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Review: Batgirl and The Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

BGBOPREB-Cv1-ds-5de97I’m new to the DC Universe. Well, not new in the sense that I’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what it is, but new as in when I’m pulling my comics for the week,  there is the same red and white logo in the top left corner that starts with ‘M’. So when I saw that DC was launching this Rebirth event,  I thought “hmmm, why not give DC a shot again”.  I’ve been reading a few titles, and for the most part I have been enjoying them. So when I saw Birds of Prey was being re-launched, I was pretty excited as I have always been a fan of Black Canary and Huntress.  And seeing Barbara in the cape and cowl again is very exciting, so I jumped right into this issue with high hopes.

Basically, this Rebirth #1 issue is Barbara Gordon telling the reader the story of how she went from being loving daughter to James Gordon, to butt kicking crime fighter Batgirl, to information specialist Oracle and now back to being Batgirl.  This is a great way to bring new readers up to speed, but while I was reading I couldn’t help thinking “yeah yeah, I know all this already”.  Barbara tells us how she got connected with Black Canary, and how the Birds of Prey started and eventually ended.  On her own, we see Batgirl reveling in taking down a group of thieves…until she discovers that the information the group received was sent to them by someone calling themselves Oracle. Wanting to find out who has stolen her former identity, Batgirl reaches out to her old friend Black Canary, who is more then happy to track down those responsible for using the Oracle name and information to facilitate crimes. As they track down a lead, Batgirl and Black Canary are ambushed by Huntress, who is after the same man the two of them are there to question, but Huntress is looking to kill him. The two birds try to subdue Huntress, who shocks them both by revealing that she knows their true identities.

So as I mentioned, this is a great jumping in issue for new readers. Julie and Shawna Benson (and THANK YOU for having women write women characters) give us a great look into all the events that shaped Barbara Gordon into the Batgirl she is today. The dialogue between Batgirl and Black Canary is great, showing us that they’re more then teammates but friends. The banter is great and well paced, and I really enjoyed the change from the lighter talk with Bats and Canary to the darker moments with Huntress as we get a feel for her mission.

Claire Roe’s art is good, though I did find some of the facial expressions a little odd looking. The action scenes were well done as well as the more low key scenes, which really played well to telling the story.

Overall, I liked this Rebirth issue to start things off. Was I blown away? No. Going in, I knew all about Batgirl and how she came to be what she is, so the pages of recap were just alright. Once the story of this new mysterious Oracle came to light, I was more interested. And I was a little disappointed to see so little of Huntress. But, I get it. This is just the jumping off point to re-introduce the masses to the Birds of Prey. I’m still excited for this title and expect great things from this creative team.

Story: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson Art: Claire Roe
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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