Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BIRDS OF PREY #7 (New 52)


I'm not even going to pretend like I care about what's happened in the first six issues.  This opening story arc has been horrible and simultaneously over-complicated and under-developed.  The characters act and sound like stupid imitations of people.  But at least this issue is supposed to be the climax of the story arc.

Birds of Prey #7: "Brain Damage" is written by Duane Swierczynski, with art by Jesus Saiz and colors by June Chung.  Saiz also provides a pretty good cover for the book.

New 52 Batgirl has nipples on her forearms.
This issue picks up where the last issue ended: Black Canary, Katana, and Poison Ivy are fighting a whole bunch of office workers who have been brainwashed by the mysterious mind-controller known as Choke.  Meanwhile, down in the basement, Batgirl, Starling, and Dr. Trevor Cahill are monitoring the situation.  Dinah understands that aside from being investment brokers, these people are mostly innocent.  They're not in control of their minds or bodies, so the Birds need to show restraint when subduing them.

Hmm… I wonder if the crazy, super villain Poison Ivy is going to have a problem with not killing her attackers…

So Black Canary and Poison Ivy fight, which is usually what heroes and villains do, so this is a surprise only to Dinah.  Why she ever thought Poison Ivy would make a good fit for her team is a mystery that only the writer (or more likely the editor) will ever know.

Poison Ivy gets the upper hand in their fight.  Dinah is saved, though, when Choke orders one of his zombies to target Ivy, presumably to save Dinah.

Down in the basement, Starling reveals that Cahill is Choke because she caught him using his iPad to send messages to his mindless drones.  Somebody here is mind-achingly stupid.  I don't know if it's the bad guy or the ersatz good guys or the storytellers, but somebody's stupid.

They know that Choke specializes in brainwashing and that the cue can be something as simple as a word or phrase.  Why didn't anybody prepare for that?!!

So Batgirl has to fight off Starling, which gives Cahill time to bolt.  Upstairs, Black Canary uses her sonic scream to incapacitate everyone, including her allies.  She then joins Batgirl in the hunt for Cahill.  They track him down in the alleyway where Batgirl finally uses those brains she's famous for.

Batgirl shuts him up before he can literally talk his way out of captivity.  This action is so decisive and so rational that I'm pretty sure Gail Simone wrote these panels without credit.

Dinah tells Batgirl that she had suspected Cahill was Choke for some time based on absurdly flimsy evidence, and chose to endanger many more lives in an effort to smoke him out.  Then the dumbest thing in a long history of dumb things in this series happens.

Ev is the only one Dinah trusts?  WHY?!!  Also, Batgirl has a gunshot wound in her arm.  And Dinah knows--from first hand experience--that Choke can manipulate and brainwash people!  And Choke has ALREADY gotten in Starling's head, sending her into an ambush just last issue!  Why, Dinah?  Why is it so difficult to believe she's been mind-controlled again?

(I now want to bunch this comic book in the face.)

The Birds sans Batgirl take Cahill to their hideout… in the sewer… to get answers.  Wait, what are the questions you need answered?  Cahill mentions sort of off-handedly that Dinah killed her husband, which seems to surprise Katana and Starling.

Forgetting for the moment how dumb she looks by saying she knows everything about him and then immediately asking a question about his motives, Dinah is shocked for the umpteenth time when the bad guy--who specializes in mind control--using voice commands--compromises both Poison Ivy and Starling by speaking.

Poison Ivy's own biology is attacking her and Starling starts trying to shoot her allies almost exactly like Batgirl said had happened.  Dinah has just enough time to look like a moron before--

Pictured above: Katana's application for membership in the Justice League of America.
Katana says that her husband, whose spirit inhabits her Soultaker, can now interrogate Cahill and get the answers they seek.  Dinah reprimands Katana for murdering their prisoner and for how silly her strategy sounds.

Then the next dumbest thing in a long history of dumb things in this series happens.

Starling, you've already been manipulated by Choke before!  Remember when you went to the wrong rendezvous spot!  I hate everyone and everything about this book!

So Black Canary goes to Cahill's apartment to trash his place and bust his TV.  Then Batgirl shows up, because, you know, whatever.

Wait, Cahill wasn't Choke?!!  You mean this story isn't over yet?!!

The Characters

Poison Ivy and Katana both kill people in this issue.  Starling tries to kill her teammates.  Dinah has the nerve to wonder what has become of her wonderful, non-homicidal team.

