Poison Ivy arrived in the nick of time, in ‘Birds of Prey’ #9, to save her allies from the Court of Owls… but at a cost. Now deathly injured, she is being whisked to safety by her partners, when their helicopter is fired upon by enemy missiles. The Birds crash into the Amazon rain forest, which is where Ivy instructed Black Canary to take her, if she was ever this badly hurt. (It’s not really explained how the characters fall out of the sky into the jungle with no parachutes and survive.) The Birds split up with Black Canary and Batgirl attempting to aid Ivy, while Starling and Katana comb the rain forest for their pilot, Brett Leyden, a drug dealer who was smuggling liquid cocaine. Both parties soon find themselves under assault by strange plant creatures. Starling blows up the liquid cocaine, which torches most of their attackers, but not all of them, as these monsters keep coming. Katana’s husband’s soul (trapped within her blade) informs her that these creatures have no souls. Another missile appears in the sky and blows up the wreckage of the helicopter.
Black Canary is stung in the neck by one of the plants but she and Batgirl manage to haul Ivy’s still unconscious form away to safety. The gang regroups and retreats. They spot a small concrete structure, where they can seek shelter, but it is across a wide ravine. The rope bridge that used to lead to it, dangles uselessly. Canary thinks back to a conversation she had with her deceased husband, where he encouraged her not to be afraid of her powers, but to embrace them. She hauls up the rope bridge and grabs the other end, then leaps into the crevice. She screams and suddenly… flies over the gulf and secures the bridge, allowing her allies to cross. Starling plants a bomb and once they are across, she blows up the other side, stranding the plant pursuers. Ivy finally comes to and offers to explain everything.
This was an action-packed installment, with characterization divided nicely between the various members. We get more background info on Black Canary’s marriage as well as further example that Starling’s past isn’t exactly squeaky clean. While Katana doesn’t get to really shine, she does get a few nice beats.
Travel Foreman’s art, overall is very nice. Here and there, you get a couple of ugly facial expressions, but that’s my biggest complaint, so that’s pretty minor.
The biggest development is Black Canary’s sudden ability to fly. Is it based on the way Marvel’s Banshee and Siryn are able to somehow use their screaming abilities to fly? I guess so.
A solid installment!
BIRDS OF PREY #10
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Travel Foreman
Cover by Foreman with Gabe Eltaeb