Thursday, July 15, 2004

Birds of Prey #69 - A Review

Written by: Gail Simone
Penciled by: Ron Adrian
Inked by: Rob Lea
Colored by: Hi-Fi
Lettered by: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Lysa Hawkins & Joan Hilty
Publisher: DC Comics

My favorite book published by DC… and for this storyline, I get it TWICE a month?

It’s almost too good to be true, much like Birds of Prey itself.

After a nice breather issue in which our favorite trio of vigilantes bond, argue and get new jobs, this month finds us right back in the action. A number of dead teenagers have been found, each apparently a suicide. While the authorities in general are writing off the deaths, Barbara Gordon found two common links between the teens; they were all part of the same religious order and each was found wearing the costume of a dead teenage superhero. And so the party is split, with the more circumspect Black Canary sent to question the parents of the dead teens while Huntress is sent to investigate the Oregon compound of the cult.

The issue focuses for the most part on Huntress and all I can say is thank goodness for it. Simone has worked wonders with Helena Bertinelli’s character, taking some rather fractured continuity and conflicting portrayals in other books and managed to incorporate everything in a way that is believable and true. Whereas other writers tend to write Helena as a psychotic ice queen or a tramp with a crossbow, Simone knows that Huntress is a character motivated by passion and impulse. This same passion drives her to heroism, as it also makes her prone to go with the moment and romance any guy who expresses an interest.

This issue marks the premiere of the new art team of Adrian & Lee and I honestly didn’t notice the departure of Benes & Lei until I sat down to write this review and double-checked the credits. Looking now, I can see a difference in their styles but they are both find pairings of artist and inker. And the coloring by Hi-Fi is as good as ever, with certain scenes… like Helena’s fight in the rain… looking downright cinematic.

I’ve said it before and no doubt I will say it again many times; this is a good book and everyone who professes to be a fan of superheroic action, spy films, action heroines and the occasional good laugh MUST read it.

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