The question if Rebirth is a DC Universe reboot is answered in this book: Huntress meets Black Canary and Batgirl for the first time in this issue. Déjà vu much? So, if you’re a new reader that had no previous knowledge of the Birds of Prey, then this is the book for you.
Barbara Gordon’s past as Oracle is finally acknowledged with the respect it deserves. You see, I was one of those readers that thought Babs’ character development was fleshed out much better while she rode her wheelchair. She showcased intelligence and how good detective she can be. The initial pages of this book honor that same idea by having Dinah Lance’s inner monologue reference Babs’ time as Oracle. This is around the time we learn that Batgirl is getting the Pretty Little Liars treatment by receiving text messages from a new, but very evil, self-proclaimed Oracle.
Sadly, Barbara’s abilities to track down this “faux-racle” are not while she sits in front of a computer. To me, it would make more sense for her to once again use her hacking skills to find the impostor. Instead, we get to see action chases of her and Black Canary being interfered by a very vengeful Huntress. Like all good comic team-up books, the heroes eventually decide to join forces, but the reasons behind the Birds of Prey foundation is lackluster. Basically, Huntress, Black Canary, and Batgirl notice they could use each other’s help and out of the blue (and after some banter) they agree to work together. It’s basically the set up of any team-up episode on a super hero Saturday morning cartoon; especially one in the 90s.
I did enjoy the humor imbued through captions and snarky responses. The girls weren’t being especially catty, but they did shade each other a bit. I also appreciated that Huntress’ time with Grayson wasn’t swept under the rug. When you rebirth a property you really can’t know what to expect. Claire Roe’s art was appropriate to the tone. I particularly liked how comical Batgirl’s facial expressions could get. Tara Strong would be proud.
The potential to be a really good book is there, but the situation that brought this newfound team together was too coincidental. The interactions among the three “birds” were humorous enough to make me want to read the next issue. Now I want to see how the relationship develops.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1
“Who Is Oracle?” part one! Someone has stolen the name Oracle right out of Barbara Gordon’s past! Hot on this false Oracle’s trail, Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress are all tracking the same mafia capo…so it makes sense to team up, right? Problem is, Barbara and Dinah need the secrets locked up in Oracle’s brain…and Helena Bertinelli would rather put a crossbow bolt right through it!
Written by: Shawna Benson, Julie Benson
Art by: Claire Roe
Cover by: Yanick Paquette
Varian Cover by: Kamome Shirahama
Images: DC Comics