“Heart of Pain, Life of War” (part 2: Two Nights in Bangkok)
Birds of Prey is such a fun-tastic book on a monthly basis. The cast of characters are great and emit a genuine sense of emotion and Gail Simone knows this group of ladies like she knows the back of her hand. Since its much deserved relaunch Birds of Prey has been an absolute must read for me. Maybe I am a tad partial to the cheesecake factor but underneath the eye candy are some truly good stories being told.
This is the second part of the “Heart of Pain, Life of War” storyline which has seen Dinah head out with White Canary in the attempt of freeing Sin from the clutches of certain death. Placed into such a precarious situation has forced Dinah into shunning her fellow Birds in order to accomplish the task at hand. In order to save the child whom Ms. Lance almost adopted she must face the dreaded martial artist extraordinaire, Shiva, in a battle to the death. Fortunately for Black Canary, that does not transpire as Huntress, acting as Dinah’s second, insults Shiva and throws a drink in her face and demands to be her combatant instead.
Huntress really shines in this issue and shows that she is much more than a meager Bat-character. Her inner monologue details the intricacies in the unfolding events and how they correlate to the Mafia, which is synonymous with those of us of Italian decent. As Huntress goes toe to toe with Shiva she showcases the sort of material that she is comprised of as she never lets up despite the fact that she is at a serious disadvantage.
Simone does a wonderful job with the character development and interaction. You sense that there is a deep affection for one another within these ladies. When Huntress informs Black Canary that she challenged Shiva in Dinah’s place it is because she knows that Dinah is so loved and she has nobody. Yet, Canary points out that Helena is very much beloved by all the Birds in a heart touching moment. The other Birds play a minimal part, especially Oracle who only appears in a couple of panels. However, the short scene with Hawk & Dove was very humorous.
The only detriment to this issue is the artwork, which is not bad in and of itself. The problem is that the discrepancies between the Lee and Melo pages is a jarring one at times and becomes a nuisance. Both do an admirable job in their own right, though I prefer Adriana Melo. Otherwise, Birds of Prey is just a damn good book filled with action packed fun.