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Birds Of Prey #85

Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"A New Morning's Resolution"

Writer: Gail Simone
Artists:: Joe Bennett and Eddy Barrows (p), Jack Jadson and Robin Riggs (i)

Publisher: D.C. Comics

"Paging Dr. Magoo"
The problem with Barbaraís life hanging in the balance is that we just donít believe the surgery could go badly; Gail Simone doesn't give us the white knuckle, sweat on the surgeon's brow moment. There are some nice character scenes where various people react to Barbara's plight, with the father-daughter sequence being the highlight. However, dramatic tension never ventured beyond mild concern, and Simone didn't help matters by muting Brainiac. Still, there is a truly unexpected final page surprise that is sure to make most fans happy, though not me, as this change eliminates a key element that sets them apart from the super-hero crowd.

"Wax On!"
The secondary plot involves Black Canary and guest-stars fighting the Silk Brothers, and I was disappointed that Gail Simone didnít use a greater variety of guest-stars, as half of them are already established players who are hardly new to these pages. The battle has an abrupt ending when the villains suddenly decide to accept a draw after Dinah makes a mockery of the entire concept of an honourable battle. The running narration by Dinah was effective: itís easy to believe that our heroes are in trouble, when Dinah tells us she is convinced that the Silk Brothers are a serious danger. There are a couple of inspired comedy bits in the midst of this battle with Green Arrow's friendly conversation with his opponent being a much needed moment of levity.

"Dumb Donald ... Kung Fu Warrior"
The art alternates between two different artists, and I'd guess that scenes involving Barbara's surgery were handled by Eddy Barrows, while Joe Bennett delivered the action heavy material Ė if there are two artists on a single issue, then this is a reasonable way to go about it, and they are similar enough that the transition between them wasn't too jarring. Eddy Barrows does a nice job on the emotional moments, with the reunion of Barbara and her father being a highlight, as well as the faces of the two women on the final page. As for Joe Bennett's work on the big brawl, it seemed too clean, with characters lined up like little toy soldiers with very little overlap, but there's also some lovely, wince-inducing impact shots - overall Iím pleased with his work on this issue.



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