By Gail Simone & various (DC Comics)
The Birds of Prey concept has always been hugely enjoyable. Whether it’s the kick-ass hotties or the strong ties to the Batman universe, or perhaps simply the higher than average standard of the writing, these tales never fail to entertain. After being crippled by the Joker, the wheelchair-bound Batgirl recreated herself to fight evil as a knowledge resource for super-heroes before eventually forming her own strike force comprised of a fluctuating roster of women crime-fighters. An apparent similarity to Charlie’s Angels doesn’t seem to hurt either.
This volume (reprinting issues 62-68 of the regular monthly comic book) focuses on the early days of Black Canary, who is summoned to Hong Kong and the bedside of her dying kung fu teacher. There she meets fellow student and rival Shiva, universally acclaimed as the deadliest woman alive. Never friends, they find themselves thrown together to foil a murder-revenge scheme. As if all the martial arts brouhaha were not enough, the rest of her fellow crime fighters are embroiled in thwarting a contiguous plot to steal the near omniscient database of team leader Oracle (nee Batgirl).
This is a good old-fashioned rollercoaster that’s not afraid to be fun as well as a clear rival to the best of blockbuster action movies, and well worth your attention.
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