The 'Death of Oracle' Concludes
I think we can all agree that nothing gets comic readers' juices flowing quite like the word 'death' when it is attributed to a specific comic character, right? Issue #10 of Birds of Prey concludes the 'Death of Oracle' story arc- question is, is Oracle dead? Spoilers below.
The GoodIf there is one thing I have been loving about Gail Simone's Birds of Prey run, it is that she does a fantastic job with the interactions between the girls not only as super-heroine's, but as best friends. It's great to see this final issue in the arc told from the point of view of The Huntress. One interesting aspect of The Huntress' character is that she is very analytical when it comes to the actions and steps taken by her teammates- but she has a hard time analyzing herself, her own steps and her flaws. She's incredibly stubborn and hard-headed, and you get that in the narrative of this issue. Make no mistake, if there's one fantastic thing about Gail's Birds of Prey is the relationships between these characters as both friends and teammates.
The BadI wanted to love this issue. I wanted to love it not only because the last three had been so spectacular; but I wanted to love it because it was the conclusion to 'The Death of Oracle' story arc. When Mortis was first introduced and we witnessed the extent of her powers in issue #9 of BoP (when Black Canary felt her wrath), I really felt she would become a force to be reckoned with. I really hoped that for the sake of her character, she would be presented as more than a mere puppet of the Calculator . Even though Mortis is very beautifully presented on the cover to this issue holding Oracle's symbol in her hand, she rarely made an appearance in this issue. In fact, Mortis is missing from this issue almost entirely- showing her face for two panels, and that's it. To be honest, her exit from the issue was rather disappointing and uneventful- especially considering how hyped up her character had been the last few issues.
This issue was action packed, which I know a lot of people like. But when you name the story arc "The Death" of something/someone, then shouldn't that be the primary focus of the issue? Shouldn't Oracle's demise be mentioned for more than (at most) three pages? I guess, what I had hoped more than anything was for something more than a mere metaphorical "death, which for the most part is exactly what this was. Don't get me wrong, Oracle's metaphorical death isn't a bad thing- it's just that with a title like that one, I guess I had expected a little something more. For me, this issue felt rushed. I would have been okay with a more drawn out explanation from Oracle and a longer fight sequence. A mention of what the heck happened to Mortis wouldn't be bad, either.