"Because tonight... Oracle dies."
100 Words or Less Bruce Wayne is back in Gotham and although he helps Oracle against a bunch of thugs in the alley, can he save her from death?
And can Savant really be trusted? Oracle feels she has restored him but what is he doing with Calculator? Bruce Wayne needs the Birds but what happens when girls night out becomes a fight for their lives against the mysterious Mortis?
So Then I Said...So this is the first issue of Birds of Prey to tie into the Batman Incorporated arc and it's also the first part in the anticipated Death of Oracle storyline. I'm going to be blunt: I was left disappointed with this issue. I might have missed something by not reading Bruce Wayne: The Road Home - Oracle but I don't feel like I should have to read that to fill in any possible storyline gaps. The parts between Bruce and Barbara in this issue felt like there was something missing, like there was a big elephant in the room and they didn't really address the issue of Bruce being gone for such a long time.
This issue started off with Calculator meeting with Savant. Who's side is Savant really on? At least this was a little interesting. However, again, as a new reader to Birds of Prey, I don't know what the deal with Calculator is and why he wants Oracle. The rest of the team was relegated to filler material in this issue, which I guess was okay, since Oracle is going to be the main focus for the next few issues. Hawk still doesn't feel like a part of the cast; maybe that's what Gail Simone is trying to do with his character but sooner rather than later, either make him a card-carrying member of the team or cut him out. I need more personality out of him if I'm to care about his character. How does this issue end? The battle at the end and Mortis confronting our heroines makes for an interesting cliff-hanger. I'll definitely need more background on Mortis, what her motivations are, what her end-game is and why she's hooking up with Calculator to take out Oracle.
Ardian Syaf is the latest in what has become a game of musical chairs for pencilers on this title. He does a good job with the darker sequences in this issue but the rest left something more to be desired. We'll get another penciler for the next issue so I hope it's a bit better. I can't wait until Jesus Saiz comes on board as the permanent artist. Having a different artist for every issue tends to be distracting, especially when you have a writer like Simone and artists don't get to illustrate her stories on a constant basis so you never quite get a look and feel on par with the writing.