This seems like the issue where we should have discovered why Cahill/Choke did what he did, who he was, all the classic villain exposition stuff.  We get none of that.  He might have been doing it for fun, but who knows.


WARNING: I'm gonna drop a couple F-bombs here.

I don't like using the word retarded as a pejorative.  I know people with mental disabilities and it's an ugly, often hate-filled word, and everyone deserves better than that.  But all I could think of when I read this issue was the characters are all fucking retarded.  Is there a better word I can use?  I can call them fucktards, right?  That's not offensive to anyone other than the desired target, is it?

Grade: F (for "fucktard")

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BIRDS OF PREY #6 (New 52)


This series is an absolute mess!  I've hated the last three issues, especially the last one, which ended with Starling, a character I don't like, being set up, ambushed, and leaping off a bridge into the river and being shot!

But she seems okay on the cover of Birds of Prey #6: "Clean Getaway".

Jesus Saiz provides the best cover of the series so far.  It has a bit of action, a sense of place and background, and most of all: context.  It actually tells you a little bit of what the issue is about.  Sadly, though, Black Canary is not on this cover.  For the first time, Saiz does not provide interior pencils for the issue.  Last month's inker, Javier Pina, gets full art duties here.  I'm not sure if this is a compliment to Pina or a slight against Saiz, but it took me a couple pages to notice the difference.

Issue #6 opens up with a very different feel from the last couple issues.  We meet Brendan Bowman, a statistical analyst for an investment group or insurance company in Gotham City.  He's having a good day at work, and when he goes to get a coffee, there's a gorgeous blonde checking him out.  Before Bowman tries to pick her up, however, he realizes that his phone has been lifted by a brunette with bandages on her wrist and leg.  (So, Starling didn't die. Pshtt…)

Bowman follows the Starling outside to an alley, where he's ambushed by the blonde from the bar--Black Canary, of course.

Bowman pushes them away and rushes back to his office.  Dinah tells Katana to get ready.  This part is unclear whether Dinah wanted the target to escape her or not.  I don't think she did; I think they just did a horrible job of capturing the guy.

Anyway, Bowman gets back to his cubicle and decides to post his experience on something called The Hive before he calls the police.  Is this writer Duane Swierczynski's commentary on social media addiction, or is The Hive something more insidious?  We'll have to wait to find out, because we abruptly jump ahead forty minutes to Bowman being restrained by Katana.

I posted the three pages above because I want to point out that it takes three characters to subdue Brendan Bowman over the course of three pages.  Katana is a world-class martial artist who would eventually be selected by the U.S. government to take down $@#%ing Wonder Woman!  And she can't stick a syringe in an accountant's neck!  And we've seen Poison Ivy enthrall a Cleaner before, so what takes her so long this time that Batgirl shows up to finish the job?  The only reason Batgirl gets it done is because Bowman thinks she's there to rescue him.

So, yeah, three damn pages just to render this guy unconscious after he's captured.  Swierczynski and Pina spend the first eight out of twenty pages capturing this guy and he's barely capable of defending himself!  Yes, he is a sleeper agent for Choke and he can be "activated", becoming somewhat of a deadly stealth-suited warrior.  But that doesn't happen.  The first forty percent of the issue is a bunch of awesome female "superheroes" stalking and beating up an accountant.

Bowman wakes up in whatever compound the Birds are holed up in, and he's not alone.  The ladies, with help from Dr. Trevor Cahill, have neutralized half a dozen Cleaners, "deprogramming" them so they're no longer under Choke's influence.

This is the best explanation for who the Cleaners are and how they operate that we've gotten so far.  It's clean, simple, and relatively efficient as far as exposition goes, but we should have gotten this page back in issue #2 or #3.  This isn't revealing information for a mystery; this is clarifying poor storytelling.

After Bowman agrees to help the Birds take down Choke, we're finally shown the fallout of last issue's cliffhanger.  Starling survived her fall, bandaged herself up, realized her memory was altered by Choke, and rejoined her friends.

WHAT?!!  Okay, I accept the comic book physics of her survival, but as she was leaping into the river to save herself, she thought that Dinah had set her up.  Where did that fear go?  Why didn't we get a chance to see her confront the other Birds and have her altered memory fixed by Cahill?  When and how was her memory modified by Choke?  And why was she the only one led into a trap?  Who are the mercenaries trying to kill her?

The only thing I like about this is Black Canary making fun of Starling's "Uncle Earl" wisdom, because seriously, it's really annoying.

