Barbara Gordon’s hero history. It bodes well for the mini except for one thing – we’re getting yet another focus on the sodding Calculator, a villain who has hogged acres of panel room in Birds of Prey and who becomes less interesting the more powerful he gets. I should reserve judgement, but I’m peeved, sassafrackin Battle For the Cowl!
Claude St Aubin and John Floyd do a decent job on the art, choreographing the Syndicate’s sorties against the various birds – Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress, Lady Blackhawk, Misfit and Infinity (ah Infinity, we barely knew you). Fernando Pasarin and Matt Ryan look great together on the back-up. And Stephane Roux supplies a quietly dramatic cover. It’s just a shame this book has to go. Let’s hope they return when the Batman titles move on to the next stunt, Conflict for the Cape, Battle for the Boots, whatever.