A mysterious villain is lurking and the only way to get to her is via the fighting ring, apparently, as Black Canary attempts to gain their trust. This issue is heavily focused on Black Canary and it’s all about being under cover. Sounds cool, but is it good?
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #9 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“Blackbird” part two! The Birds need answers about the mysterious Blackbird, who’s handing out massive increases in power to Gotham City’s most dangerous metahumans…and to get them they’re sending their own dangerous metahuman, Black Canary, undercover into the world of black-market super-powered fights! Roulette rules this world with an iron fist…will she give up the secrets Dinah needs? And at what price?
Why does this book matter?
Julie Benson and Shawna Benson have done well to add a bit of spark and life into this team of three heroes, but really they’ve excelled at the dynamic between them. They’ve also introduced a new Oracle, which has added a slight wrench to the storytelling. Now the ladies are after a villain named Blackbird and the only way to find her is to get into the ring and fight!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Based on her appearance she’s up to no good.
For the most part, this is a Black Canary issue with a dash of Batgirl and Huntress. The issue opens with Black Canary kicking a wolfman’s ass in the ring (in awesome fashion I might add) and essentially ingratiating herself with the villain. Through this the writers develop some new characters with fantastic powers (they call themselves “metas”) as well as develop some powers Black Canary wasn’t even aware she could do. It’s in training scenes that the issue really excels and it’s fun to see Black Canary be surprised by herself. This allows the writers to tap into Black Canary’s past via flashback, which is a nice reminder of how hard she had it as an orphan.
Batgirl and Huntress do factor into the issue, though only for two pages. There’s two special guests who pop in too in these pages, which make the next issue a tad more interesting.
The art by Roge Antonio is great, especially in the fight sequence. Black Canary kicks major ass and doesn’t even use her powers! The action is easy to follow and allows Black Canary’s bragging to land comfortably.
Great fight scene to open this issue.
It can’t be perfect can it?
In the training scenes, I wasn’t entirely sure Black Canary was honest about being surprised by herself, or just acting. She’s in deep cover so it would make sense to play it up and the expressions are so over the top it’s hard to be sure.
Plotting wise, Black Canary discovers the truth about something and relays it to a person who really has no reason to trust her, but does. Obviously there are only so many pages to get the plot to where it needs to be, but this convincing happens so fast I wasn’t sure if Black Canary was being played. It threw me off, and seems to zip the plot forward too quickly.
I was also slightly saddened to not see the other characters in this team really show up. It’s obviously a quick aside sort of issue, but it’s something I’m sure fans were hoping for.
Is It Good?
If you aim to get a little Black Canary ass kicking in your life this week look no further. A fun fight sequence and cool training montage sorts of scenes make this an entertaining issue.