So, after fourteen pages, seventy percent of the issue, the Birds finally take the fight to Choke by sending Brendan Bowman back to work at his office.  Starling, Batgirl and Dr. Trevor Cahill are the security team, controlling the elevators.  Before long, all of Bowman's coworkers begin reciting nursery rhymes, revealing an entire office full of Cleaner sleepers.  One woman is about to execute Bowman when Dinah springs into action!

Katana and Poison Ivy join Black Canary in fighting the brainwashed investment brokers.  Choke, speaking through the Cleaners, asks Dinah how much she trusts her team.  She responds:

The Characters

We don't learn anything new about the characters from this issue, other than Starling's Uncle Earl maybe tried to kill her.  (Who wouldn't?)

Once again, the script makes it impossible to tell whether Black Canary's strategy is carefully crafted and multi-layered, or whether each member of this team is atrocious at her job but somehow manages to luck into accomplishing something.


This issue is leaps and bounds better than issue #5, but it still fails on many levels.  We finally get the exposition I've been wanting from the beginning, but at this point it's just too little, too late.  The characters still come off as stupid and their actions nonsensical.  The end of the issue should be thrilling, but it only serves to remind how much time was wasted on the first two-thirds of the issue.

The capital crime of Birds of Prey #6 is the ridiculous decompression.  This issue did not have twenty pages worth of story.  I would be generous in saying there was enough plot and characterization here to fill out six pages.  The rest is filler.  A lot of filler.

Grade: F+

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Fifty-Tuesday Delayed

I've fallen behind in my reading/reviewing, so I won't have Birds of Prey #6 reviewed today.  Most likely, I'll have it up on Thursday.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Black Canary to Appear in CW's ARROW Season 2

I assumed there would be no significant Black Canary news to come out of San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, but I was wrong.  The teaser trailer for the second season of CW's popular Arrow TV series premiered and features the first in-costume appearance of Black Canary.

Check out the full trailer below.  Or jump ahead to 2:27 mark to the Canary kicking ass.

More surprising than the appearance of Black Canary in costume was the identity of the actress who would suit up.  Regular viewers who know the characters have expected Oliver's friend Dinah "Laurel" Lance to eventually become Black Canary, since, y'know, that's who she is in the comics.  Laurel has been a regular part of the show since the beginning, played by actress Katie Cassidy.

This Black Canary, though, will be portrayed by Caity Lotz.  

As fans were rightfully confused by this turn, Zap2It reached out to Arrow's show runners and got the scoop on who this character is and what this might imply for the future of Laurel.

I still have never seen an episode of this show, but I might have to start if Black Canary becomes a regular fixture of the series.  Hell, I'd even check it out just to see Bronze Tiger debut in Season 2!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Canary Merchandize from SDCC 2013

This weekend, at Comic-Con International in San Diego, DC Collectibles unveiled a bunch of brand new statues, action figures, and whatever the Scribblenauts count as.

They've also revealed the latest addition to their Bombshells line, which, conveniently enough for this blog, happens to be Black Canary!
Photo courtesy of tomopop.com
Previous characters featured in the Bombshells line include Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Batgirl.  I don't own any of them, but I adore the retro costume design and style of the entire line.

As for this Black Canary piece: making her a burlesque singer is perfect!  It touches upon her Golden Age roots, the modern Dinah's sonic abilities, and her well-deserved sex appeal without stripping her down to a thong bikini.  I can't imagine putting down a hundred dollars for this piece, but damn, it sure ought to make some collectors very happy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

UPDATE: Canary Cosplay from SDCC 2013

The San Diego Comic-Con is upon us--and by "us" I mean people in the entertainment industry, in and around San Diego, California.  So, not me.

Anyway.  I doubt we'll get any Black Canary-specific news out of SDCC this weekend, but we can always depend on the cosplay community to fill that particular void.  Bleeding Cool already has over a hundred pictures from the first day, and sure enough, Black Canary is represented between Superman and Aquaman!

Click to enlargicize.
And here's another pic of a Black Canary alongside Robin and Huntress!

Click to big.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

BIRDS OF PREY #5 (New 52)


Birds of Prey #5: "Chokepoint" is written by Duane Swierczynski and drawn by Jesus Saiz, who uses an inker for the first time in this series.  The inks by Javier Pina, though, is pretty sparse.  June Chung is back to provide colors.

