Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1
Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Claire Roe
Colorist: Allen Passalaqua
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics
Review by Gregory Brothers
This week in the Rebirth line up we’ve been given Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth. Over the years the lineup of the team has changed, but the version of the team that most people fondly remember is the one that is presented here and consists of Barbara Gordon, Black Canary, and The Huntress. Since the end of that series these three heroines have all travelled different paths throughout the DC universe, so bringing them back together will provide new challenges for both the writers and their characters.
From the beginning we find out that Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth takes place after Batgirl #1, which has not even come out yet. Because of that Batgirl is back in Gotham city after whatever adventures that she has had in Asia have passed. The ease at which Batgirl dispatches her adversaries reiterates to the reader how much the character has grown since taking on the Batgirl mantel. It is a smoothness and confidence that border on arrogance, and may have crossed that line if not for the sudden shock of how the criminals got their information. The sudden jolt from her past does allow Batgirl to reflect on her crime fighting career both as Batgirl and as Oracle. The look into the psychic of Barbara and, admitting that she not only had to adjust to being in the wheelchair, but it was just as difficult to adjust to being able to walk again, show how resilient she is.
Most of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth is told through the eyes of Batgirl, so we the reader only get a few glimpses into what is driving Black Canary and Huntress. What we do know is that the relationship between Batgirl and Black Canary has soured again, while the philosophies of Huntress are on a completely different level than either Batgirl or Black Canary. While some readers may not like the fact that theses women are all arguing throughout the issue, it feels as if it’s necessary to remind the readers that all three of them are coming to this mission for different reasons and with different philosophies.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth takes place at night for the entire issue so it’s limited in its color hues. There’s no surprise that darker blues and greys dominate the issue. Something about the rendering of the faces seem just a little bit off throughout. Several times I found myself either doing double takes, or being taken out of the story entirely because of the way Batgirl looks. I don’t know if this was just because the way she was drawn, or if the heavy inking and shadows in several areas led to the issue.
Buy it! Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth is a great jumping off point. Its use of this story line is a great way to introduce this team as they all come from different places in their personal lives. There is enough here that you know what each of their motivations are while not knowing how those motivations will shape their actions. The flashback to Barbara’s past helps the reader to understand that as hard as being confined to that wheelchair was for her, being able to walk again and leaving the mantel of Oracle behind was just as difficult. At the end of the book you find yourself with just enough answers to be able to explain why these three are back together again, but with enough questions for you to come back wanting more.