Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Batgirl and The Birds of Prey #5 Review and *SPOILERS*

Fan Boy

Written By: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson
Art By: Roge Antonio, Allen Passalaqua, Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 14, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey has had kind of a slow start in my opinion and some of that might just be me being all spoiled with bi-monthly titles and this having the disadvantage of coming out monthly, but mostly I feel that it's been too jokey and the characters haven't really been acting like they should be.  I mean, we have some serious shit going down in this title, with people dying and our heroes seem like they spend most of every issue arguing with one another, then joking, crashing through windows and then simply letting the bad guys escape.  Not to mention that we've got like three stories going on here with Fenice trying to take down mob bosses in Gotham, a new Oracle working as an information broker for Fenice and ruining Batgirl's former persona in the process and for some reason two realtors, who keep trying to break into Barbara's new Watchtower.  It's a lot to take in, plus adding Huntress to the team and trying to get her to have a totally new personality is leaving us with not a lot going on each and every issue.  Hopefully that changes here though when we finally get to see who's behind the monitors and have Batgirl confront the person who stole her former identity.  Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with our Birds of Prey team inside the lair of Oracle, who's decked the place out with all sorts of odds and ends from Batgirl's career as a superhero and when we finally see who's been the major pain in our team's asses............. we find out that it's nobody that we know.  It's just some dude named Gus Yale, who became obsessed with Oracle when Barbara was still rocking the name and asked him as a young man to help her with some information about some Russian plans.  It was this simple thing that Barbara used to do with a lot of hackers that got Gus all driven to find out who Oracle really was and after a bit of detective work and really........ just simple putting two and two together, what with Barbara Gordon getting back surgery and then Batgirl showing back up in Gotham that got him to realize that his idol was all of these people and once he discovered Oracle's former IP address, he figured that he'd jump into the role as a way to call his hero out and hopefully join her crew.  

Yeah, Gus might not have gone about things the right way, what with him working for Fenice and getting people killed, but he maintains that everything that he did was all to help the Birds of Prey out and after Batgirl discovers that a large portion of the money he made from Fenice went to charitable organizations, she seems to be on the Gus trolley as well........... Who might start going as Vulture if he's allowed to join the team because for one, Black Canary called him that in disgust and for two and the real reason he'd probably go with it.......... It just sounds like a cool name for a member of the Birds of Prey.  

In the end, after Batgirl goes and has herself a moment of clarity about who she is, Barbara Gordon, Oracle or Batgirl, she realizes that she's all three and decides that she's going to hang back with Gus, while she sends Black Canary and Huntress to a new location that Fenice has showed up at so that our heroes can finally take her down and end her killing spree.  Too bad that when Huntress has the shot to take her down........... or at least wound her so that she can't get away, Helena doesn't take the shot because she realizes that her foe has actually been her mother, who she believed to be dead since she was a child.  

That's it for this issue of Batgirl and The Birds of Prey and while I haven't really enjoyed this series so far, I have to say that I found myself having fun with this issue.  I like the fact that the person who ended up being the Faux-Oracle is someone we've never seen before and ended up simply being a fanboy because we get to see how much Barbara Gordon as a hero between her time as Oracle and Batgirl has meant to people and it even gives her a moment to shine in a time where Batgirl hasn't really been all that effective and for the most part, hasn't really felt like Batgirl.  Yeah, her fanboy is an accessory to murder at this point, but I'll take the wins where I can get them and I just like that Barbara is getting the legacy of Oracle back in her life since that's what her Rebirth in my mind should be all about.  I dug the art in this book and I loved all the inside jokes that were throughout this issue about the difference between fans and trolls and how Batman can be in so many places if it's just one guy.  The dialog, while a little too jokey at times was fun and felt like a conversation I've had with a bunch of people throughout the years at different comic shops.  

Bits and Pieces:

While I'm still struggling to enjoy this series, I have to say that this issue was a breath of fresh air with its inside meta jokes and also because it answered one of the many questions that we've had with this jam packed first arc.  The art looked great and I find myself for the first time looking forward to what the next issue will bring.


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