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Birds Of Prey #78

Posted: Monday, January 31, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Hero Hunters, Part Three: Moondance"

Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils: Tom Derenick
Inks: Bob Petrecca
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Publisher: D.C. Comics
$2.50 U.S. / $3.85 CAN

Plot:
As Black Canary does battle with Harvest, Dinah discovers that her opponent is able to steal fighting ability and powers from the people she fights, and only the timely arrival of Zinda keeps the battle from going completely wrong. We then see the Birds of Prey compare notes and armed with this new knowledge they are able to drive Harvest away, but she reappears halfway around the world to continue her vigilante actions.

Comments:
This was not one of Gail Simone's best efforts, largely due to the fact that instead of charting her own path she looks to depending on cliché plot elements. I mean if I was to walk up to most come fans and asked them how the following scenario would be resolved it be a pretty safe bet that they would all offer up the exact solution this issue offers up. Yes this issue offers up a villain who acts as a power leech, so as the battle progresses our hero grows weaker, while the villain's power levels increased, and how does Gail Simone resolve this crisis? Well like all writers who that have created this problem in the past, she has the hero decide to overload the villain, and naturally this plan is a complete success. In fact I've seen this overloading trick pulled so often that I imagine I'd becomes a lifelong fan of the first writer who had this plan backfire completely, and leave readers with a supercharged villain, and a hero who had completely drained their power reserves. This issue also suffers from a plot that stumbles its way forward, as a shocking development is resolved completely off panel, and the Birds of Prey manage to figure out the villain's method of operation thanks to a random question and answer session with a person in town who is able to deliver all the necessary exposition the story needed. The story also jumps past the one section that I found grabbed my full attention as I wanted more time spent on the scene where the characters discuss why Harvest's actions were wrong.

First off I have to say that if that apple head granny panel is supposed to represent what Dinah is going to look like in twenty years, than it's probably for the best that the comic characters are forever stuck in their mid-twenties. As for the rest of the art I have to say Tom Derenick's work on this issue looks like a rush job, as the background detailing is rather sparse, and his figure work/facial expression both have a rough quality to them that I never really noticed in his previous work. Now the art tells the story in a clear enough manner, and the action has some nice impact shots, with Dinah's final attack being visually impressive. However, the art really could've done a better job of playing up the horror element of Harvest, as she looks more like a young woman than an evil entity that is terrorizing our heroes. I did rather enjoy the cover image though, as it does a nice job of selling the ominous quality of Harvest.



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