Thursday Comic

Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds - Gail Simone, Ed Benes, et al.

Barbara Gordon, the daughter of police commissioner James Gordon, used to fight crime as Batgirl until she was shot through the spine by the Joker. Having refashioned herself as Oracle, the information broker for superheroes, Babs is looking to take a more direct role in crime fighting. To that end she's teamed up with Black Canary - she of the sonic cry and fishnets.

But while they're working on a seemingly innocuous case, Black Canary is suddenly abducted by the brilliant and unhinged Savant - who's holding her to ransom for the one piece of information Oracle can never share. After considering her options, Oracle decides she has no choice but to enlist the help of Huntress - a violent vigilante she normally takes great pains to avoid.

Bird of Prey is pretty much the superhero comic that I like. At first I was a little underwhelmed by Simone's writing for the series, which is pretty universally praised, but having read a few more superhero comics since, I can safely say that if she seems to understand cause, effect and motivation, and to write dialogue that you can imagine real human beings possibly saying, then that places her head and shoulders above a lot of the competition.

During her stint on Birds of Prey, Simone was not only writing two of my favourite superheroes (Oracle and Huntress in case you've not been paying attention), but she also brought us Savant and his sidekick Creote, a very ambiguous pair of characters (in more ways than one) whose deadpan exchanges frequently make me laugh out loud.

I've been gathering the collected editions of Simone's run on Birds of Prey for a while now (the series actually ended some time ago), and since I've finally given up on Amazon helping me to fill in the ones I'm missing, I'm going to start reading through them all. Although I do tend to resent the way that ninety percent of western comics are superhero fare, I don't have any special antipathy towards costumed vigilantes in general, and in this case Simone's great characterisations and Ed Benes' bold artwork have quite thoroughly won me over.

1 comment:

Tinker said...

Nice artwork.