Friday, May 14, 2010

Comic Book Review: Birds of Prey #1

Book Information
Written by Gail Simone
Penciled by Ed Benes
Colored by Nei Ruffino
Lettered by Swands
Cover by Ed Benes & Nei Ruffino

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
After a one year Hiatus, the Birds of Prey have returned with the famed writer and artist team up of Gail Simone and Ed Benes who arguably are the two best in the business.  The revitalized title begins with a character developing opener where Black Canary saves a little girl from a butchering maniac on top of a glacier.  I have a feeling Black Canary is going to be a featured character in this book while the others provide a lot of backup support.  The story progresses as Barbara Gordon discovers something that could be a proverbial threat to each of the Birds, which in turn brings the band back together with the addition of two new characters, Hawk and Dove.

While this issue is fantastic and with very few flaws, its greatest triumph is the mere fact that Simone and Benes are back to claim all of its glory.  It’s amazing what having a popular writer and artist can do for the excitement and anticipation of a book.  DC has been marketing this book as a return of the two geniuses behind the Birds of Prey more than giving excitement to the book itself.  DC’s respect for their free-lance employees is fully merited and justified as this team-up presents an amazing comic work of art.

Gail Simone definitely has her trademark style; the poetic inner monologue she gives the protagonist and ability to give each individual character an important and defining voice within the story has no equal.  Lady Blackhawk is wonderfully distinctive with her slightly unintelligible New York dialect which contrasts Dove’s innocent and elegant manner.  The emotional impact put on the feathery reunion was quite effective with Huntress’ teary moment of nostalgia.  Clearly, Simone wants to make this title more than simply bringing the band back together and create a much more human reasoning for the reuniting.

I wasn’t sure what I thought of having both Hawk and Dove join the team at first, only because I didn’t want this to turn into an overpopulated nest of a title.  (One of the problem with the Justice Society of course.)  But when I learned that Misfit and Manhunter would not be returning, I became ok with it.  And after reading this first issue, I think this could very well be an intelligent decision on DC’s part.  I never knew Hawk was such a bad-ass!

My only criticism of Ed Benes would be the similar facial structures he puts on all his characters.  I swear, if you were to put both Lady Blackhawk and Black Canary in the same costume, you wouldn’t be to tell the difference.  Other than that, the attractive nature in this issue is nothing less than superior.  On top of a Gotham City building is the best portrayal of a classic team reunited as the original three meet once again as teammates.  I bow my head to you Mr. Benes, (I couldn’t resist) you certainly know how to bring the readers back to what once was.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
In no way is this the best issue of the month, but it certainly is ONE of the best.  I am sad to see Simone leaving Wonder Woman, but she has adopted an equally creative and innovative title.

Writing: 10
Themes: 9
Art: 9

No comments:

Post a Comment