DC Comics Dawn Of DC initiative continues as they announced a new incarnation of the Birds Of Prey will be arriving in September 2023. For this new Birds Of Prey ongoing series DC Comics has tapped Black Widow and Captain Marvel writer Kelly Thompson and Hawkeye artist Leonardo Romero as the creative team. Given that there is still no sign of the Justice League the return of the Birds Of Prey is a significant one. Let’s take a look at the roster, creative team, and possible direction for this new series.
BIRDS OF PREY ROSTER FIRST IMPRESSION
The Birds Of Prey have a long history with many different roster members. The iconic Birds Of Prey roster will always be Black Canary, Huntress, and Oracle. But for Dawn Of DC it appears that only Black Canary will be on the new roster. Joining her are Batgirl Cassandra Cain, Harley Quinn, Big Barda, and WildCATS’ Zealot.
This new Birds Of Prey roster is surprising for different reasons. Obviously not having Huntress or Barbara Gordon as Oracle on the team is one of them. That does not exclude them from being on the team. Especially considering that Barbara Gordon has been a constant presence in all of the Batman comic books and Cassandra Cain’s mentor, she could still serve as the teams info broker. Huntress is less likely since she has been MIA since the Shadows of the Bat storyline and her role on the team is filed by Cassandra Cain and Zealot.
Then there is the fact that DC Comics waited over three years to make the team seen in the DCEU Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey film an official in the DC Universe. Especially since Warner Bros. Discover is sunsetting the DCEU in favor of James Gunn’s new DC Universe. The timing of having a roster with Harley Quinn, Black Canary, and Cassandra Cain does come across as an extremely late decision.
All that aside, the team roster is not a bad one at all. There is the balance that you would want to see from a new team. There is the experienced leader in Black Canary. The powerhouse in Big Barda. The strong fighters in Zealot and Cassandra Cain, with the latter bringing detective and infiltration skills. Then we have Harley Quinn whose quips and unpredictability can bring some needed comedy. The only thing missing is the information person, which as said could still be Barbara Gordon.
In terms of balance the new Birds Of Prey roster does have that. They are also coming in a time when we still don’t have many superhero teams. The Titans are still the team with an ongoing series in the Dawn of DC direction since the Doom Patrol’s mini-series is almost over and the JSA are still off in their own universe. Add in that the Green Lantern Corps appear to have a diminished status quo at the moment does elevate the Birds Of Prey’s immediate importance alongside the Titans as the only superhero teams.
BIRDS OF PREY CREATIVE TEAM
More important than the roster is the creative team. We know from the announcement that the Birds Of Prey roster is going to be Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero. Thompson is mostly known for her work with Marvel. Specifically, her Captain Marvel run is probably her most well-known. While that run was a bit of a mixed bag the rest of her Marvel work has been great. A great example of what we may be able to expect from Thompson on Birds Of Prey is her work on Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Rogue & Gambit series. Those three comic books show a mix of how well Thompson can balance street-level and powerful superheroes in a range of stories.
Then there’s Romero on art duties for Birds Of Prey. Romero’s work on Hawkeye showcased how he understands how to deliver strong fight choreography. With how we’ve seen Thompson employ double page spreads in both Black Widow and Hawkeye, we can expect similar things from Birds Of Prey. With the range of different fighting styles for the members on this roster it should give Romero plenty of room to be creative with the choreography. Though given Romero’s art style is typically best suited for street-level heroes it’ll be interesting to see how he showcases characters like Big Barda and Zealot.
The creative team of Thompson and Romero is a very good one. Not only do they have history of different superhero work but they’ve are already experienced working together on Hawkeye. Having that previous creative experience together will be extremely valuable. Because as we have seen with her work on Black Widow, Thompson is at her best when working with an artist she is familiar with and knows can write action sequences for. With the members we have on Birds Of Prey we could see that be something Thompson deliver more thanks to that familiarity with Romero.
BIRDS OF PREY POSSIBLE CREATIVE DIRECTION
The one thing DC Comics, Thompson, and Romero were careful about not talking about is what direction the Birds Of Prey will be going. Keeping back information on why this Birds Of Prey roster was formed and their mission statement likely is related to Knight Terrors. The timing of a September release date does hint at developments in Knight Terrors, ending in August, will play some role in the new series.
While Knight Terrors could play a role in the team’s formation a major reason could be revolving around Amanda Waller. We know from the end of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths that Amanda Waller is teaming with The Council of Light and other DCU villains to eliminate the superhero community. We’ve seen Waller’s power starting to get flexed in Titans #1 and Green Arrow #1.
It is the Green Arrow relation in particular that could lead into the new Birds Of Prey. Black Canary has been after Amanda Waller as she has some ties to Oliver Queen and Lian Harper’s disappearance. Black Canary, along with Arsenal, also learned from an aggressive Peacemaker that Waller doesn’t want to be found by heroes in Green Arrow #2. With Green Arrow, the series is likely to shift to dealing with Green Arrow’s rogues gallery and whatever plans Joshua Williamson has planned for the Multiverse. The Titans are also being positioned in a similar way the Justice League normally are so we will see them take on a variety of threats.
That leaves the door open for Birds Of Prey to be where we see a focus placed on Amanda Waller and The Council of Light are doing. If that is the case this could also be a reason why we are seeing the roster we have for Birds Of Prey in the Dawn Of DC direction. Black Canary, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Big Barda, and Zealot are each bringing experience from different parts of the DC Universe. With Amanda Waller’s scope being all the DCU’s heroes this roster can tackle all the corners of the DCU. That could lead to the Birds Of Prey establish a similar importance to the Titans in the DCU while the Justice League are still MIA.
The Birds Of Prey are making their long-overdue return. The roster may not be what some fans may have hoped for but that does not take away from the excitement of this announcement. DC Comics assembled a strong creative team in Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, and Jordie Bellaire for the new Birds Of Prey series. Like the Titans, the Birds Of Prey can be immediately established as a premiere, must-follow team as it is still unknown when the Justice League will return.