Birds of Prey #4: Writer: Gail Simone. Pencils: Ed Benes & Adriana Melo.
Review: This story is told from three different areas, so to keep things somewhat straight, I'll go story by story. First up is Oracle. Oracle was captured by Creote and Savant and brought to a high bridge in Gotham City, where Savant reveals that he had been captured by the Calculator's goons a while back, and tortured. With Savant's mental disability(he has difficulty processing time), the torture(which occurred two years ago)seems as if it took place yesterday and every other day that Savant lives. As such, Savant has been reliving his torture every minute of every day, and since he feels Oracle is responsible, he wants her to suffer as he did. It's then that Savant reveals that he didn't bring Oracle to the bridge to kill her, but to kill himself, knowing Oracle would forever feel guilty for her failure with him. With that, Savant hops off the bridge, but is saved at the last second by Oracle, who manages to lunge out of her chair in time to grab Savant's arm. Unfortunately for Oracle, she has no leverage to pull Savant back up, so she begs Creote to help her, but Creote doesn't want to since he had promised Savant he would let him go through with his suicidal wishes. Savant begins to slip, and Oracle continues to beg Creote for help, and at the last possible second, Creote reaches down and pulls Savant back up, saving him from the abyss. Savant is upset that Creote disobeyed his wishes and demands to know why, so Oracle tells Savant what everybody else could see, that Creote was in love with Savant. Next up we head to Huntress, Dove, Lady Blackhawk, the injured Hawk, and the injured Penguin. While trying to ferret Penguin to safety, he suddenly turns on them and stabs Lady Blackhawk through the chest with his umbrella, revealing that he was in cahoots with White Canary and Savant from the beginning. When asked why, Penguin explains that he was to separate the Birds so White Canary could get Black Canary alone, and Savant could capture Oracle. In payment for his help, Penguin was promised Savant's files, which had massive amounts of information on several heroes and villains, and for somebody like Penguin, that information is worth more then almost anything else. Penguin keeps his blade to Lady Blackhawk's neck, so none of the other Birds would make a move on him, but Huntress begins to distract Penguin by telling him that his partners were going to betray him, which shakes Penguin's resolve just long enough for Dove to blindside him and knock him out cold. And finally the main event, Black Canary vs White Canary. The two women fight and after a while Black Canary reveals that she had figured out the identity of White Canary, the sister of the Twelve Brothers in Silk. Who? The Twelve Brothers in Silk were a bunch of master martial artists who were humiliated by BC back in the original Birds of Prey series. White Canary killed all of her brothers to save her father from the shame of their loss to BC. And with that, the two women fight for the better part of this comic, with White Canary eventually gaining the upper hand on BC. With BC down and nearly out, White Canary takes that opportunity to taunt BC, telling her that next she was going to systematically hunt down and kill everybody that BC was close to, from Roy Harper, to Ollie Queen, to her daughter, Sin. With that, BC gets up and in one final flurry knocks White Canary out of a window, crashing on top of her into the street and finally taking the fight out of White Canary. BC cuffs White Canary and demands to know if she was behind the murder of the man BC was accused of killing in Reykjavik. This issue ends with White Canary telling BC that it was Lady Shiva(!)who killed the man, and that if she let her out of the cuffs, they could both go after Shiva to kill her.
What I Thought: Damn was that a long review! I'm going to have to shortchange my Red Robin review now... Anyway, this issue was pretty good, although I'd say it wasn't as spectacular as the first 3 issues of this series. I liked seeing Penguin punched in the face, so the Penguin parts were good, but parts with Oracle left me with mixed emotions... Don't get me wrong, I like Creote and Savant. A lot actually. But I did find it kind of hard to feel overly sympathetic for Savant in this issue. Not all that long ago, he really tortured BC in the old Birds series, so the fact that he was tortured by Calculator's goons seems almost like poetic justice. So I did have some difficulty finding sympathy for Savant. I did feel bad for Creote, who had promised Savant that he wouldn't stop him from killing himself, even though he was obviously in love with Savant, and of course I felt bad for Oracle, who only wanted to reform Savant, and never expected things to go so wrong. I have to say, the White Canary reveal was a pretty big disappointment. I can hardly even remember the Silk Brothers storyline(I know Wildcat was involved), so the fact that White Canary was connected to that was a bit of a letdown. For the past three issues, me(and my fellow awesome Birds fans)have been speculating on the identity of White Canary, and I'd have to say that almost anything would have been better then the reveal that we got here. With that all said, I DID enjoy this comic, I just can't help but think it could have been better.
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.And with that one act, Dove moved up several spots on my favorite characters list.