As usual, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey makes me want to kick and scream out of frustration due to terrible writing and characterization is, but one thing happens in this issue that makes me happy. No, overjoyed. You know what, I almost reached freaking nirvana, so I’m going to give this chapter an extra point just because of it! Keep reading to find out what that moment is (and for the love of God, spare yourself from needing to read this crap excuse for a book).
I’m reaching a point where I don’t know what to say anymore. Each month I read Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, and each month this book makes me irritable. It literally drives me to drink. I read the book, write the review, then have a glass of whiskey because, yes, it is that bad. I even have to be strategic about when I read this title, because I don’t want my irritation with it to disrupt whatever I have planned afterwards.
What makes this process even more frustrating, is that it’s not like each new arc brings a new set of issues. Nope. It’s the same problems over, and over again. Usually you find certain weaknesses during one story arc of a comic, then (mostly) new or different weaknesses in a separate story arc of the same book. That’s not the case with Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. No, the problems with this book are structural and character based, and it’s fundamentally impossible to tell a good story when you’re incapable of getting at least one of these attributes right. To make matters worse, these two (major) negatives just continue to build upon themselves over time, only making each problem more blatantly obvious.
In the current story, the Birds are helping Calculator rescue his wife and children from a corrupt businessman. I’m going to spare you all from my rant on why this entire concept is unbelievably stupid (and also spare myself the task of explaining the “logic” – of which there is none – that initiated this story, but if you want to know then you can read my reviews for issues #11 and #12), and continue summarizing what’s taking place. As it turns out, Calculator’s family is being held hostage because he sold blueprints of the building to Catwoman so she could steal something from the company. To continue this rabbit hole of “Who’s Who in Gotham,” we eventually learn that Catwoman only wanted the plans to the building so she could help her gal-pal Poison Ivy – who didn’t really need Catwoman’s help because she already worked for said company.
Anyway, the Birds work with Catwoman and Calculator to try and rescue his family, but Ivy decides she wants to go all – wait… how did the Benson’s put it – “full eco-warrior mode.” Yep, you guessed it, that means she’s got giant, thorny vines overtaking the building… because bad clichés are always fun. The mission then turns from a rescue mission, to a need to stop Ivy.
We learn more details concerning why Ivy is attacking the company and its founder, only for her to claim she’s not seeking revenge against them as she seeks revenge against them.
This is followed by bad dialogue, bad narratives, more bad dialogue, bad characterization, and more bad dialogue, before closing the story out. Strangely enough, one aspect of the conclusion is quite satisfying… but I’m not going to let myself get excited since there’s not a creative change following this arc. Simply put, I have no faith that this team will deliver a remotely good story. Anyway, enough generic overviews, let’s get to the details because there’s only so much “beating around the bush” you can do before getting into spoilers.
The Art: Roge Antonio is on art duties again, and you get what you expect. But there’s something new in this issue… a second artist: Breno Tamura. His art is… bad. Really bad. You want to know how you make Batgirl and the Birds of Prey worse? Assign this guy to draw it. It’s a one-two punch of atrocious storytelling – poor script and poor art.
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
Overall: I mean this with the utmost respect, but someone at DC must want Batgirl & the Birds of Prey to fail (or at least have an excuse for it to fail), otherwise we’d have a new creative team jumping onboard soon… That’s the best way for me to tell you to avoid this book like the plague.
SCORE: 3/10 (And that’s with a whole point added!)