When thinking of the Birds of Prey franchise one of the first names that comes up is Gail Simone. Simone had an iconic run on the Birds of Prey during the mid-2000s that defined the group. Now after years away from the franchise Simone is making her way back to the Birds of Prey as she is writing the Sirens of Justice series. Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice is the latest addition to DC Comics Digital-First initiative that they have been rolling out the last few months. The roster of the team looks to take inspiration from the Birds of Prey live-action movie with Harley Quinn, Black Canary and Huntress. How will this first issue turn out? Let’s find out with Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #1.
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Colorist: John Kalisz
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Black Canary and Huntress meet-up with Harley Quinn thirty-stories up on a ledge. Harley Quinn suggests they can make Gotham City better as the Birds of Prey, suggestion she join because she is trying to be better.
Black Canary decides to hear Harley Quinn out. Harley Quinn mentions that the recent sinkhole accident was actually planned by some bad guys, a lead she got from a friend.
Later that night Harley Quinn takes Black Canary and Huntress to the site of the sinkhole. Noticing how Harley Quinn is avoiding saying who is responsible, Black Canary questions her on if she is keeping anything from them. Harley promises, though she is shown crossing her fingers behind her back.
As Black Canary starts to formulate a plan both Huntress and Harley Quinn have gone off to fight the armed guards in the area. They knock them all out as Black Canary joins them.
Huntress notices one of the guards is an enforcer for the Prudhome mob. Black Canary blows the door open to an office. They then break into a safe where Harley Quinn finds a documents that show the hospital is just a scheme to cover something else up.
Poison Ivy, who turns out to be the “friend” Harley Quinn mentioned getting a lead from early, shows up. Seeing that Black Canary and Huntress are pointing their weapons at her Poison Ivy gets ready to defend herself. This causes the Black Canary and Huntress to start fighting Poison Ivy.
As they fight more guards show up ready to kill the Birds of Prey and Poison Ivy. Realizing that Poison Ivy isn’t one of the bad guys the Birds of Prey work with her to take down all the guards.
After defeating all the guards Poison Ivy’s anger starts to get the best of her. Harley Quinn stops Poison Ivy from killing one of the guards by reminding her they got the evidence so that whoever was running this operation is stopped.
Black Canary wonders why Poison Ivy approach them for help herself. Poison Ivy admits she wasn’t sure if she could trust the Birds of Prey but Harley Quinn did vouch for them.
Harley Quinn then asks if anyone is up for getting a bite to eat. End of issue.
The Good: Following a similar start to the other DC Comics Digital-First titles Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #1 is a quick one-story to get you immediately into the world of this series. To that end Gail Simone showed that readers picking up this issue are familiar with the Birds of Prey, whether from the comics or the movie, and gets right into an adventure.
While the dynamic between Harley Quinn, Black Canary and Huntress still needs to be ironed out Simone did a good job having them all play off each other. The dialogue Simone wrote did well to put over how family each character was with each other. We see that best with the comfort that Black Canary and Huntress spoke with each other as they dealt with Harley Quinn’s request to join the Birds of Prey. You didn’t need to go over their previous history with each other because you could clearly see that Black Canary and Huntress have been working together for a long time now.
Having that dynamic already established made how Black Canary and Huntress interacted with Harley Quinn be even more effective. Simone didn’t have Harley Quinn be completely Deadpool crazy throughout this issue. Instead Simone used Harley Quinn’s brand of comedy when it would be most effective. Whether it her doing something behind Black Canary’s back or her reaction to Poison Ivy’s appearance, it all worked to get over who Harley Quinn is. More importantly, it allowed Simone to build up the chemistry between Harley Quinn, Black Canary and Huntress, something comic fans haven’t seen much of.
It all worked together to keep Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #1 moving forward. The story keeps a pace that keeps you focused on what is going on with the sinkhole mission. You are left wondering what exactly is going on and Poison Ivy’s inclusion adds to that mystery. Simone works the character in well to play up her status one of the shades of grey character.
Inaki Miranda delivered some fun artwork that fit the style of this version of Birds of Prey we have seen form with the movie. Even with the Gotham City setting Miranda played up the more colorful colors of everyone’s costumes. It worked well to give this issue a fun vibe throughout.
The Bad: The big problem that Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #1 ran into was the thin plotline involving the sinkhole and gang involved. There was never a big threat felt by this case. All the guards watching the sinkhole operation were nothing more than nameless thugs that were easily taken care of. It would been more interesting if after Poison Ivy reveal her intentions that we saw someone like Black Mask or Penguin show up as the ones responsible for the sinkhole. Even if they escaped, having a big Gotham City name would have added to how serious of threat the Birds of Prey were facing.
On the roster side of things it did feel like there was a big hole in the Birds of Prey team by not having Barbara Gordon, whether as Batgirl or Oracle, in this issue. She is as closely linked to the Birds of Prey as Black Canary and Huntress. Not having her as part of the Birds of Prey as either Batgirl or Oracle makes it come across that DC Comics pushed her to the side in favor of Harley Quinn. Which is a mistake as Batgirl, along with Black Canary and Huntress, could have a fun dynamic with Harley Quinn. Especially since they do have a past in their early years of working for Batman and Joker, respectively.
Overall: Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #1 was a solid start to this new Digital-First series by DC Comics. Gail Simone immediately showed how well she understands Black Canary, Harley Quinn, and Huntress through her writing of each character. The one-shot style helped create a foundation for this series that can hopefully future issues can build on.
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