Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Vol 1: Who is Oracle? – Shawna & Julie Benson

★★★★

Barbara Gordon is back in a yet another Rebirth title that appears to run parallel to the main Batgirl series. Slightly darker and more action-oriented, this series sees Babs reconnect with Black Canary, as she investigates a hacker who is impersonating Oracle – the identity Batgirl assumed after being paralyzed by Joker during the events of The Killing Joke. The impostor is selling valuable intel to the mafia, and Batgirl vows to put a stop to it.

Along the way, she and Black Canary encounter a single-minded and dangerous vigilante named Huntress. Determined to kill the Mafia bosses responsible for the slaughter of her family, she strikes a bargain with the Birds of Prey to work together to track down the “faux-racle”. Babs also needs to work with Commisioner Gordon, and we see her struggle with having to keep this side of her a secret from her father, while also resenting his need to protect her (when he wouldn’t treat Batman the same).

This story strikes a great balance between humor and action. The familiarity and camaraderie of Babs and BC is played off the stoic stiffness of Huntress, as the mistmatched trio slowly earn each other’s trust. I’m pretty sure the writers, who are sisters, based the interplay on their own sibling-style banter; and the relationships feel authentic.

The art is pretty great – the women look muscular and powerful, exactly like you’d imagine vigilantes who train constantly at martial arts and can take down men twice their size to look. Black Canary was a particular treat – she looks like a ripped Courtney Love, all rock star makeup and badassery (expect to see some rock-infused BC cosplay near you soon).

I really enjoyed this and felt it was one of the stronger relaunches of the Rebirth titles I’ve reviewed so far, balancing expositionary sections that help explain who the characters are and what they’ve been up to prior to this relaunch with an interestingn new mystery to be solved, creepy antagonists, white-knuckle action scenes and well-crafted dialogue. I’ll be checking out volume 2 for sure!

Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Order Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey Vol.1 from Amazon:

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