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  1. #1
    Always Rakzo
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    Default Birds of Prey #1 Discussion/Spoilers

    Yet another DC Black Level series has arrived... although not quite. The story behind this particular series is kinda messy since it was supposedly going to be an ongoing series originally and you can tell once that it reaches its conclusion (which I will talk about later). Then again, there are a lot of things to appreciate here based on the people involved.

    This book sees the return of Brian Azzarello at writing DC Comics and I couldn't be happier. I have always loved his craft, he has always been able to create engaging dialogue that makes you entertained while also showing depth in the characters and in fact, that's one of the most distinctive aspects here.

    The story is fortunately not that centered around Harley Quinn as I expected. I love Harley, I love the Birds of Prey but I don't love the idea of them combined. This title is clearly based on the cast from the movie as a way to promote it (and we all know how well that usually turns out, can't forget Rob Williams' Suicide Squad) but unlike the last title Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, Azzarello doesn't act like all these characters know each other from the movie (at least not the ones that are not supposed to know each other) and creates a much better way to develop the cast because of it.

    Azzarello actually implements the history of each heroine nicely. The best example here is Dinah whose connection with Steve Trevor hints at their time on Team 7 way back in the New 52 (and there's even a direct reference later) while her career as a singer is also present here. Harley's time on the Suicide Squad is obviously shown as well and the fact that they let her go makes sense considering she hasn't been a full-blown criminal for quite a while. Lots of respect for continuity.

    The dialogue as mentioned, makes you invested in all of them with memorable lines everywhere that allows for a great dynamic between the team while also depicting them perfectly.

    The story, oh boy, this is the only problem here. The plot is centered about a group of murderers as I said and you might think the issue revolves around then but at the end is not really resolved and the last pages are just dedicated to Harley's relationship with the Joker (which is really on-point by cementing his obsession with Batman but still, is kinda tiring). This is where the roots of the ongoing series are obvious, it's pretty clear that Azzarello had an idea for a running series but things went wrong.

    Emanuela Luppachino handles the art and is gorgeous, I have always loved the way she depicts characters, particularly women, everyone here looks beautiful and expressive.

    Aside from the problems with the plot, or lack of it, I really digged this. Definitely one of the best reads this week.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member LordMikel's Avatar
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    So why was it the Black Label? What about it made it more mature?

    This was my biggest problem with the advertising for the book. It was literally, "It is on the black label, so it can be more mature" but they never explained what they were going to do to make it be for the black label in comparison to a normal Birds of Prey book. So thus, this is what prompts the question from me.
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  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Nite-Wing's Avatar
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    I liked the issue
    Its Black Label I suppose because it gives azzarello a bit more freedom but he's not really pushing it with this series so far no nudity just cursing and violence
    I guess the novelty of hearing Harley, Dinah, or Helena curse has lost its luster after the BOP movie and the Harley Quinn animated series

    Still this is the BOP title I wanted Harley just gels with the group seamlessly. Even though its not the first time these characters have met it feels like a proper introduction to all of them.

    I wonder if Joker is gonna be the main villain of this series

  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    I have to kind of wonder why not just have Birds of Prey and Gotham City Sirens. Since the two have different characters. But since it's an elsewhere I'm have thinking it.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Picking this up in the shop tomorrow. Thus far, I've yet to be convinced Harley in BoP isn't a mistake. She's an anti-villain at best. Hopefully it changes my mind.

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member Gotham citizen's Avatar
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    I hope to not start a war, but I think Harley Quinn would fit better in a team of bad vigilantes like Red Hood, Tarantula and Azrael; a team that could be named "Gotham's outlaws" or something like that.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member cgh's Avatar
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    I haven't read this yet, but I was kind of hoping this would take place in the same universe as Azzarello's Joker GN. I'd love to see an expansion of that world. But it would mean a re-tooling of Harley Quinn, because in Joker she was not at all comical but rather silent and unsettling.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmiMizuno View Post
    I have to kind of wonder why not just have Birds of Prey and Gotham City Sirens. Since the two have different characters. But since it's an elsewhere I'm have thinking it.
    The book was made because of the Birds of Prey Movie, Harley is even wearing the her costume from the Suicide Squad movie at some point. It just got massively delayed.

  9. #9
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    Black Canary fans will hate this. Instead of saving her friend, Dinah would rather have a drunk foursome with three random guys in a bar. Green Arrow is crying right now. DC is absolutely trolling us.

