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Birds Of Prey #80

Posted: Friday, March 18, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Hero Hunters, Finale: The Cold Light of Day"

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ed Benes

Publisher: DC Comics


Plot: As the Huntress and Black Canary work to protect the injured Rose from her enemies, they are soon caught up in a running battle with a group of corrupt police officers, who remove Rose's unconscious body from her hospital room. However, these men soon have cause to regret this mission as Thorn takes control of Rose, and while the Birds of Prey take down most of these villains, Thorn is able to make her escape in the resultant confusion.

Comments: This issue bored me a bit, as frankly, Gail Simone doesn't give the characters much to do. There's a mildly entertaining battle in a stairwell, but it's a little difficult to get overly worked up by this little tussle when it's clear right from the outset that these goons are no match for our heroes. In fact, I'm a little concerned that Gail Simone is a little too focused on playing up how cool her characters are that it looks like she has forgotten to place them in scenarios where the readers will actually be worried that they might not be up to the task at hand. Now I understand that recent events in the DCU have gone a little too far in the other direction, and as such it's nice to get a book where the female characters are allowed to be more than damsels in distress. However, this book does need to up the stakes so that when the Birds of Prey manage to win the day these victories will actually impress the readers. It's all well and good to see them beat up a bunch of generic thugs, but this book needs to break out the big guns and offer up a threat that actually threatens the Birds of Prey. The final moments of this issue are quite enjoyable, as it's great to see someone noticed that Barbara is not exactly innocent, and frankly the character needs a bit of an edge. Plus, if nothing else this exchange adds some much needed tension to the mix. It's also worth noting that the point that Helena makes is actually a pretty good one, and it does have one taking a closer look at the missions that she has sent her operatives on. Some of the humour in this issue also feels a bit awkwardly placed though, such as the scene where the others thugs comment on Dinah's painful attack.

This is Ed Benes's final issue, and while his work did grab my attention on occasion, and he had a pretty good eye when it came to the action sequences, the biggest problem I found myself having with his art is that there were a few too many times where it felt like he was trying too hard to make the stars of this series all drop dead gorgeous women. Cheesecake art is all well and good, as long as the art doesn't let it become the dominate characteristic of the issue. These characters were forever adopting sexy photo shoot poses, or the characters' assets would be the central feature in the panel, and I found myself openly wondering if the art was even trying to tell the story. Still, there are some nice moments in this issue, as there's a smile inducing scene where Dinah performs a very painful takedown move. The art also does a lovely job conveying the sudden change of emotion as Helena starts to question the way things played out.



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