Quorren’s #CBR4 Review #11 Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds by Gail Simone
I have to give a shout-out to Mr. Quorren for picking up the first three volumes of this series for me for Christmas. Gail Simone is pretty much the most famous female comic book writer. Sadly, it’s not a very long list to choose from.
The story begins with Oracle teaming up with Black Canary. Oracle is Barbara Gordon’s second superhero incarnation; she was Batgirl (and Police Commissioner Gordon’s daughter/niece) before a bullet from the Joker paralyzed her from the waist down. Now she’s a computer hacker genius; basically all of those neat computer things people do on procedurals that are actually, in fact, illegal (and often imaginary), she can do. Black Canary’s got her martial arts skills, a sonic scream and the ability to always look good in fishnets. The Huntress is the daughter of an Italian mafia family that was slain in their sleep, leading her on a path to revenge against the mafia and bad guys in general.
Black Canary and Oracle are busting bad guys based on what criminal information Babs can big up on her monster computer. Their idea quickly goes south when a villain named Savant sets a trap to catch Oracle with Black Canary as his hostage. Savant eventually reveals his end goal to be obtaining Batman’s real identity because batman once told him he’d make a bad superhero. (Savant actually agrees with this assessment, as he’s way into beating people to a pulp instead of actually saving anyone, but that doesn’t mean Batman can go around being RUDE like that!) eventually Oracle has to bring in the Huntress to save Black Canary.
I won’t go so far as to say that Birds of Prey is a true feminism comic, but it’s a great start to equality in the genre. As you can tell from the cover, artists still think women would voluntarily choose to fight crime in lingerie, but Simone writes a few tongue in cheek nods to the fact. Most of all, it’s great to see kick-ass women being kick-ass together and not fighting over a man or having emotions that “may not be in the interests of the mission”.