David Finch provides the cover, which for the first time gives a sense of context and background.  The image depicts Black Canary, Starling, and Katana squaring off against some unseen enemy in what looks like a warehouse.  There is a painted finish to the cover that gives Finch's lines an anime style that is quite different than previous covers.  Also, Dinah's back is about to snap from the weight of her breasts.  Maybe that's Power Girl in Canary's clothes…

Issue #5 opens with the Birds--like me--trying to understand what's happening.  The ladies had been   infiltrating the lair of Choke, a mysterious bad guy who can turn people into walking bombs.  They were surrounded by an army of Cleaners--soldiers with "stealth-suit" technology--when they abruptly "skipped ahead" to a daytime city street with no memory of how they got there or what happened in between.

And suddenly they're being attacked by soldiers who aren't wearing stealth-suits.  As the Birds fight back, they realize that their memories conflict with each other.  For instance, some remember sneaking into the building, and others don't.  Some remember Batgirl being with them; some don't.  And some have mysteriously healed from wounds.

We don't know who these soldiers are, and if the Birds know they don't say so, but, whatever, Starling shoots them, so I hope they weren't U.S. Army or a local S.W.A.T team just doing their jobs.  Katana, for her part, only slices their ankles with her husbandsword so as not to kill them.  After the soldiers are incapacitated, Black Canary orders the team to fall back to safehouse down the street because police cars are en route.

The only thing the ladies agree on is that their memories are full of gaps, so Dinah suggests they all split up, take time to recuperate, and meet again in twenty-four hours.  This makes no sense, but I don't have the energy to delve into why right now.  Dinah writes the name of their rendezvous location on each woman's forearm.  Is it because she doesn't trust texting?  Or she thinks the room is bugged and doesn't want to say it out loud?  Whatever.

The story then follows Starling during her time off.  Starling gets to narrate a few pages, which is great because we really need more insight into her character.  I want to believe there is more to her than shooting, drinking, and thinking about sex.  Unfortunately, from her narrative captions and the action on these two pages, "shooting, drinking, and thinking about sex" is really all there is to her.

Later that night, Dinah meets with Batgirl on a rooftop.  Batgirl restates her objection to working with the Birds that she voiced in the first issue and completely ignored in the fourth.  She also denies having met with them last night, so either her mind has been wiped, or the other women have been incepted.

The next morning, Dinah goes to her dojo to clear her mind by training.  Katana arrives and they spar while talking about how lonely Dinah is, how tough their lives are, and joking about how they shouldn't trust Poison Ivy.

Speaking of Ivy, she spends her morning in the park soaking up foliage or something.  She is met by a mysterious man carrying a mysterious suitcase.  From the sounds of their conversation, Ivy has a hidden agenda and isn't that loyal to Dinah and the others.

I know.  I was shocked, too.

Later, Dinah is sitting in a coffee shop, reading the paper, like any other fugitive wanted for murder.  She comes across a startling headline that we don't see.  This causes her to rush out of the diner can call Dr. Trevor Cahill, a neuro-chemist who she has flirted with over the past few days.

We then cut to the rooftop rendezvous the Birds had arranged the night before… so Dinah's date with Trevor… didn't matter?  Anyway, Starling doesn't show up but %@$#ing Batgirl does!  What the hell, Swierczynski?

Dinah explains that Choke, in addition to turning people into walking bombs and transceivers, has been making Cleaners out of everyday people.  She wants to locate one of these "sleeper agents" and follow them to Choke's lair.  Hang on, didn't they already find Choke's lair?  They went there last issue.  Why didn't they return to the last place they remembered instead of splitting up for twenty-four hours?

At the same time, Starling is on a bridge because she believed that was the rendezvous point.  So did Dinah set her up and write the wrong location on Ev's arm?  Or is her memory/perception being altered by Choke?  Then she is ambushed by yet another group of gunmen who don't look like the stealth-suit Cleaners and don't look like the soldiers from the beginning of the issue.

Starling dives off the bridge into the river below--because that's something she would do.  And of course she survives the fall into the river--which isn't something anyone would do.  She also gets shot in the hand and in the leg.

Falling from a bridge into the water below--if it didn't kill you instantly--would certainly knock you unconscious, leaving you to drown quickly.  Couple that with broken bones in the hand and leg and the accompanying blood loss would either weaken you to the point of drowning, or send you into shock, leaving you to drown.

So… I guess this is how Starling dies.  And if she doesn't, I'll be pissed come issue #6.

The Characters

Everyone acts and sounds stupid in this issue.

At first, Batgirl claims to want nothing to do with Black Canary's team, contradicting everything she said in issue #4.  But by the end of the issue, she joins them again just because she has the free time.

"ABILI"?  You mean alibi, Babs?  I thought you were smarter than that.
Poison Ivy is obviously plotting some kind of betrayal, and everyone suspects it, but no one does anything about it.  Only Batgirl openly voices her distrust of Ivy, and Dinah responds harshly to Batgirl for it.  This makes Dinah look foolish.

Calm down, Dinah.  Batgirl's concerns are valid; Ivy's a bad guy!
We learn a little more about Starling in this issue.  She has an Uncle Earl who taught her lessons about paranoia.  And goons have been trying to kill her for years.  And she's gay.  And, um… she likes shooting stuff and drinking stuff.


I have expressed my fondness for Jesus Saiz's art in previous reviews, but I have also questioned what appears to be a disconnect between what is being told and what is being shown.  This feeling is exacerbated in issue #5.  The opening "action" scene is awful because the art and dialogue don't match.  There is no tension in this sequence.  You could take the dialogue in pages one through five and put it in any other scene or location.  The fight doesn't matter.

I "hear" gunfire SFX but don't see any.  Who is shooting?
I haven't read anything else written by Duane Swierczynski so I can't compare his writing on this title to his body of work as a whole.  I have read other books illustrated by Saiz, though, and I never felt like there was a disconnect between the writing and the art.  That's is all I feel while reading these issues.  And that tells me the problem is the script or the editing.

But there is no shortage of other flaws in this issue.  It moves like the trailer to a suspense movie, with characters and scenes only glimpsed, out of sequence, undeveloped, and entirely out of context.  That's how this issue felt: bereft of context.

All the momentum of what could charitably be called the "investigation" part of this story arc that was built last issue is tossed out when the ladies literally choose to take a day off.  This series is incapable of maintaining focus, building character, and building tension.  If I hadn't bought the rest of this series at a discount I would have blotted this issue out of my memory and shut down this blog.

Grade: F (as in f*** this comic!)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Out of Context #21: Do It With the Lights On

From Vixen #1, art by CAFU.
Every Thursday, Flowers & Fishnets provide a panel that--when taken out of context from the rest of the page--may be funny, suggestive, or just dumb.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Canary Comics for October '13


Cover by Jorge Molina.

The Birds are up against impossible odds as Canary must free her suddenly alive husband, Kurt, from Regulus, while Batgirl and Strix infiltrate the Basilisk compound!

Written by Christy Marx
Art by Romano Molenaar and Jonathan Glapion
Cover by Jorge Molina
On sale October 16
32 Pages
U.S. Price: 2.99

Dinah's husband is alive?  Maybe he can tell us why she's been wanted for murder all this time.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

BIRDS OF PREY #4 (New 52)


Birds of Prey #4 sports a cover by David Finch.  Once again, the image depicts the characters posing in front of a crazy winding tree.  Thankfully, they finally changed the background color to something other than reddish-pink.  Also, Batgirl is with them.  The story was written by Duane Swierczynski, with pencil and ink art by Jesus Saiz and colors by June Chung, making her second consecutive appearance on the tittle.

"Absolutely Mental" picks up where last month's cliffhanger left off.  The mysterious villains--whoever they are--have planted a neuro-chemical drug in Black Canary, turning Dinah into a walking bomb.  The voice of the bad guy leader--whoever he is--taunts Dinah telepathically and begins to recite the nursery rhyme that will trigger the bomb, killing Dinah, her partners, and everyone else on the train.

Dinah makes her way to a door and prepares to throw herself from the train.  She knows she'll die.  She is ready for it, and begins to sacrifice herself to save hundreds of innocent lives.  But as she's falling to her death…

Dinah regains consciousness in the office of Dr. Trevor Cahill, the scientist that Dinah and Starling consulted in issue #2 to learn about the biological bombs the bad guys were developing.  He has created a way to neutralize the drug so Dinah's head won't explode.  Starling makes Dinah flirt with Cahill, which is… awkward.

Leaving Cahill's office, Starling recounts what happened on the train after she clocked Dinah.

Katanna rescued Poison Ivy, leaving her free to stop the train with her…vine tentacles…?  What the $#@% is Poison Ivy now?  She's supposed to be sexy and mesmerizing; she's not the bride of Cthulhu!

Three-quarters of the way into the fourth issue, we're finally given some much-needed information like the name of the antagonists.  The sort-of invisible guys are called Cleaners, and they work for someone named Choke.

Dinah leads her team to the building where they hope to catch Choke, and to give them some added muscle and a sales boost, Batgirl joins them.  Each of the five women uses different route to access the Cleaners' lair, though they all end up arriving in the exact same room, so I'm not sure what the point of that was.

Dinah's boyfriend at Wayne Enterprises?  Who?  Cahill?  Did they ever say he worked at Wayne Enterprises?  Also, he's a "neurochemical researcher": what's he supposed to know about lasers and holographic invisible suits.

Anyway, the light reveals that the room is full of Cleaners surrounding the Birds.  Except the Cleaners all have their backs to them.  Are the suits empty?  Do they not know the ladies are there?  Either of those scenarios take the tension out of this situation.  Then the voice of Choke (I think) addresses the group.  I thought he could speak telepathically to Dinah last issue because she was drugged, but the  other Birds haven't been, and it looks like they can hear him.  So I don't know how he's talking to them.  And then… something happens.

The Characters

This issue establishes Batgirl as one of the regular members of the Birds of Prey.  She's listed second in the paragraph blurb on the title page.  Of course, she doesn't do anything in this issue except create more confusion for me and readers who were paying attention in issue #1.  Back then, Dinah and Barbara Gordon didn't look to have the closest relationship.  Babs acted cautious and guarded with Dinah, questioning her actions and criticizing her choice of friends.  And it was clear that Babs wanted no part in Dinah's "team".

So here she is.

Okay, I'm a Black Canary fan, but there is no question that the best part of pre-New 52 Birds of Prey was always Barbara Gordon as Oracle.  She was the heart and soul of the book.  She was the book; no matter how many other women ever joined the team, they were surrogates for her immobilized legs.  Oracle was unlike anything else in comics, and Barbara Gordon as Batgirl is not the same animal.

I get DC's reasoning for bringing Bat-Babs back in the New-52.  They want to scuttle the legacy nature of their superhero history and reset the characters back to their most iconic versions.  I get that.  I agree with it, actually.  I want Barry Allen to be the Flash.  I want Hal Jordan to be Green Lantern.  I want Ted Kord to be Blue Beetle--oh, wait…  Anyway, I want Barbara Gordon to be Batgirl.  She's the only one who can and should wear the Batgirl costume.

Also, Oracle filled a specific temporal/cultural niche in the late '90s/2000s.  The master hacker/info broker of cyberspace was a novel idea then.  But the fact is, technology has changed, and the giant bank of computers surrounding Babs is no longer innovative; it's impractical.  All of the information that Oracle could get for her agents, a clever teenager could get on her smartphone.  She also became a crutch to Batman, taking all of the legwork out of his detective work.  It does make sense for Cyborg to be the new Oracle of the DC Universe, and I'm fine with that.

The problem is, without Babs in the wheelchair whispering in Dinah's ear, there is no Birds of Prey.

I've said before the biggest problem with this version of Birds of Prey is that the book has no identity, no purpose.  Oracle was that identity, was that purpose.  So will the inclusion of Batgirl on this team fix that problem?  I'll answer that question in future reviews.

But the answer is no.


This issue sucked for a couple of reasons.  First, I can accept that storytelling does not have to be linear and you can do a lot of creative things with flashbacks.  However, if you put your characters in a tense, life-or-death situation, and then show that the situation gets resolved adequately (such as Dinah waking up in Cahill's office, underscoring that everyone survived), then when you flashback to the situation to reveal how it got resolved, well, you deflate all of the built-up tension.

There are also parts of the story that just don't make sense visually.  When the Birds discover they are in a room full of Cleaners who were invisible, well, there's no sense of danger or threat when the Cleaners are all standing rigidly side-to-side facing the other #@$%ing direction!

There's a scene on the train when the Cleaner uses his camouflage suit to attack Starling.

Did the Cleaners finally pull off a successful sneak-attack using their bafflingly useful chameleonic suits or is Starling just an idiot?  The art on this page makes that a little confusing.

And that's another problem.  This issue makes me question Jesus Saiz.  I have praised him in the past.  I'm a fan of his, but this issue does not make visual sense.  I'm not sure if the problem was in the script or how Saiz interpreted the script.  I don't know if there was editorial interference or last minute changes, but it just doesn't work.

Grade:  F