Saturday, April 18, 2020

Batgirl and The Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 (2016) Review

Getting The Band Back Together

Written By: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson
Art By: Claire Roe, Allen Passalaqua, Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 20, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It's really weird going into this title when the Batgirl book hasn't even come out yet because as you find out when you open this book, this takes place after Barbara's entire adventure in China.  I haven't looked at the solicits or heard anything about how long that story arc will go on, but from what we find out just from this comic existing....... I'm guessing it went pretty well because our Batgirl is back in old her stomping ground with her batteries recharged and looking for a good time........... or a bad time....... whatever kind of time you'd consider crime fighting to be.  So yeah, let's jump into this issue and see how Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress all get together and decide to work as a team to take down the scum of........... well, wherever this book wants to go actually.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins how I'd expect all of us wanted it to, with Batgirl kicking a little ass now that she's back in town, but sadly I don't think this has the impact that it should because it hasn't been that long for us since we've seen Barbara doing her thing, but since we have an editor's note telling us that this takes place after the Batgirl series, when she was out and about, training and whatnot, you'd think that this should have been a bigger deal.....  Oh well.  Timelines aside, Batgirl takes down a bunch of would be robbers and finds out that the person who sent them on this after hours bank job is none other than Oracle.......... which immediately sends Batgirl in a tizzy because someone is rocking her old moniker and using it for evil.

Our story then turns into a basic history of Batgirl, which includes the Killing Joke, which I'm sure will piss off a whole bunch of people because it's the internet and really, it doesn't take much to piss people off, but it serves a purpose here since this story is all about someone taking the Oracle name and using it for harm and as we all know, without the Killing Joke, there's no Oracle and with no Oracle........ we don't have the strongest point in Barbara Gordon's life....... Take that Killing Joke naysayers........ I'm getting off point here.  Once we have Barbara's backstory up to the point where she's shot by the Joker, we then move into Oracle territory with her teaming up with Black Canary and forming the Birds of Prey and while this Rebirth issue makes it seem like the team only ever consisted of these two characters........ it's the Birds of Prey and diving into that rabbit hole to get the whole backstory would be ridiculous....... Except for Strix that is, she was awesome and I hope she turns up again at some point in the future, but besides her, the rest of the history doesn't really matter since we're primarily dealing with Barbara and Dinah.  Once we're all caught up, we see Batgirl get in contact with Black Canary and once she reveals why, Dinah is all about helping her friend get to the bottom of this identity theft and put a stop to it.

In the end, we find out that one of their leads is actually on Helena Bertinelli's hit list since we find out in this issue that in her new Huntress persona, the former Matron is now taking out all the Mafia hit men that destroyed her family and since our Birds aren't about killing folks, they stop their interrogation in order to put an end to Helena's killing spree........ which allows the man to get away and since Huntress is pissed off beyond belief about this, she starts calling our heroes out by their actual names.......... you know, since Spiral had that list of superhero identities going on....... and that's where we leave our heroes, with them being goddamn clueless about how this mystery woman knows who they are and worse than that, it seems that this new Oracle knows just as much as Helena does.

That's it for our Rebirth issue of Batgirl and The Birds of Prey and even though I wasn't the biggest fan of Batgirl of Burnside or Black Canary's foray into the world of rock and roll, I have to tell you that I was really looking forward to this book getting those two characters back to basics and with this initial story, I have to say that it did just that.  We've got a really interesting story that hits close to home for Batgirl and while there are similarities between this and the first arc of Batgirl of Burnside, this feels more intriguing....... and that just might be because I already know the outcome of that other story, but still I'll go with it.  Really though, this feels like a return to form and the essence of what Rebirth is all about and I can't wait to explore this title more in the upcoming weeks.  As for the art, this issue feels like an amalgam of both Batgirl and Black Canary's previous titles, but it's more like an evolution of those two styles that works great in this and actually makes me appreciate the work that went into this issue in finding that happy medium, while making it something all its own.  I'm very pleased with this opening Rebirth issue and the only things I would have liked is maybe a little more background on Helena and even though it would be crazy to present it here...... more background on the different Birds of Prey teams since their incarnation in this timeline.

Bits and Pieces:

Batgirl and The Birds of Prey comes out swinging in this Rebirth issue by catching new readers up to speed about our heroes and their working relationship, while creating a threat that is so close to home that the only resolution is getting the band back together to deal with it.  The art works great depicting these characters, who are fresh out of their own titles, which had unique art styles and this issue does them both justice in creating a similar style, while making this their own.  I really look forward to continuing Birds of Prey and I think everyone should give it a shot.



  1. I almost didn't pick this issue up because I didn't enjoy the last run of Batgirl at all. Maybe because I had such low expectations, but I really enjoyed this book and will probably add it to my subscription.

    1. I haven't enjoyed Batgirl since Gail Simone's run and I wasn't a fan of Black Canary's book, but I really looked forward to this book because of the back to basics/legacy feel of Rebirth and so far it hasn't let me down.

    2. I liked it even more than Eric...I took over Batgirl from Eric and liked it enough, but this is already better in my opinion. Plus, I love Oracle and Killing Joke is back on the table...don't hate me Internet!

    3. We only love you Jim...that's love you.... :) LOL

    4. On a serious note, I'm with you Eric...I wouldn't use the Batgirl run after Simone to wipe my ass..why? cause it's all ready full of shit. I fucking HATED Babs Tarr's art and the writing was bullshit...ok, rant over. I was a little worried about the art in this when I first opened up the book, but it got much better after the first 2 pages (too much like Tarr's art at first). I'm glad, as Jim said, that Oracle and the Killing Joke is FINALLY acknowledged again and loved this issue. Compared to the last year of Batgirls last series, this was a fucking 100000 out of 10 :)

  2. I'm honestly surprised Eric enjoyed this book as much as he did considering the continuity doesn't line up with the new 52 concerning the birds of prey and the fact that Oracle didn't exist in Batgirl except for as a computer program
    That being said the book was a lot better than I previously expected I got it originally for my fiance because she enjoys the birds of but I ended up enjoying it as well