Here we have a fine #0 issue in terms of art, dialogue, and action, but comic readers who obsess over continuity might get a migraine.
As advertised, this #0 is about how Batgirl and Black Canary meet for the first time. But just as expected, it’s the typical hero vs. hero until they sort out a misunderstanding and join forces storyline. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s pretty predictable. However, there are still quite a few more surprises here. Would you like to see how Black Canary got her name? What about Starling? Want to see how Starling and Black Canary met? It’s all here, plus even more that I don’t want to spoil for you.
Now what’s really odd about this issue is that it takes place only a year ago. One. Year. If you think about that it’s going to make your head hurt. Black Canary and Batgirl have only known each other for a year. Batgirl #1 started off with Barbara only beginning to patrol the city again which would mean that everything that’s taken place since the Mirror storyline has been, what? Batgirl even has a different costume in this issue complete with yellow stripes and chinstrap (the shot of her exploding through the glass ceiling is the only bad drawing in the entire comic. Her boobs are the size of watermelons). And although she wasn’t the best fighter and had lacked any confidence in the first few issues of Batgirl, she is shown to be capable of taking on Starling and Black Canary at the same time here. There was even an issue of Batgirl that showed her visiting Black Canary for help and Black Canary proved to be a far superior fighter. All of these girls have only known each other for a single year. The bulk of this issue takes place at the Penguin’s completed Iceberg Casio. In Detective Comics, the Iceberg Casino was having its grand opening, wasn’t it? So how does this story fit in the timeline?
See? It’s best to just try your hardest and not think about the time stamps. DC would be better off just leaving it vague and writing “Years ago…” or “Long ago..” This is a fun little done-in-one issue, but you can’t let yourself get hung up on the New 52 continuity. I still had quite a bit of fun reading this. As always, Birds of Prey has nice moments and great character interactions. The ending wrapped everything up very quickly but the final page should give fans plenty to talk about. Another thing fans will want to take note of is the art by Romano Molenaar, who I think is a perfect fit for this series. It just felt right! He does a great job of capturing the right tone.
If you’re a fan of the series then it’s a must-read and if you’ve ever been curious about the Birds then issue #0 makes for a strong jumping on point.