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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey

Batgirl & the Birds of Prey (Rebirth, Vol. 3): Full Circle

The Birds have been quite busy. Babs has been gathering a lot of good intel lately, to stop crimes before they even begin. The team feels great, but Barbara herself… isn’t. She hasn’t told Dinah or Helena that she’s been getting all this intel from a backdoor she left in Calculator’s system the last time they ran in with him. When Calculator discovers Oracle has been snooping in his system, he becomes obsessed once again, and will stop at nothing to discover Oracle’s identity. When a former member of their team gets caught in Calculator’s crossfire, Barbara’s secret is unveiled. Dinah and Helena feel angry and betrayed. Is this the end of the Birds, or can they band together once more to defeat Calculator once and for all?

I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll say it again: this is my favorite Rebirth title. The new Birds keeps the friendship and sisterhood of Barbara, Helena, and Dinah at the core, while freshening up the characters and stories for modern audiences. I’d say this run is suited for middle-grade (depending on the maturity of the child) and YA audiences just as well as adult. This volume especially shows the importance of women standing and working together, which young girls need to see! Birds of Prey also shows that girls can overcome big differences to become friends, sisters, and teammates.

Unlike with Rebirth Wonder Woman (of which the more I read the more I realize background knowledge is needed for newcomers to the title), Birds of Prey doesn’t make background knowledge a necessity. Calculator has been after Oracle before in the original run, but it’s not vital to know the details before coming to this run. BOP has been the most newcomer-friendly Rebirth title I’ve read, and the most important for young ladies!

– Kathleen

Benson, Julie, Shawna Benson, Roge Antonio, and Marcio Takara. Batgirl & the Birds of Prey (Rebirth, Vol. 3): Full Circle. 2018.

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (Vol 2): Source Code

Nightwing is in the Birds’ neck of the woods, tracking down a shapeshifting metahuman named Gemini. He finds her, but the Birds step in to help when he gets injured. They discover she’s working for someone named Nightingale, and Black Canary volunteers to go undercover to unravel what she wants with teenage metas like Gemini. Meanwhile, Gus, the new Oracle, is starting to act strange. He’s having unprecedented mood swings and is suddenly secretive. He has a connection to a big bad from the Birds’ past, and it’s working its’ way out into the open. Barbara in particular is growing suspicious. Is it possible that Gus’ tenure with the Birds is over, before it’s truly begun?

Being a huge fan of the original run, I am overjoyed that the Rebirth Birds of Prey has the same feel to it. Though this is only Volume 2, the unbreakable bond between these three heroines has already been established. Though they are all different, they come to find a home within each other, and their friendship. That’s what made the original run so special for me, and it’s immensely satisfying to see that theme carry over to Rebirth. There’s no team stronger than the Birds, and it shows – this is the strongest Rebirth title I’m reading.

That said, I feel that this Rebirth title isn’t as welcoming to new readers as other titles. So far, this run relies heavily on past events, and unfortunately there’s not enough page time to explain everything. I recommend the original run to everybody anyway, but I feel it’s almost essential reading to get into the Rebirth run… which wasn’t the point of Rebirth. I almost feel I need to go back and read New 52 Grayson as well, which explains his and Helena’s (Huntress’) past connections in Spyral.

There’s a little bit of everything in this volume. Undercover missions, cyber espionage, heart-to-heart talks, girl power, guest appearances from some of your favorite male counterparts 😉 And, of course, plenty of action! Looking forward to the next volume.

– Kathleen

Benson, Julie, Shawna Benson, Roge Antonio, Claire Roe. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (Vol. 2): Source Code. 2017.

Batgirl and The Birds of Prey (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Who is Oracle?

The name “Oracle” has been haunting Babs – no, literally. The criminals she takes down seem to be getting their information from Oracle, and what’s worse, it looks like they’re selling information to the mob, too. She calls Dinah to help her out. She desperately needs to find out who Oracle is, and why they’re sullying that name… the name that’s both Barbara’s past, and her future. Unfortunately, someone calling herself Huntress is after the mob, for reasons she won’t say. Batgirl and Huntress butt heads, as they both feel the other is getting in her way. But if what they both want is information… then it’s in their best interests to both go after Oracle. They work together for a time, until tensions run too high. Do the Birds have room for one more? Or will Huntress strike out on her own?

I. Love. This. Comic! This has been the first example of a Rebirth title I’ve read that’s blended the past and forged a new story perfectly. (Then again, I’m most familiar with the past of this comic!) The mystery surrounding Oracle’s identity was especially compelling because of how much it means to Barbara, and of Dinah’s determination to help her clear her name. Babs’ and Dinah’s rock solid friendship, that they then extend to Helena, is the main reason I keep coming back to this title. The art was really cool – and much better than Rebirth Batgirl, for which I was very happy!!!

Man, Rebirth as whole though is not exactly impressing me… only have liked 2/4 that I’ve read! What Rebirth titles have you liked?

– Kathleen

Benson, Julie, Claire Roe, and Shawna Benson. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (Rebirth, Vol. 1): Who is Oracle? 2017.

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