The second part of the “Vial Not Found” storyline kicks off today, but guess what, this is a great place to start too. Mostly because Catwoman adds a whole new element to this team book.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“SOURCE CODE” part two! Oracle crossed half the criminal underworld in his early years—and now, he’s caused a black cat to cross the Birds of Prey’s path! Catwoman’s been waiting for a chance to get her claws on this guy for a while…but at this point, do the Birds even want to stand in her way?

Why does this book matter?

Julie Benson and Shawna Benson have written quite a fun book due to the dynamics between Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress. The girls might have inner conflicts, but they work great together. They’ve also fleshed out a new Oracle in some surprising ways. This is their first caper as an official team and it’ll assuredly require all of their efforts to win the day.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?


They should hike a football after this.

This series has had some ups and downs, but it’s easy to give it the benefit of the doubt with such believable and natural dialogue. This issue continues that trend, keeping the reader on their toes with the events of the issue and keeping the voice of these characters vibrant and unique from one another. Then you add in Catwoman–who gets her own two-page flashback capturing the details of a certain McGuffin–and there’s another voice that’s very well written. Believe it or not, this is more of a character drama than an action series, so if you dig character work you’ll love it. This issue is particularly fun due to the addition of Catwoman, who has a chip on her shoulder and a way of interacting with the heroes that’s quite unique.

The biggest reason you’ll dig this though is a surprise twist. I won’t give it away to avoid spoilers, but it involves a major DC character who sprouts up out of nowhere and kicks the conflict into a brand new gear.

The art by Roge Antonio (with colors by Allen Passalaqua) mixes up the dialogue heavy scenes well with great angles to keep your interest. The first panel, for instance, showcases the girls talking with a starry moon night above them in dramatic fashion. Catwoman looks fantastic in this issue too, with a muscular look that’s not typically seen, but makes a heck of a lot of sense. There’s one panel (see below) that shows off her acrobatics in a beautiful way too.


Beautiful.

It can’t be perfect can it?

There are some hokey bits of dialogue here and there, like Catwoman saying “scaredy cats” that deserve some eye rolls. The comic is attempting to be fun, and it usually is with the dialogue, but a few times it certainly caught me by surprise in a bad way and pulled me out of the story.

Is It Good?

Catwoman fans will love this; if Shawna Benson and Julie Benson aren’t writing a Catwoman series by this time next year a crime has been committed. This is a fun issue that does a lot to progress the plot and showcase the voices of each character.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12
Is it good?
A great issue that Catwoman fans should definitely read!
Catwoman is great in this and it'll make you want the creators to get on a Catwoman book pronto
Solid art with a muscular Catwoman that works
The dialogue is strong throughout
Though the dialogue can be a bit too silly for its own good
9
Great