Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Birds of Prey, Vol. 3: A Clash of Daggers by Duane Swierczynski, Romano Molenaar (Illustrations)

Release Date: December 24, 2013
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: Library Copy
Author Links: Website | Goodreads

The Birds of Prey lose one member but gain another, all while the team itself is pulled apart by personal demons and a traitor in their midsts. Plus, Mr. Freeze is out of Arkham Asylum and looking for revenge on the Court of Owls! His first target? The newest member of the Birds team, Strix!
Collects issues #13-17 and BATGIRL ANNUAL #1.

Starling pulled out a guy's eyeball in this thing!
No, she didn't stab him in the eye. She pulled his freaking eyeball out and turned it around so he could see himself!
Sorry. It was my favorite part of the book, and I felt it needed mentioning.
And by favorite, I mean just the Birds of Prey stuff. Naturally, the Batgirl Annual #1 that starts the story off is supah-awesome. But I'd already read that one in Batgirl...something or other.
So, I don't think it really counts, you know?

The action starts right off the bat when Katana's husband/sword get ninjas!
What's a half-crazy samurai girl to do when ninjas steal her man? She's going after them, of course!
Unfortunately, she and the rest of the Birds are still getting over the toxin they were exposed to from the last book.
Thank you, Poison Ivy!
Everyone tells her to wait until they get a little stronger, but she's not having it.
Out the door...Poof!
And what happens when you go trotting off without backup?
In Katana's case, she ends up in getting kidnapped (pretty quickly) by the same Death Cult Ninjas who took her sword. Evidently the leader has it out for Katana due to some unfortunate incident yet to be named.
All we know so far is that she DISHONORED the clan. And from everything I've read, that's a real sticking point with those Ninja-types.
Are the Birds gonna leave her out there on her own?
Hell no!
They come in guns a blazin', snatch her from the jaws of death, and scoot out the door! Sort of. Cause she ain't leaving without her sword. And who can blame her, really? So the ladies grab a random ninja that's lying around, in the hopes that they can get him to talk later.
This is the part with Starling and the eyeball!

Speaking of Starling, it appears that she has Amanda Waller on speed dial. I'm really interested in seeing where that part of the story takes us! Does it have something to do with the Suicide Squad, or is Starling just a spy for Waller? She does seem to genuinely care for her teammates, but I can't imagine that this is going to end well.

Batgirl's story from the beginning of the volume comes into play when she introduces the newest member of the team, Strix. Her actual name is Mary, and she was a Japanese WWII survivor recruited by the Owls when she was ten. Cryogenically frozen or whatever they did to their Talon assassins, she's about the same age as the other Birds on the team now. She's mute, but whether it's because she can't talk or won't talk isn't totally clear to me. At any rate, she's a wild card.

Condor also shows up, and eventually ends up on the team. Sorry, but his character doesn't interest me in the slightest. Is it sexist of me not to want a guy on the team? Probably.
But that's honestly not why I didn't like him being added to the roster. He just struck me as sort of a goober. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think he adds anything cool to the title.

Katana takes off for parts unknown at the end, in order to deal with some unfinished business.
Ninja business?
I'm really hoping that they haven't decided to boot her off, because I was just starting to warm up to that wacky chick.

Volume 3 is a step up from the last volume. Last time around, I wasn't really sure this title was going anywhere. It wasn't bad, but I wasn't crazy-impressed either.
This story? Much better. Where it goes from here...we'll have to see.
I can see the potential for it to crash and burn, especially with the seemingly endless rounds of rotating cast members. Then again, that may be what keeps the title fresh. Who knows?


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