Birds of Prey #1
Brian Azzarello and Emanuela Luppachino’s Birds of Prey was initially intended to be an ongoing series before it got shifted to a Black Label 96-page one shot.
The result is kind of what you might expect from a story that has to introduce this new team, come up with a compelling reason for their formation and leave an open-ended enough conclusion for possible sequels.
Batgirl is out and replaced by Harley Quinn, who’s having an identity crisis and talking to her Dr. Quinzel alter ego. Black Canary learns one of her ex-lovers has been killed by cartel members that Huntress and Renee Montoya are also pursuing.
Azzarello peppers the script with unnecessary curse words seemingly for the sake of validating the Black Label status.
There’s a hurried disjointed pace of the story despite the extra page count. Azzarello is put in a bad spot here as the book was set to come out in January to take advantage of the Harley Quinn movie buzz. Now the hype has died down and there’s no synergy to connect with the movie. The plot is OK, but it doesn’t feel like it’s breaking any new ground in terms of Birds of Prey stories.
Luppachino’s artwork has always been sensational and incredibly clean and there’s no pages off or drop in quality on any page.
Ultimately this one-shot is for the most dedicated Harley Quinn or Black Canary fan. It’s not terrible, but there’s nothing that exciting to make it worth tracking down.
Rating: 7 out of 10