Crap story? Check. Bad dialogue? Check. Convenient plots? Check. Whiskey to try and forget the past twenty minutes? Check.
I really hate this book. Nothing would make me happier than to see a new creative team on Batgirl & the Birds of Prey. At this point, I don’t even care if you deliver an entertaining or gripping story, I just want the story to logically make sense. Nearly everything that takes place in this book is so convenient that it’s unreal, and there’s never a good explanation behind it. It just is. This entire review is going to be a spoiler so click “Back” if you don’t want anything ruined.
As my old English professor used to say, “I’m going to bleed all over your wonderful work.” (Meaning she was going to need a few red pens.) Before I get into the structural and logical mess that is Batgirl & the Birds of Prey #10 (Who am I kidding? The entire run has been horrendous except for B&tBoP: Rebirth), there is one thing that I like in this issue. One! You know what it is? “Huntress on your six.” Yeah, it’s a stretch in the believability department, but it’s actually kind of cool. And that’s refreshing since the Benson’s try so hard to make this a cool book, and fail so miserably.
This is the big showdown with Blackbird! This could have been good – even under the Benson’s pen – but it isn’t. My disproval with this issue begins on the fist page as the Birds, Nightwing, and Green Arrow race towards Blackbird’s nest (I’m rolling my eyes right now)… with Gemini. Are you %$#&*!@ kidding me? What is up with Julie and Shawna Benson acting like it’s completely fine that murderers murdered people? Gemini left a trail of bodies from Bludhaven to Gotham, and now she’s chilling with the heroes… I don’t get it. None of these people would do that. What makes it even worse, is that they’ve now done this with Helena and Oracle as well. Remember when Donald Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and still become President? That’s the Birds of Prey according to the Benson’s. Just go murder someone, then say you’re sorry and want to be better. They won’t do anything to you.
When the Birds do get to “Blackbird’s Empty Nest,” the Benson’s then decide to plague us with their terrible attempt of being cute by adding “Bird. Nest. You get it.” Yes… I get how stupid it is. It’s bad enough that they kept referring to it as her nest, but the fact that they felt the need to connect the dots… How stupid do they think the people reading these books are? A second grader would even look at you with the expression of, “Yeah, idiot… I get it.”
To make matters worse, Batgirl proves everyone around her is incompetent when she points out the obvious fact that candles were recently lit. They have to have just missed them. It’s not like the other person in the room could have lit them… Or something. Speaking of that other person in “Blackbirds nest,” Owen… Oh Owen… His mind was wiped after Blackbird stole his power and he can’t even be certain of his name… But you know what he is certain of? Let’s run through the list:
- Blackbird took his power.
- Donna (Dinah) tried to warn him.
- Donna was his friend.
- Donna wanted to stop Blackbird.
- He should have listened to Donna.
- Donna is gone.
- Specific moments during training sessions with Blackbird.
- How his powers worked.
- The weakness of his powers.
- The moment his class overcame his powers.
- How long his powers last.
- (Somehow) That Blackbird is controlling both Dinah and Kimi while using her other powers.
- That life is going to be hard on the streets without powers.
… But don’t worry, he knows all of this even though he’s not sure his name is Owen… Cause, you know… Convenience.
Oracle finds out Blackbird went to the Clocktower to… Umm… Because…. It’s just more dramatic this way, so run with it. When the Birds arrive back at the Clock Tower, there’s glass outside on the sidewalk and street – a discovery that highlights Batgirl’s expert detective skills when she proclaims, “The glass was blown out from the inside.” Uh… Yeah… No $#!%.
Blackbird is posing as Dinah, apparently knows that BC and Ollie are an item, but doesn’t know that the Clocktower isn’t Dinah’s home. Nobody catches this mistake except for Batgirl, because in case you forgot, she’s the detective of the group. There’s fighting. It’s bad. Neither Blackbird or Black Canary us their powers like they have previously or would typically, because we can’t possibly let the bad guy win. Helena tells Tiger to activate her Hypnos for “one day only”… Yeah, ok, whatever… I don’t care anymore. Do what you need to do to ensure you can create a “moment” where Huntress doesn’t get mind controlled. Whatever is convenient for you…
*Sigh* Let’s fast forward. Bad dialogue. Bad dialogue. “This is why I don’t wear capes.” “Hypnos bitch.” Heavy handed writing that isn’t even remotely believable. Star Wars reference (which makes Canary look completely incapable). More heavy handed writing. Apparently the Birds have the strongest bonds in Gotham (we’ll forget the fact they’ve only been together for a few months). There’s nonsense about “collective psychic bonds” which makes no sense in the way it’s presented…. God this is bad…
Dinah breaks free from Blackbird’s control. The Birds fight her (gosh, I wonder who will win?). The Birds win (darn those meddling kids). Huntress uses her “one night only” Hypnos to wipe Blackbird’s memory of their true identities, but makes a point to make sure she was defeated by the Birds of Prey… Cause, you know, logic. I mean the sensible thing would have been to make Blackbird forget everything about her mission, but attempting to create a terrible arch-nemesis is fine. It’s all bad.
Oh, and to make things worse, Gus is still around, and he’s becoming more and more self-loathing with each issue. Kill him already because he’s awful. And to put the cherry on top of it all, you know how annoyed I was that the Birds brought Gemini along? Well it gets worse. When Gemini questions who she is, Nightwing responds with, “A murderer…” (YES!) “… Who wasn’tin her right mind.” (NO!) Then they all offer to get her some help. (NOOOOO!!!!!!!) Look, if this were Kimi saying this, I’d completely support the team. Kimi was completely under Blackbird’s control. Gemini, however, killed dozens of people out of her own free will. She’s only sorry now because she got caught and lost her powers…. I seriously hate this book…
The best thing about Batgirl & the Birds of Prey is Roge Antonio’s art, and it’s average. Just average art. But it is the best thing about this book… By far…. Let that sink in.
- Jo Dee Messina has a song called “My Give A Damn’s Busted”
- My dog took a poop today.
- I’d rather be working at my day job.
Overall: I have to wonder of the editors dread reading Batgirl & the Birds of Prey as much as I do. I wonder if they even read it. There are so many issues with plot and logic that I’m beginning to think they don’t. If the Benson’s could worry less about being cute or injecting Star Wars reference, and focus more in crafting a worthwhile story and plot, I’d probably be a little less harsh. But that’s clearly not going to happen, so I don’t plan on being polite any time soon.