Last issue, Poison Ivy revealed that the other Birds of Prey had been poisoned and that if they died, they would set off a pandemic that would wipe out all human life on the planet. They were forced to aid Ivy on her environmental terrorism until they could sort out another plan. This issue, they force a large corporation to stop it’s damaging procedures and swipe their airplane to take out an oil derrick. When Black Canary realizes there are workers trapped on-board, Ivy shows no remorse and overpowers Starling to activate the structure’s self-destruct switch.
Afterward, the Birds take desperate measures, but one of them may not come out of this alive.
There’s something… off about this issue. Actually, now that I think about it, there’s been something off about this series for a while now. DC’s New 52 has been plagued by… I’m not sure what to call it… string pulling? Creators have been moved onto and off of titles in a musical chairs-like manner. Books have shifted direction or been outright cancelled in a seemingly hasty manner. In the first issue of ‘Birds of Prey,’ Batgirl shows up to emphatically express that she had no interest in Black Canary’s team, yet a few issues later, she pops up to “help out” only to have stuck around ever since. I’ve seen solicitations for upcoming books and I know that Poison Ivy will be returning to her nefarious roots in the Batman books. Was there some edict that Poison Ivy betray her allies so that the Bat-books could cast her in her old role as a villain? That’s honestly how I’m interpreting it. Ivy hasn’t had all that much to do in this series, so before she really gets a chance to shine, she’s off to her old ways.
I guess I’m saying – no pun intended – that this issue didn’t feel organic. It felt like… y’know when a series has to feed into a crossover or something, like the creators were forced to participate in something larger at the expense of what they were trying to do on a particular title.
On the plus side, Duane Swierczynski has a great grasp on the characters and remains, for the most part, true to their voices. And Cliff Richards’ art is very close to Jesus Saiz’s and Travel Foreman’s so it fits in fairly seamlessly with the series up to this point.
I don’t mean to paint this as a bad issue, by any means. But it’s off. Hopefully things get back on course soon.
BIRDS OF PREY #12
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Cliff Richards
Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau