Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Birds of Prey #14 (Feb 2000)

Previously in Birds of Prey...

Birds of Prey #14: "Apokolips Express Part 2" is written by Chuck Dixon with pencils by Greg Land and Patrick Zircher, inks by Drew Geraci, and colors by Gloria Vasquez.  The cover was done by Land and Brian Stelfreeze.

Black Canary and Catwoman are trapped on Apokolips with the mutated miniature Parademon who brought them there.  The Parademon, Pharzoof, starts recounting his origin and motives for kidnapping the ladies and a U.S. Marshal transport train full of G-list super-villains.  Dinah, however, really doesn't care about Pharzoof's origin and motives.  She hates him and she wants him to boom-tube them back to Earth.

Elsewhere on the planet, Marshal Dina--not to be confused with Dinah--leads her outnumbered and outgunned squadron in a desperate defense against thousands of Parademon warriors.  To balance the scales, she unleashes the train's five prisoners, which includes a clone of Guy Gardner and some other assholes.

The marshals we don't know and the villains we don't care about spend five or six pages fighting Parademons because Chuck Dixon and Greg Land still haven't gotten the hang of depicting character moments in this series.  Meanwhile, Black Canary and Catwoman sneak through the slave-operated diamond mine to find a motherbox.

Leaving Catwoman to her selfish devices, Black Canary and Pharzoof sneak into the armory of Granny Goodness' Female Furies.  It doesn't take long for the little monster to uncover a working motherbox, but before Black Canary can escape, one of the Female Furies attacks.

Back on Earth, Oracle sent Power Girl to the site of the marshals' train disappearance.  Power Girl hears from the agent-in-charge that the radiation readings around the train tracks suggest the train and its occupants were boom-tubed to Apokolips.

As the hordes of Parademons threaten to overwhelm the marshals, Dina leads her men in one final counter-surge with a rousing speech comparing them to other valiant defenders who all died horribly.

Black Canary fights Lashina for a little while.  Then Catwoman returns and jumps the Fury.  She tells Dinah to get away with Pharzoof and the motherbox.

Black Canary miraculously returns to the scene of the marshals' last stand and creates a boom-tube.  Black Canary, Catwoman, the surviving marshals, and the super-villains all escape, leaving Pharzoof back on Apokolips to be dealt with by Parademons and Female Furies.

On Earth, the villains are taken back into custody.  Black Canary reunites with Oracle via audio communication, and Catwoman slips away to burgle another day.

Thus concludes the most underwhelming story involving the Apokolips and the New Gods... until every story involving Apokolips and the New Gods published between the mid-2000s to present day. Once again, Chuck Dixon fails to capture real human character moments or progress the characters in any meaningful way, because Oracle is nothing more than a cameo in this two-parter, and Black Canary takes a backseat to Catwoman, a bunch of federal agents dressed like stormtroopers, and some lame-ass villains that aren't even worthy of the likes of Invisible Destroyer and Signalman.

This is the last issue to feature Greg Land and Drew Geraci for quite a while.  That's good.  It pleases me, and that's all I'll say.

Come back next Tuesday for a review of Birds of Prey #15.

1 comment:

  1. I am a big fan of the Fourth World and the Female Furies. But this didn't entice me to go out and find this issue.

    I can't wait til we get to the Phil Noto covers (beautiful) and eventually Gail Simone.