Current Reviews


Birds of Prey #47

Posted: Monday, September 23, 2002
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Terry Moore
Artists: Amanda Conner (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i)

Publisher: DC

The book opens with President Lex Luthor getting behind a miraculous new discovery made by Lexcorp's Chief of Atomic Medicine, as we discover the man has discovered a means to halt & repair the ongoing decay of the human body, which means in effect he's discovered a way to cure all forms of illness, infirmities & has effectively made the human race immortal. After looking in on the Black Canary as she deals with a hostage situation, we look in on Barbara, as she gets herself invited to the press conference, where this miracle cure will be demonstrated. With Dinah posing as her driver, and waiting outside, we see Barbara is in the crowd when a young woman is injected with the experimental serum that affords her complete control over her body. We then see she's also able to temporarily correct any defects she finds in others, as she uses this ability to cure a heart condition that a woman in the crowd suffered from. We then see her use her curing touch to repair Barbara's shattered spine. Meanwhile, outside we see Dinah has managed to discover a group of armed men are gathering around the building, and she draws their attention her way when she takes one of them down.

I must admit that I haven't been following the whole Lex Luthor is President story, as it's a story element that hasn't really shown up outside of the Superman books. However from my days when I did collect Superman, and just my general knowledge of the character, I have to imagine that anything Lex is involved in can't be good, even if it has the appearance of being a wondrous scientific breakthrough. What has me a bit curious though is that Luthor has thrown his public support behind this scientific discovery, and given he's currently holding the highest office in the land, one would wonder why he wouldn't have taken a more cautious approach. As it stands one would think that by publicly endorsing this project, Luthor would earn himself the animosity of the groups whose very livelihoods would be severely impacted by the idea of this discovery, and given the medical profession & the drug companies are two of the biggest cash cows in the entire American economy, they are not enemies one should be thumbing your nose at. Then again perhaps Lex is trying to become the president who ended disease, or he knows something about this miracle cure that makes it worth the cost.

Since the Black Canary has always been my favorite member of this duo, I did enjoy the opening sequence where we see Dinah dealing with a hostage situation, and although it's a bit curious as to why she didn't make use of her "canary cry", I rather like the absence of this battle ending ability during this issue's battles. This issue offers up an enjoyable display of her fighting skills, as well as her ability to think on her feet, as we see her make like Jackie Chan by making use of her environment to secure her victory. Now truth be told those bullets should've passed right through the couch, and whenever anyone mentions that one should buckle their safety belt, they should automatically know what is coming next. However, I had a blast with these two scenes, and the cliffhanger that the issue ends with leaves me hopeful that next month will be even better. As for Barbara and her rather surprising situation, I first have to say that it's great to see her get out of the clocktower, as while her primary role is to find the answers & provide the information, it's nice to see Barbara out interacting with others. What happens to her in this issue is also pretty big, even if it is only temporary.

Well, first off I do have to wonder why Albert T. De Guzman switched to the larger font size, as while I'm all for easier to read text, I worry that art is being crowded out by the larger than average dialogue balloons & caption boxes. In any event, as for the art itself, Amanda Conner has a good eye when it comes to the action scenes, as Dinah opening encounter with the gunman is pretty impressive, as is the display of her driving skills later in the issue. The return of her fishnet stocking look is also a welcome move. The art is also nice & expressive, with Dinah's indignation as she deals with the rude agent, and Barbara's look of surprise after she is cured being two strong examples. There's also the cute little details like the personalized license plate that Dinah's SUV is sporting, or the cooler than heck appearance of Barbara's high-tech wheelchair. I also enjoyed the final page shot as we see Dinah has gotten herself in a spot of trouble, and the panel where Barbara gets a hint that this miracle cure isn't quite as miraculous as it appears to be does a nice job conveying the importance of this revelation in a single panel. I also continue to love Phil Noto's covers, as they do evoke memories of the old-time movie posters.

Final Word:
Well, thanks to the "temporary" aspect of the cure I don't imagine to many Oracle fans are going to be screaming for Terry Moore's head, but this story should also serve to appease the readers who openly wonder why Barbara hasn't been cured in a universe that's full of technological wonders & magical cures. Truth be told I've always felt Barbara's disability makes her a fairly unique character in the DCU, and the perfect partner for the Black Canary, and even if this was a lasting cure I'd much rather see Barbara remain as the brains of this duo, aiding from the sidelines, instead of joining Dinah on the missions. Still, it'll certainly be interesting to see how both Dinah & Barbara herself deal with this temporary change in the book's status quo. Terry Moore also brings a sense of fun to the scenes that follow Dinah in action, and it's a shame his time on the book is only going to be a brief visit, as based on this first issue he has a nice grasp on what makes these two characters work.

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