Birds of Prey #30 “Soul Crisis”
Written by Christy Marx
Art by Robson Rocha
This issue is almost nothing but action, so there isn’t too much to say. Regardles, it’s done pretty damn well! With the battle finally here, it prevents Marx from delving too far into emotions and relationships – which is definitely not her strong suit. The first panel is all out chaos, picking up exactly where the last issue left off: the League of Assassins attacking Mother Eve’s barge. The Birds are placed strategically across the barge, with Batgirl and Strix covering the front, Condor covering the back, and Canary tucked down below to protect Mother Eve as she prepares her ritual for immortality.
What really makes the issue excel, is Rocha’s art for the fight sequences. Instead of there just being a cluster of violence (Forever Evil: Arkham War anyone?), there’s clearly a strategy to the attack. The characters are even presented distinctly in their movements and fighting style. We also get some pretty awesome panels of Strix fighting Ra’s al Ghul’s general. Everything just seems well thought and is executed nicely. I mean, look at it!
Once you throw in the underlying theme of choice, and making your path, it adds enough suspense to make this issue a fast and exciting read. As you work your way through the issue, you’re left wondering if Condor will let the League kill Kurt. Will Canary protect Mother Eve or side with Ra’s al Ghul to save her husband? And considering how many roster changes this book has already had, will there be any casualties?
Despite all of my praise though, there are still some opportunities. Whenever the emotional storytelling does pop up, the book drops in quality. I know I sound like Michael Bay, and it seems like I want more explosions and less substance, but that’s not the case. I think establishing an emotional connection to a character is required to take a book from good to great. To do that though, those emotions and reactions need to be earned, and they’re not here. Honestly, that doesn’t really happen with Marx… ever. That being said, this issue was a far improvement on the last two, and touched on the potential I had mentioned previously.
- You’re looking for action, and a lot of it.
- You want to know what choices Canary and Condor make in relation to Ra’s al Ghul.
- You love Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins
For more details, opinions, and spoilers, see below!
The Art: I was so happy to see a lift in Rocha’s art, that I couldn’t wait to get to the art section of my reviews before speaking about it. It was a solid delivery, and showcased how art can elevate a story. I think it’s also obvious that Rocha had fun with this issue, based on what was delivered.
The Good: The fighting! It was strategic, exciting, and pretty damn awesome. I loved what Batgirl did with the smoke bombs. It was a simple touch, but nice. This is also the best issue that Marx has pulled together, and should serve as a reflection of what she could do if she actually focused.
The Bad: Anything involving Kurt and Dinah makes me roll my eyes. I’m ready to move on! Also, the major downside to the battle is the ending. Why? Because it just ends. Mother Eve comes out of her chamber as a ten year old girl, and the fighting just stops. Literally, Ra’s threatens Mother Eve, then he and the League leave. Cheap. I know Ra’s wants to know Mother Eve’s secret to immortality, but it just seems like the fight was wasted.
Overall: While still suffering from its standard problems, Marx and Rocha manage to deliver quite a satisfying issue that most Birds of Prey fans should enjoy.