Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Birds Of Prey #4 Review

     
       

Written by: Kelly Thompson
Art by: Leonardo Romero
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: Leonardo Bellaire, Jordie Bellaire
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: December 5, 2023

Birds Of Prey #4 joins the battle as the Birds Of Prey fight through Themyscira's best Amazonian warriors to get Sin off the island. It doesn't turn out well.
Is Birds Of Prey #4 Good?

I'm trying. I'm really trying with this series, but Kelly Thompson is making it very difficult because Birds Of Prey #4 falls short on so many basics of storytelling. I can't recall a comic series relying this much on events that happened in the past or off-panel while executing a plot that makes itself irrelevant by issue #4. Oy!

When last we left the Bird Of Prey, Dinah's team made it to Sin without setting off any alarms. Barda and Cass encountered a supernatural entity named Megaera, who stole Barda's Mega-Rod. And Ollie briefly held his own(???) against Wonder Woman to buy the team time once alarms started.


Now, the team (including Harley?) fights their way through Amazonian guards well enough to give hope that escape is possible, but Wonder Woman shows up to stop everyone's antics. Barda faces off with Wonder Woman directly, seemingly trying to kill the hero, but Barda is forced to explain why the BoP invaded the island. Eventually, the BoP is captured and imprisoned in Themyscira's version of a jail cell.




Later, Wonder Woman keeps Sin by her side and discusses the threat with Philippus. They both conclude that Penelope is somehow at the heart of the problem, leading to a confrontation, a battle that ends poorly for Wonder Woman, and a showdown.

"Sounds good. Why so picky, Mr. Grumpy Reviewer Guy?" you might wonder. I'm picky because key plot points unfold off-panel, the plot progression makes little sense, and the last act of this issue almost entirely invalidates the first three issues. Let me explain.

Sin's arrival on Themyscira, Penelope's possession by Megaera, and how the twain meet are mentioned in passing, but you never see it, you have no context as to why Penelope brings Sin to Themyscira, and you never see how or why Megaera wants Sin. The inciting incident that makes this mini-series possible is never shown, isn't referenced by the Editor's Notes to other comics, and isn't explained with any context in this issue.




Next, the fight between the BoP, the Amazons, and Wonder Woman is ridiculous. Zealot is ordered not to kill anyone, but she slices and dices her way through a crowd in a way that should be lethal but is hand-waved away as "non-lethal" slicing and dicing. In Barda's fight with Wonder Woman, Barda is either trying to kill or permanently maim Wonder Woman with the moves she uses. You don't pull a Bane/Batman backbreaker, expecting the outcome will just sting a little. Also, Harley Quinn holding her own in a brawl against trained Amazonian fighters is still nonsense.

Last and the biggest fumble, the entire story shifts because Wonder Woman uses her lasso to force Barda to explain why they're on the island, which leads to an investigation and the eventual confrontation against Megaera. In other words, if Dinah had approached Wonder Woman from the beginning and asked for help, submitting to the lasso for verification, she would have saved a lot of time and prevented a lot of injuries. In other words, Dinah's entire plan to assemble a team and invade Themyscira was a boneheaded waste of time.

I don't know if DC didn't think this story through when they approved it, but the writing execution is just downright poor.

How's the art? Romero's character designs are fine-ish, but the non-action scenes are dull, and Jordie Bellaire's garish color choices are visually unpleasant.


About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

Birds Of Prey #4 is a severe miss in an already troubled mini-series. At its core, the plot is flawed. Too many developments happen off-panel, the creative choices frequently don't make sense, and Wonder Woman's big revelation makes the first three issues pointless. This is an amateur effort from creators who should know better.


3/10

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