Miscellaneous Reviews:

Birds of Prey

(Trade paperback, words by Chuck Dixon, artwork by various people Published monthly by DC )

Collecting the original Birds of Prey mini-series and a couple of one-shots, this trade paperback is a fun read in the old-fashioned superhero-kicks-ass mode. Dinah Lance, a.k.a. Black Canary, has changed rather a lot since I last saw her as Oliver McQueen's partner in Green Arrow, but I suppose that was a few years ago. She seems to have lost some of her maturity, being more impetuous and reckless in behaviour. But Chuck Dixon writes her a number of good lines, and she's obviously having fun, so maybe the old Dinah is better left in the past. I rather preferred her without the obligatory blonde-bimbo hairdo, though.

Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Oracle, is much the same as she's always been since the Joker crippled her in Killing Joke, ensuring she could never be Batgirl again. She's sensible, reliable and very, very smart; someone you'd definitely want to have on your side, even if she couldn't physically kick your arse. It's great to see a wheelchair-bound person providing back-up to a super-fit superhero (she is also techie-in-residence at the JLA), using hacked government software, to boot.

Together, they make a convincing team, with the ever-reckless Dinah always being chastised into reasonable behaviour by the watchful Barbara. They've never met, and Dinah is never let into the secret of who Oracle really is. This adds to the narrative, as you wait for Barbara to make the one mistake that will give the game away. (It never happens in this book, but I am assured it will happen one day in the comic.) Dinah gets to tackle a number of exciting missions and manages never to get her long blonde hair in a tangle, just like on TV! Barbara gets to hack into government computers and cause havoc to supervillains. And you get to waste a wet afternoon pretending to be a kid again. Great fun.

Website: http://www.canarynoir.com Nice site dedicated to the Birds of Prey girls. Also has links to other related DC characters.

[Load time rating ****]

Anna Jellinek

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