Birds of Prey #108


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Birds of Prey #108


  • Words: Gail Simone
  • Art: Nicola Scott
  • Inks: Doug Hazlewood
  • Colors: Hi-Fi Designs
  • Story Title: Whitewater Epilogue: Swan Song
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jul 18, 2007

It’s the end of an era as Oracle battles Spy Smasher for control of the team and Gail Simone bids farewell to the Birds of Prey.

Issue 108 marks Ms. Simone’s final contribution to the series which helped put both her and DC’s leading ladies on many fans’ radar. It’s an emotional conclusion indeed. I…I’m a little verklempt here. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic: Black Canary is neither black nor a canary. Discuss!

No? All right, let me try and get through the synopsis. As the Birds return home from their mission in Russia, Oracle is forced into a power play with Katarina Armstrong, a woman who has intimidated her since they were teenagers. The Machiavellian Spy Smasher wants complete control of the Birds’ operation. However, she’s about to learn that there’s more to Barbara Gordon than just fancy computer skills. And Babs picks her friends very well.

From her series debut in issue 56, Gail Simone has consistently worked wonders with Birds of Prey, crafting one of the more entertaining titles in DC’s stable. Applying liberal doses of humor, action, strong characterization, and a sometimes twisted imagination, Simone took this book and made it hers. The characters have felt fully realized and layered, seeming like real women rather than the clichéd stock roles of many mainstream comics.

All these skills are on display in this issue as the cast continues their evolution. Oracle comes full circle with the Birds’ mission statement, conquering her own fears while helping other heroines in need. Black Canary continues her meteoric rise to a new life, reflecting on the darker path she could have followed back when she was "damaged goods." The Huntress has tempered her legendary rage, becoming a capable leader and team player. And Zinda….well, Zinda’s just too cute for words. All this plus insight into Misfit, Spy Smasher’s comeuppance, and a legion of guest stars make this a solid issue all around.

Though the writer is heading for the greener pastures of Themyscira, we can at least take solace in the fact that Nicola Scott is remaining. Just as Simone delivers a variety of diverse personalities, Scott’s art offers us a number of different face and body types. All gorgeous of course (this is a superhero book, after all) but ranging from tall and lanky to soft and refined to gawky and awkward and other traits that make each character distinct. She also contributes a rather stunning four page spread of almost everyone who’s ever been a Bird or a team associate. It’s a nice treat for longtime fans of the series.

An eminently enjoyable if bittersweet finale to Simone’s impressive run. Thanks for the memories, Gail. We’ll miss ya.

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