Comic Review: Birds of Prey #1 (DC Comics)

Birds of Prey are back with a 100 page DC Black Label title, issue #1. And man, there is a LOT going on in this one-shot! Get your scorecard ready! […]

Birds of Prey are back with a 100 page DC Black Label title, issue #1. And man, there is a LOT going on in this one-shot! Get your scorecard ready!

Black Canary’s life is spiraling out of control. Her old flame’s car has gone up in, well, flames. Harley is arriving by bus. Huntress is hunched over in conversation with Detective Montoya. This is the start of the saga; this is where we are at the starting gun. And… we’re off!!

Writer Brian Azzarello, penciler Emanuela Lupacchino, inker Ray McCarthy, colourist Trish Mulvihill with John Kalisz bring us this manic trip into mayhem. Many characters, many directions. People get badly beat up, but like cartoon characters, they rise up to fight again. There is ultra-violence and bad manners. People lose their heads, falling from buildings like Wile E Coyote. All manner of death and dismemberment. Dis-remembered moments of past flings, bad boyfriends, moments of regret. Drunkenness, disorder, dishonour, and just plain ‘dissing’. Prolonged chase scenes, prolonged fight scenes, prolonged angst. Black Label at it’s ‘darkest of night’ and most visually colourful.

It’s a lot to take in, and the pacing seems relentless. While this issue is a strong read, with obvious plot points and tons of action, the ‘on and on’ of it all gets wearying. Too bad, actually, because the dialogue is epic, the drawings are enormously entertaining and the colouring is well handled throughout. Lupacchino impeccably captures the look of the women, their features, their wardrobes, their entrapments, and actions. McCarthy solidifies the lines and surroundings. Trish Mulvihill with John Kalisz give us clear renderings of light, shadow, slippery surfaces, and gritty skies. Awesome visuals!

Pick it up this special issue if you are a Birds of Prey fan, even for the mini-novella aspect of its 100 pages of continuous story.

DC Comics, Black Label, Birds of Prey #1, $9.99 for 100 pages, Rated 17+ for violence, etc

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!