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Birds Of Prey #74

Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Unraveled"

Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils: Jim Fern
Inks: Steve Bird
Colors: Hi-Fi

Publisher: D.C. Comics

Plot:
After looking in on the Huntress and the Black Canary as they crash a meeting of disgruntled hired thugs that were looking to form a union, we see Oracle's effort to reform Savant run into a bit of a stumbling block when she learns he's been employing questionable means rid his assigned section of Gotham of it's criminal element. We then look in on Dinah as she pays a visit to Savant to make it clear she still has some unresolved issues with him.

Comments:
Gail Simone turns in a pretty solid done in one read and given the other Bat-books are mired in the middle of the "War Games" crossover it's a delight to see this book has managed to stay on its own path, and my fingers are crossed for more of the same next month. Aside from a brief nod of the head in the opening pages where the bouncer guarding the meeting states that current events have every criminal on edge, this issue remains free to tell it's own story. Now the opening pages of this issue are played largely for laughs as the Birds of Prey deal with a comical attempt by the hapless hired thugs that super-villians employ to form a union, and this results in a couple amusing moments. However the real reason this issue earns itself a hearty recommendation is thanks to the events that play out in the latter half of the issue as the Black Canary confronts Savant and puts on a pretty impressive display of her ability to take him down in a fight. I have to say I was delighted to get this encounter, as frankly Barbara's decision to try and reform Savant felt like a betrayal of the partnership given Savant's treatment of Dinah, so this encounter helped to balance the scales. Plus, the simple truth of the matter is that the female heroes of the DCU are deserving of more encounters like this one where they get the opportunity to show that they can contribute more the stories than serving as punching bags that make the big bad villains seem more sinister.

Jim Fern provides the art on this issue, and truth be told there's nothing about his work that sets it apart from the crowd. In fact if there was one word that best describes his work, I'd have to say it would be ordinary, as while it tells the story in a clear, easy to understand manner, it also doesn't manage to deliver any visuals that I found to be all that exciting. Now the action scenes are well presented as Dinah's solo efforts against Savant have a sense of urgency to them, and there's a nice fluid motion to the panels. However, the battle lacks any real powerful shots, as none of the blows that either fighter lands manage to convey a sense that they are making much of an impact. In fact if nothing else the shot where we see Savant's battered face was downright comical looking. However, the cover shot by Greg Land is a wonderful action shot that perfectly capture Dinah's fury.



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