Sunday, May 6, 2012

Birds of Prey #6

Black Canary came up with a plan last issue to track down Choke. It wasn't a new plan but how was she supposed to remember that when they all had their minds wiped by Choke after they executed the plan? So they got information about the lair from a henchman. They went to the lair. They confronted Choke. Choke made them forget everything. Black Canary comes up with a plan to get information about the lair from a henchman! I wonder how many times Duane Swierczynski can run this plot loop before readers figure it out and stop reading!

Birds of Prey begins with Duane writing a really lame novel. But you know, he might as well since Javier Pina (the artist) and June Cheng (the colorist) aren't really trying. I'm not sure what is going on with this comic but it looks absolutely boring. I don't have the artistic sensibility to explain what is wrong with the art. I just know when I look at it, I lose interest in looking at it. But Duane's writing doesn't help. It's like he's still writing assignments for Creative Writing in Junior High.

Perhaps this sentence could work if what followed worked as well. Perhaps. I'm sure I've written more than my share of bullshit short stories that began somewhat like this.

Look at that art! Are you captivated? Did the hook in that first line pull you in? Are you full of dramatic tension, wondering what's going to happen to poor Brendan Bowman on the best day and worst day of his life?!

Yeah, play it cool. He's only been staring directly at her in both of the last two panels! Which probably means the whole time!

See? His phone is missing and he can't play it cool now! Why is his phone missing? Well you see the back of Ev standing next to him? She stole his phone! Right out of his inside breast pocket! That is a fucking amazing talent. But that's not the most amazing part! The amazing part is after she stole it, she knew he would be just about to pull it out! You know why she knew this? Because that blonde is Black Canary and OBVIOUSLY it's what guys do when they're being flirted with! They pull out their phone and act casual! Just another great comic book plan that works perfectly simply because a writer is behind it all.

Is this still part of his good day?

Now, as a loyal reader of Birds of Prey, you should be asking yourself one simple question and it isn't, "What do they want with this guy?" The question should be, "Why the fuck is Ev acting like nothing happened when last issue ended with her believing Black Canary set her up to nearly be shot to death by a bunch of Men in Black and she only barely escaped by diving into a river?" Perhaps it's just another one of those things that happens to these girls that they just brush off and never think about again.

Black Canary and Ev try to remain calm so they don't scare Brendan. Really calm. So fucking calm. Like stone. No, no. Calmer! Like that proverbial moment before the storm! Made of stone!

See? Like Vulcans!

Black Canary and Ev let him run away. He goes back to his office without his phone and updates his Facebook about the mugging. Then someone he doesn't know sends him a message: "A diller, a dollar, a ten o'clock scholar." And then he wakes up 40 minutes later naked and being choked by Katana.

Hey, I wouldn't mind waking up to that!

It's all part of the plan!

Brendan knocks the syringe out of Katana's hand. The guy starts repeating his nursery rhyme and not making any sense. But once they inject him with the modified epilepsy drug, he's back to normal and the Birds begin calling him Brendan Hill instead of Brendan Bowman. Their entire plan was to get his handlers to deploy him with the nursery rhyme. To do that, they had to steal his phone because they knew he would update his Social Network which would alert his handlers that the Birds are after him and they'd deploy him. Another fucking convoluted plan that just happens to work out! Nobody thinks of plans like this that rely so much on the free will of a non-participant. Oh well. That's why Birds of Prey is at the bottom of the rankings. Because it pulls Grifter shit like this!

The Birds have done this to five other mind-control victims. And Ev explains what happened at the end of last issue. Sort of. At least someone is somewhat dealing with something! A little bit!

See? She figured out what was going on in-between issues!

The Birds decide to send Brendan back into work and see if they can infiltrate Choke with a non-programmed henchman or at least get him to make another move since the Birds are at a dead end. Brendan goes back to work and all of his co-workers start spouting rhymes and coming after him with guns. I imagine Choke knew he was compromised when he was activated and never completed his mission.

Then the co-workers start chanting and asking a question, one word per person. "Black Canary, how much do you trust your team?"

Did you? What? Where? Did I miss something?

The panel before this, Katana pulls her blade and poses in an action shot. Did the rhyme set her off? Is she supposedly Choke? Or is she just getting ready to fight the mind-controlled office workers? Who the fuck can tell? This comic is awful.

Birds of Prey Issue #6 Rating: -2 Rankings. This comic was terrible and awful and poorly drawn and poorly written and confusing. The Birds still don't know what happened to their missing time and I believe they just don't care. I doubt when the story is over it will be discussed. I can't believe last issue ended with Ev diving into the river escaping people trying to kill her and then the conclusion of that is a two panel flashback in this issue where everything is okay and Ev will just be more careful later. It's too bad. These should be powerful women each with a great individual story to tell. The potential is just being wasted. No, the potential is being shat upon.

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