Sunday, December 7, 2008

Birds of Prey #124

Overall- I like this comic. I have for a while, but alot of this issue seemed pretty rushed or something to me. The issue starts with the Calculator betraying the Birds(I can't say that was a huge shock!), and bringing the whole Platinum Flats Syndicate after them(except for the Joker, but I'll get to him in short order). Platinum Flat member Kilg%re transforms into the Birds airplane, and the Flats members attack en mass. Luckily for the Birds, Oracle had planned for a betrayal from Calculator and had Manhunter, Black Canary, Speedy and Green Arrow on hand just in case. With the arrival of the other heroes, the Flats members retreat, but not before seemingly killing Calculator for failing to bring them Oracle.

Meanwhile, back at Oracle's headquarters, the Joker arrives, realizing that he was face to face with Barbara last issue, without even realizing it at the time. Babs confronts the Joker, and he tosses a knife at her face, which Babs blocks with one of her fighting sticks. Joker's retort to this is pretty funny, as he watches Babs block the knife and asks, "What, is everybody a Kung Fu whiz now?". Since throwing his knife didn't work, Joker pulls a gun and fires a few bullets at Babs. Babs manages to dodge the bullets(in a wheelchair!)which really pisses off Joker. Joker walks up to Babs figuring that she won't be able to dodge a point blank shot. Before Joker can fire though, Babs smashes his gun with one of her sticks, breaking it. Joker responds by pistol whipping Babs, but gets too close, allowing Babs to absolutely wallop Joker straight in the mouth with one of her sticks. Joker recoils and falls, looking at a mirror in horror to see his teeth have been knocked in and his smile ruined. This causes Joker to fly into a rage, kicking Babs out of her chair before brutalizing her with anything he could get his hands on. Joker then puts Babs back in her chair and kicks her down a flight of stairs. Before he can do anything else though, Misfit teleports in and Joker tells her he had killed Babs. He then walks away holding his bloody mouth while Misfit stands by the stairs with her fists clenched... Huh? OOOOOK...

Back with the Platinum Flats Syndicate, we discover that Calculator wasn't really killed, and the gang offers him a spot on their Syndicate, to which Calculator gladly accepts. The Syndicate then decides that they have to eliminate Oracle once and for all, before more heroes arrive in their city, which would ruin their dirty business dealings.

The issue concludes "a few days later", with us discovering that Babs was not dead, and was back at her headquarters, banged up, but ultimately unharmed. Joker apparently left town after having his smile repaired by a plastic surgeon who he promptly kills. Babs decides that it was time to put an end to the Platinum Flats Syndicate, and tells the Birds that she would strike the next blow against the Syndicate with a very small team, namely herself and Black Canary.

I'm guessing that the action in this comic was as rushed as it was due to the impending cancellation on this comic. I'm still hopeful that even though this comic is getting cancelled, DC has sense enough to re-start this series from #1 in a few months, because these characters deserve a comic book for their exploits.

The end of the fight between Babs and Joker seemed especially strange, considering Misfit allowed the Joker to just walk away. I understand that she wanted to look after Babs, but couldn't Misfit have just ported Babs to a hospital and then returned to stall the Joker until the rest of the Birds arrived? The panel with Joker just walking away after kicking Babs down the stairs while Misfit just stood idly by was just really bizarre to me. I mean it's the f###ing Joker! He's one of the most evil, ruthless, murderous villains in all of comic books! How do you just allow him to stroll away???

Besides that, one moment the Calculator was vaporized, and then the next he was fine. The Syndicate didn't want Calculator to join their group, and then they decides they wanted him aboard. Even the Birds themselves were only kind of just there. Nobody besides Oracle really said much, so basically there were a lot of heroes just standing around or fighting, while nobody really had much to say. Even after saying I didn't like the rushed feel of this book, I did enjoy the story for the most part(if that makes any sense). The fight between Babs and Joker was pretty well done, and the pure hatred the two felt towards each other was palpable. Babs truly HATES the Joker, and his feelings are mutual. Their battle was as ugly as their feelings towards each other, and artist Claude St. Aubin really got that hatred across very well. For me, the fight between Babs and Joker made this book well worth a read, even though the way Joker leaves was pretty weak... For a score, I'll go with an 8 out of 10. Like I said, the stuff between the Birds and the Syndicate was pretty forgettable, but Babs knocking Joker's teeth out and thinking about how much she enjoyed hurting Joker really made me like this book.

No comments:

Post a Comment