Friday, March 29, 2013

Birds of Prey #18

No more Turds of Prey! That was Duane Swierczynski's mark of shame. Christy Marx needs to earn a Shame Title on her own!

Last issue didn't matter because the one constant in Duane Swierczynski's writing was that nothing that happened ever affected anything else. That being said, I hope Christy Marx clears up what happened to Poison Ivy!

I read somebody's thoughts on Christy Marx's version of Birds of Prey and she said, "I just finished reading Christy Marx’s first issue of Birds of Prey, and you know what? I barely noticed a difference." That's a fucking insult if I ever read one! It also has me worried! I sure hope Christy Marx doesn't treat the Birds the way Duane was treating them! I think she meant that Christy is going to run with the story and history that Duane put down. That's fine. That's actually a good-writer thing to do. And since Amethyst in Sword of Sorcery has been a lot of fun, I'm really looking forward to this change in writers.

I'd say it can't get any worse but DC has burned me before!

The issue begins with Mr. Freeze torturing a well mustachioed Talon. He's not limping or anything, so this story must take place before Batwoman. When the Talon won't tell Mr. Freeze what he wants to know, Mister Freeze has his unknown partner dispose of him however he'd like. The unknown person would like to put a couple of barrels of buckshot in the Talon's head. Oh, which he does! Just in case that wasn't totally clear.

So Mr. Freeze is actually cleaning up some of these Talons and Batwoman goes and fucks with him when he wasn't actually doing anything else? Plus he helped fight against Medusa (or so he claims!). Plus he helped fight against The Rotten Justice League in Rotworld! Doesn't that count for anything? But that's all over. Now Mr. Freeze is going to go after Strix for answers. And that will cause trouble which might give Batwoman a good reason to have gone after him, even if Batwoman doesn't know that that reason exists.

The first scene with the Birds of Prey feels right. This book might be on the right track! Even the Narration Boxes act as Thought Bubbles instead of weird out-of-time commentary!

Why does Batgirl have that chin thing?! That isn't normal, is it? Get rid of it! It's ugly! Is she slowly stealing Midnighter's look?

Things slowly get worse. But mostly due to the art, I think. Strix throws Condor into a mirror during a sparring match. The art shows Condor fifteen feet away from the mirror according to his reflection when he's actually only about three feet away from it. Then Black Canary lectures Strix for being out of control which pisses off Strix and they tussle. The punching bag that ends up spilling sand all over the gym is shown all over the place and at crazy heights in every shot. Maybe the artists are still drawing to Duane's world where no panels relate to any other panels. And then Batgirl still wishes Strix can talk to them even though Strix can write. Get her an iPad already!

Instead Strix has to write "hungry" on the wall with a piece of her own shit.

Condor offers to cook omellettes for everyone. Yay! Condor has found his place in the group as the chef and caretaker of the Birds of Prey secret headquarters! I would really love that. I don't actually like him being on the team. But as the Chef/Butler/Maid/Manservant/Security of the team? Perfect fit!

Afterward, Starling gets angry at Black Canary and storms out. Oh, she'll be back! Amanda Waller isn't going to let her go that easily.

Black Canary also takes off so that she doesn't have to deal with anybody. I'm beginning to wonder why she started this team in the first place? She doesn't get along with anybody! At least not for more than a few pages. Dinah ends up in a coffee shop where she meets an elderly woman who mentions that she used to order her coffee in this place during Prohibition when they'd sneak hooch into her drink. My first thought was, "What the fuck? Is she a hundred years old?" Turns out she's ninety-nine years old! I hope she's the newest member of the Birds of Prey! And luckily she's a black woman because Dinah Lance needs some advice!

There's nobody wiser than a really elderly black woman! Except maybe a blind elderly black woman! I'm pretty sure the reason Luke didn't recognize Yoda on Dagobah was because he was expecting an old gray haired black woman in a rocking chair sipping her tea.

After Dinah's lesson in inner peace and tranquility, she returns to the Birds of Prey Secret Headquarters. Everybody is there, even Starling, because they all got texts from Black Canary to meet back at Headquarters. But Black Canary didn't send a text! And then it becomes apparent that I was entirely mistaken when I've been calling the headquarters secret!

Black Canary and Strix seem to be getting along just fine now.

Mr. Freeze obviously wants the Talon. Silly rabbit! Strix are for kids! I told you I'd eventually say that! But the warning was a long time ago, so you probably weren't adequately prepared for the awfulness of it. I'll give you a moment to recover before we get back to the story.


Okay then! Starling also has some really horrible jokes to share as well!

You've got to admire her horrible joke ability! Mr. Freeze interrupts her first crack and she doesn't miss a beat thinking up another!

Mr. Freeze must not know anything about Starling or he wouldn't have wasted his time attacking her first. Her bullets weren't going to hit anything except the wall behind him anyway. Black Canary gets frozen next because she has the ability to scream her way out of the ice. You know, if she was encased with some air in her lungs. Oh man. If she just got finished breathing out, she's fucked! But Condor is on it! He's done sweeping up and mopping, so now he can do some security! He uses his telekinesis to smash the punching bag (the one piece of gym equipment Black Canary can apparently afford) into Mr. Freeze's head.

What is wrong with these heroes?! They do see that he has a helmet on, right? Do they just assume it's easy break glass? As if he would wear something on his head that would shatter from anything less than Batman's fist? Amateurs! In this book and Batwoman!

Mr. Freeze sprays his misty load all over the room and then escapes with Starling since she was the only Bird unable to defend herself. But he sends the Birds a text message on Starling's cell phone she left behind, demanding they meet him later and to bring the Talon. I have a feeling he needs some information on resurrection to help his wife Nora.

Birds of Prey #18 Rating: +1 Ranking. This comic deserves a boost simply because Duane is gone. But I don't care about that shit. Let's talk about super heroes and their cell phones! Do they all have two cell phones? One for the secret identity and one for the super hero? In one Superman issue, Superman answered Clark Kent's phone while in Smallville when he was supposed to be in Metropolis. Isn't that careless? And how else do super heroes get in contact with each other? Where do they leave their super hero cell phones when they're in their secret identity. That can't keep it on them or anywhere near their real home, right? Can't people trace those things or track their GPS? I liked my Super Hero Universe better before cell phones!

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