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Birds Of Prey #72

Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Between Dark and Dawn, Part Four: Material Girl"

Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Ron Adrian (p), Rob Lea (i)

Publisher: D.C. Comics

Plot:
As the Black Canary races to prevent another teen from committing suicide, Barbara uncovers the identity of the entity that's responsible for this super-hero obsessed cult. Meanwhile Vixen and the Huntress find their situation goes from worrisome to disastrous.

Comments:
One of the most exciting issues that Gail Simone has offered up since she took over the writing reins of this title, as she has not one but two plots running through the pages of this issue that grabbed and held my full attention. Now the big reveal of who is responsible for this villainous plot is a great moment, and I have to say that while I'm not overly familiar with the character, what little I do know of the character has convinced me that he's the ideal opponent for Barbara to encounter, and this issue's exchange help to reaffirm this notion. I also have to say that the final moment of this battle of wills makes for a fantastic cliff-hanger, and there's a very real sense of dread instilled by the final comments that are made by this mystery villain. As for the second plot that involves the Huntress and Vixen's efforts to survive the attentions of the cult, I have to say I was won over by the final moments of this exchange, as Gail Simone does a fantastic job of taking the situation and making it look downright impossible for these two woman to win the day.

I also enjoyed the back and forth banter between the two characters, and I also applaud the scene where Gail Simone reminds readers that the Huntress plays the hero game with a sharper edge than most heroes, and that there's a reason why Batman has problems with her operating in Gotham. I did find myself a bit disappointed with Black Canary's role in this issue though, as the character looks to have gotten left out of the truly engaging sections of the action.

Ron Adrian's work doesn't exactly leave me all that impressed, as there are sections where it seems to have difficulty conveying the action, and there's some odd visual choices where I felt the art failed to convey the excitement of the material (e.g. Black Canary's plunge off the rooftop). However, I will give the art credit for managing to successfully deliver what could have been a confusing development, as the opening scene shifts from reality to a cyberspace, and there's no real moment of confusion present. I also have to say it's great to see Greg Land looks to be sticking around as this book's regular cover artist.



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