Starling and Katanna do not take kindly to their newest teammate, the super villain Poison Ivy! The Birds actually come to blows, allowing Ivy to show off her plant manipulating powers. She then uses her abilities to interrogate one of the men in the transparent suits who have been plaguing The Birds since issue #1. She gets the information they need, but the man triggers the nanite bomb in his body. It’s Ivy that actually saves the team from the explosion, earning her at least some degree of trust from her wary teammates.
They then board a train from Gotham to Metropolis, with two targets on board. They split up with Black Canary and Starling going directly for the two men that their enemies are after, Katanna searching for more “invisible men” and Poison Ivy taking control of the train’s engine. Things of course go completely sour, with the revelation that Black Canary has been implanted with a bomb and their foe’s threatening to detonate it!
Hmmm. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two issues of this book, but this one fell a little flat for me, for some reason. I didn’t love Starling and Katanna’s fight with Poison Ivy. Ivy’s using a vine to block Katanna’s otherwise indestructible blade didn’t seem logical to me. I don’t quite get her “mind control” powers either. I guess it’s sort of like magic mushrooms or poppies, but it’s not quite clear to me. Otherwise, the story flowed just fine. The second page uses some newspaper clippings to advance the story, which I found a nice device. There are two other instances of text being used in this issue and they were also nicely done.
There’s not much in terms of character development this issue. Dinah and Ev have been heavily fleshed out in the prior two issues and Katanna is a woman of few words. Ivy appears to be the “muscle” of this team, since outside of Dinah’s Canary Cry, she’s the only one with actual super powers. She impresses Dinah with her restraint. Even when fighting Starling and Katanna, she’s tough, but not lethal. And her immunity to toxins when battling foes who utilize that very form of weaponry will surely prove important.
The art also wasn’t as appealing to me as it was in the prior issues. There was definitely too much black in the line work. Jesus Saiz is listed as the only artist on the book, so apparently he inked the art himself and I feel he used too heavy a hand in that department. It certainly isn’t bad by any stretch, but I was so taken with the art in the first issue, that I found this one jarring.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan of the book and will certainly keep reading it. I just wasn’t as thrilled with this issue as I was the previous two. But I’m hoping this was just a misstep and the book gets back on track with issue #4.
BIRDS OF PREY #3
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Jesus Saiz
Cover by David Finch (incorrectly credited to Saiz inside the book)