  10. #10
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    I broke down and bought this, because my love of the Birds of Prey from Simone's run, and my love of Lupacchino's art, overcame my dislike of Azzarello's writing, and the fact that this is not the Birds of Prey I actually love. It's a very pretty package, but the Reis cover is very clumsy looking - it's very strange they didn't use Lupacchino's completed cover for issue 1, as that was really gorgeous. The Reis cover does fit the interior story, but it's just not up to his usual standard. I bought the Campbell one, even though I don't much like his work, as it wasn't as frustrating - and I liked the little shiny printing details on the wings in the background.

    The typos were REALLY bad, and I did not like the lettering font. I don't know why DC's department didn't take more pride in its work - even the solicitation has obvious errors ("ringer" instead of "wringer"). For a "prestige" project, this doesn't scream "we care about the quality we put out."

    Except, of course, for Lupacchino's art. That is polished and really lovely. Good storytelling, wonderful acting, and incredible appeal. McCarthy's inks are thick and really enhance Lupacchino's strengths, and the colors are rich without being gaudy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakzo View Post
    Azzarello actually implements the history of each heroine nicely. The best example here is Dinah whose connection with Steve Trevor hints at their time on Team 7 way back in the New 52 (and there's even a direct reference later) while her career as a singer is also present here. Harley's time on the Suicide Squad is obviously shown as well and the fact that they let her go makes sense considering she hasn't been a full-blown criminal for quite a while. Lots of respect for continuity.

    The dialogue as mentioned, makes you invested in all of them with memorable lines everywhere that allows for a great dynamic between the team while also depicting them perfectly.

    The story, oh boy, this is the only problem here. The plot is centered about a group of murderers as I said and you might think the issue revolves around then but at the end is not really resolved and the last pages are just dedicated to Harley's relationship with the Joker (which is really on-point by cementing his obsession with Batman but still, is kinda tiring). This is where the roots of the ongoing series are obvious, it's pretty clear that Azzarello had an idea for a running series but things went wrong.

    Emanuela Luppachino handles the art and is gorgeous, I have always loved the way she depicts characters, particularly women, everyone here looks beautiful and expressive.

    Aside from the problems with the plot, or lack of it, I really digged this. Definitely one of the best reads this week.
    I did notice all the pieces that could have made it within current continuity, but sadly, those were drawbacks for me. Dinah's Team 7 background is a huge loss of her mother and father, and her JSA history for me, and emphasizing it here just makes her character drab and dull, instead of rich and full of the warmth of history. Her character also make the most unlikeable decisions in the book, and is the most passive, sitting and waiting for bad things to happen to people around her. The dialogue is polished, but that doesn't quite replace characterization for me. And the villains are really dull - visually flashy, but not even given names, let alone real motivations.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordMikel View Post
    So why was it the Black Label? What about it made it more mature?

    This was my biggest problem with the advertising for the book. It was literally, "It is on the black label, so it can be more mature" but they never explained what they were going to do to make it be for the black label in comparison to a normal Birds of Prey book. So thus, this is what prompts the question from me.
    A LOT of cursing and overt violence. They don't try to hide any of the blood in this one as they do in the normal comics. It does feel pretty tame and not very exciting, though. I don't like that Black Label is the "R rated" imprint, but this doesn't even feel like the "mature" content enhanced the story, as the villains were incredibly forgettable and didn't represent anything thematically to the Birds.

    Quote Originally Posted by qwazer07 View Post
    Black Canary fans will hate this. Instead of saving her friend, Dinah would rather have a drunk foursome with three random guys in a bar. Green Arrow is crying right now. DC is absolutely trolling us.
    I am a fan, and while I don't hate this, I do think it's a pretty dull and dispiriting version of a great heroine. But I also think that Huntress is really flat, Renee is beyond paper thing (seriously, I know Azzarello was trying for some Rorschach with her prison reform from the inside thing, but it did not work), and Harley, while much more vibrant than the other two, pales next to most versions of Harley available now, including her ongoing.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
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  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Azzarello should not write the Birds of Prey. He doesn't really get any of them. What a waste of a good artist.

    This was rubbish.

  12. #12
    Fantastic Member
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    Great art, pointless story.

    "This isn't my Birds of Prey."

  13. #13
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwazer07 View Post
    Black Canary fans will hate this. Instead of saving her friend, Dinah would rather have a drunk foursome with three random guys in a bar. Green Arrow is crying right now. DC is absolutely trolling us.
    ...What? Wow, even for Dinah in distress that's a bit much.

    (I don't think she and Ollie are currently together so it's not officially cheating, but I feel like she's emotionally cheating on him. And with so many guys? Jeez).

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Amazing Member Marvel Wars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    (I don't think she and Ollie are currently together so it's not officially cheating, but I feel like she's emotionally cheating on him. And with so many guys? Jeez).
    They were together in the last Green Arrow ongoing that ended last year.

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