Birds of Prey #33 “Pretty Lies and Ugly Truths”
Written by: Christy Marx
Art by: Roberts Rocha

Smack my behind and call me “Mammy!” I really enjoyed this issue. Yes, you read that correctly. I really enjoyed this issue! I enjoyed it to the point that once I’d finished reading, I had to go back and see who wrote it, because I didn’t think it was Marx… But it was! Like issue 30, there’s a lot of action here. I’ve already stated that I think this is where Marx and Rocha excel as a team, so it’s nice to see them sticking to their guns. The other bonus… there’s no weird relationship crap! Since the Birds are in Africa, we don’t have to see Kurt and Dinah interact! And with so much action, Condor doesn’t really have the opportunity to show off his creepy obsession with Dinah. Thank God!

This issue starts exactly where the last issue left off: the Birds have travelled to Africa to save Dr. Mambety from a rogue Basilisk group. While in the process of saving Mambety though, the Suicide Squad shows up. It’s clear they’re on a mission for Mambety as well, and it quickly turns into a battle for the good doctor. It’s the Birds of Prey vs the Suicide Squad, and I’m kind of curious to see who will win! The team members go toe-to-toe, each team using the strengths to turn the tide back and forth. And right as I start to think this issue is just going to be a cheap (yet entertaining) push for sales by pitting these two teams against each other, Dinah demands to see Waller.

Ok… I should’ve seen that coming… but I didn’t. The Suicide Squad tries to play stupid, but then Canary reveals that she knows Waller is here, because she sent her the message. Boom! Apparently the favor Canary asked of Condor in the previous issue (yes, the favor that I wrote off) was to use his NSA contacts to reach out to Waller. Again, I should have, but I didn’t see that coming either. And am I drunk right now, or am I actually getting invested in this story?

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that there’s about to be some serious drama between these two… On second thought, considering this creative team’s track record with anything dramatic, I hope they just start fighting. So what do we get? Both. We get drama, and more fighting. Except this time, the drama is actually done well! Canary is super pissed at Waller, and it’s completely justified, so it works in this instance. She planned this set-up, and everything, aside from the Suicide Squad –which she had no clue about – has played in her favor. Canary takes action to get Waller on her own, and this is where the real drama starts, as both teams go at each other to get to their separated teammates. What was the message Canary sent to Waller to twist her arm into meeting? What revelations will come from Canary and Waller’s one-on-one confrontation? And which team will pull out on top between the Birds and the Suicide Squad? Whatever does come out of it, it won’t be pretty, and it might surprise you. Regardless, I finished this issue wanting more. I haven’t felt that way about this book since it first started.

Recommmended if:

  • You want to see a fun fight between the Birds of Prey and the Suicide Squad
  • You’ve been waiting for something with depth to take place in this book
  • You’re curious as to why Canary would be so upset with Amanda Waller.

For more details, opinions, and spoilers, see below!

The Art: I can’t say it enough, Rocha does his best when he’s drawing action. He’s able to showcase so much character through each character’s actions and physicality that his fights are always enjoyable, even when Marx’s art isn’t. I can’t even recall any awkward faces or distracting panels in this issue! It’s a step up! Unfortunately, the book is ending, so I’m not sure what good it will do. But here’s to Rocha’s art in the future. May it continue to improve as it has over the last few issues.

The Good: The fighting is entertaining, but what sold this issue for me was Canary’s plot to get Waller here, keep it from her team, and potentially jeopardize the mission. I’m curious to see Mother Eve’s outlook on this whole situation. Canary has put a lot at risk for personal vendetta’s, but damn does she have a reason too. Waller screwed her over, and I’m completely behind Canary until I hear Waller’s side of things! Then I don’t know who to support. And now, I’m suddenly wanting Starling to jump back into the picture, because it would connect so many dots between Canary, Starling, and Waller!

The Bad: I feel like Marx struggles with dialogue overall, and some of that shows here, but mostly there isn’t too much to complain about with this issue. The one red flag I have is that these two teams are fighting each other in a compound belonging to a rogue Basilisk group, and no other rebels have been seen since the Birds first infiltrated the compound. That’s a little strange, right?

Overall: It looks like Marx and Rocha are going to go out on a high note, and that makes me happy. If you stopped reading, but want to see how this team closes out the title, I’d almost say it’s worth it. I’m not completely there yet, but I’m definitely getting close to saying, “Pick up the last three issues. It’s worth it for closure.”

SCORE: 7.5/10