New 52 Review – “Birds of Prey #1”

This title changes quite a bit in the relaunch. It’s still a group of female characters, but the roster and purpose have changed significantly.

General Information

Title: Birds of Prey #1

Author: Duane Swierczynski

Illustrator(s): Jesus Saiz (art) and Nei Ruffino (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Black Canary is recruiting. Barbara Gordon has turned her down, but Ev “Starling” Crawford has joined her cause, and Charlie Keen is a reporter who was tipped off to investigate who they are and what they’re doing.

High Point

There’s a bit of a spy feel to the book as far as the level of machinations are concerned, and I’m a sucker for spy books. Had DC launched a “Checkmate” series, I’d have been on the guaranteed buyer list.

Low Point

Once again, the team is under construction, so a good portion of the cover characters are nowhere to be seen.

The Scores

The first few pages feel more original than the last few. It looks at first like the connections to the previous incarnations were minimal, but the lines are soon pulled together a bit more. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is great. I’ve really enjoyed Jesus Saiz since I first saw his stuff on JMS’ “Brave and the Bold,” and he continues to deliver here. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story moves quickly and sets things up well. The scale of the threat is clear, even if the identity and purpose is a deliberate mystery at this point. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of the two present female leads is very clear, though the others aren’t as well defined. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was a bit of a let down. I was expecting, and hoping for, something more distinct than the previous incarnation(s) of the title. I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow is smooth. This is a very fast paced story, even with the flashbacks. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable title that I’m sure many will love, but it’s not my cup of tea. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Birds of Prey receives 30 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman