Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Joe Bennett & Eddy Barrolis (p), Jack Jadson & Robin Riggs (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
The Calculatorís got a problem. His satellites have been taken over by Oracle, and he doesnít know how to get them back. He also doesnít know who Oracle is, and itís driving him nuts. So while the Birds are flapping their wings in the face of an arms dealer halfway around the world, the Calculator is recruiting Society members to track Oracle down.
Iím not a regular reader of Birds of Prey. I picked this up due to its relationship to the happenings in Villains United, also written by Simone. I was pleasantly surprised by what I read. This issue is very new reader friendly, partly because it is the start of a new storyline, but also because the areas that might relate to previous issues donít take away from the readerís ability to enjoy the issue as a whole.
I really like Gailís freewheeling attitude that she brings to these characters. Dinah is much more easygoing than I remember her the last time I picked up one of these issues. While Helena is still serious, sheís not acting as put-upon as Iíve seen her in the past. Itís just a good vibe, and Iím glad Gailís taken it in this direction.
The art is very good, with a nice attention to detail that prevents all the characters from looking the same. These guys would make good JSA artists when Don Kramer ends up moving on from that title. The coloring is also well done and not messy, but very tight. The difference between coloring now and coloring ten or twenty years ago continues to amaze me.
Overall, itís a good issue. Thereís just enough plot movement with The Calculator to make you feel engaged, as opposed to some titles where the first part of a multi-part storyline is extremely slow, and the subtle hint that there might be more good news for Barbara in the future is probably what long time readers have been hoping for. This issue was good enough for me to be on board for the length of the storyline.
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