Comic Book Review: Birds of Prey #96

Birds of Prey is a comic I read for quite a while. Chuck Dixon was writing it then, and I enjoyed it. I’ve read it off an on for a while, depending on the characters and plot lines, but had been away for a while. Two things got me to pick up this issue. One is that the action is happening in Dayton, Ohio, a location I have ties to, and next months cover has the city name on it. The other is a heads up I got on a site that the comic would have a memorial for Blue Beetle. Since Oracle, Barbara Gordon, has a history with him, and it was one I had read, I wanted to see how it was remembered.Creative TeamWriter: Gail SimonePenciler: Paulo SequeiraInker: Robin RiggsArt Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10Synopsis: The “Birds” are all together for a pancake breakfast (except that only Black Canary and her new found charge are eating). Black Canary reflects on how happy she is to be back with her friends, which include Vixen and Huntress, and of course Oracle. After breakfast, they walk to Ted Kord’s (Blue Beetles’) grave site, and Barbara Gordon (Oracle) proposes they build a statue for him. Babs admits to a certain connection to Ted, which makes for one of the funniest bits in a comic book this year (humor being subjective). Back at the flying HQ (piloted, it appears, by Lady Blackhawk, Oracle gives out today’s assignment. She has received news that the Society of Villians is in Dayton, OH, apparently to recruit Black Alice, a magic using teenager that can steal the magical powers of any other magic user for a time. Babs mentions she will be out and about, so the group is on its own.The trip to Dayton is a trap sprung cleverly by the SoSV. They are already there, and have Black Alice convinced that the BoP are there to take her away. The issue ends with Black Canary in danger, and a one page sequence of someone being paged by a figure that looks like Batgirl (which is Oracle’s ID before her experience). Comments: The Good: The writing is pitch perfect. There are a thousand small details that I didn’t include in that brief synopsis above, simply because it is down so well in the book, through both the art and the writing, that to try to summarize it seems an injustice. This book appears to have been.. busy.. as of late, story wise, but as a reader returning after a long absence, I feel I know what I need to. And the emotion, whether in the tribute to Kord, or in understanding Black Alice, is right on. And we even know, in an entertaining and character filled fashion, what the SSoV are up to. The Bad: I’m notoriously not picky, but nothing to complain about here. Conclusion: I’ll be on board for the next four issues 🙂 Nuff Said!