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Birds of Prey #14 - War and Remembrance, Part One Review

1

As the Birds team up with Manhunter and Phantom Lady to face a threat from World War II, one has to wonder: how will the book survive without Gail Simone?

Birds of Prey is winding down before their September reboot; can the book take flight without Gail Simone at the helm?

The Good

The Birds fighting Nazis is definitely a great concept; I've seen the "jumping back and forth between timelines" mechanic done much worse than this. Having youth characters from the flashback come back to haunt the team as adults is great for continuity.

The Bad

I'm not sure how to say this, but here goes:

Bird of Prey suffers if Gail Simone isn't writing it.

There was a big difference between this issue and how the rest of the series has been written; it almost seemed like the writer was a bit out of touch with how the characters are "supposed" to act.

Now, it's hard to write this without considering that it's a new writer, and that they have no obligation to write things how they have been before. However, Simone's put so much work into crafting the birds into something more than "boobs and butts," while this book seems to take it back a couple steps.

Seeing Lady Blackhawk say that "the only missionary she knows is the position" just had be cringing. Along with some other panels, it just seems to make being sexually promiscuous "her thing", when she's been so much more than that in the past. It was a disappointing take on the character.

While Ed Benes has never been one to skimp on the cheesecake, the new artist's figures just seem a bit... unrefined? There's a certain messiness in some faces that turns me off, while Black Canary bears a stunning resemblance to a Barbie doll in some panels.

Overall, I didn't like this issue very much, and not necessarily because a certain writer wasn't on board; this issue was such a big mood departure that it brought down the book's quality.

The Verdict

I feel like as a lot of books wrap up before the DCU reboot, it's easy to just shrug off any weak last issues and say "eh, it'll be different soon." I'm hoping the Birds are taken care of better when Duane Swierczynski takes over the helm: I feel the Birds could benefit much more from him.

12 Comments
Posted by B'Town

I will miss Simone on BoP, no doubt about it. I don't want to see our Birds reduced to mindless booty fare. I DO like a little sexiness in the characters but it has to ft with who they are and it shouldn't trump or overwhelm their role as a heroine. I wish Simone had been able to take Birds of Prey to the end. I'll have to be patient waiting for the new kickoff.

I have a feeling Swiercznski will do our Birds well. I hope so.

Thanks, for the review.

Posted by Fhiz

The worst part about this is, even though it's just a fill in arc to pad it out until the finish line, it STILL had fill in art, being that Tucci didn't finish the issue. 
 
Birds of Prey vol 2 was cursed, end of story.

Posted by Mercy_

@B'Town said:

I will miss Simone on BoP, no doubt about it. I don't want to see our Birds reduced to mindless booty fare. I DO like a little sexiness in the characters but it has to ft with who they are and it shouldn't trump or overwhelm their role as a heroine. I wish Simone had been able to take Birds of Prey to the end. I'll have to be patient waiting for the new kickoff.

I have a feeling Swiercznski will do our Birds well. I hope so.

Thanks, for the review.

I agree with this wholeheartedly.

Moderator
Posted by doordoor123

I dont think it suffers when Simone isnt on it.. I just feel like this was a last minute filler. Simone said about a month ago that she just found out that last month's issue was the last BOP issue. Im sure there was more but it was cut off by the relaunch.  
Glad I didnt pick this up but there should have been more of an effort with this issue.
Posted by WonderBoy1132

Its really a shame actually. 
The series has had some great success but now its gone soar. 
 
Hopefully DC does some revamping.

Posted by xVikkix

1 star?! no this is great matt ^^
I hope the new start will turn out OK

Posted by Eyz

Beside the fun old school-like cover...feels such like a filler...
I do miss Gail. Or Chuck Dixon (loved his early run!)

Edited by RareCheshire

It was definitely filler material, I'm hoping it will get better after the relaunch.

Posted by djotaku

sounds like a lot of things at once.  Although the days when one writer was THE writer for a series is long gone, it can be quite jarring when writers switch.  It can almost seem like your characters have become possessed or something.
 
Kinda sucks that this book isn't as good without Simone although she'll be doing Batgirl which has me so excited.  I hope DC doesn't feel like this when Snyder moves to one of the other Batman books this Sept. 

Posted by Cervantes

Glad I'm not a subscriber anymore, thanks for the review!
Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

Thanks for posting this review.  I just cancelled my subscription, and decided against picking up this issue, based on your findings and the upcoming DC revamp.

Posted by The Velvet Rabbit

"the only missionary she knows is the position"
 
oh god, please tell me she didn't actually say that.   if so, thanks for helping me not blow my cash.   now I just have to wait for Swiercznski to (hopefully) swoop in and save the day