Review – Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: DC Comics
Script: Julie and Shawna Benson
Art: Claire Roe
Release Date: 20th July, 2016

One of the biggest changes DC made with the New 52 was the healing of Barbara Gordon, turning her from the wheelchair-bound hero Oracle back into the high-kicking Batgirl.  Truth be told, I wasn’t impressed by the idea at all. Gail Simone softened the blow with her usual deft storytelling and character work, but it still felt somewhat unnecessary.

More recently, the soft relaunch that was Batgirl Of Burnside finally justified (for me at least) Barbara being back in the cowl. It was new, fresh and its own thing, and was followed by a similar rethought on Black Canary. I was gutted to see both titles come to an end, but what we hand here is an excellent continuation of both, as well as Tom King’s brilliant Grayson series.

Writers Julie and Shawna Benson set the scene by having Batgirl reminisce about her life, taking in her initial inspiration to become Batgirl, her crippling by the Joker and eventual rebirth as Oracle, not to mention forming the original Birds Of Prey with Dinah Lance.

It could easily have been a lot of clunky exposition, but the Bensons layer it with real emotion, allowing us a solid insight into Barbara’s psyche. Not only that, but it’s all important information as this new series introduces a new Oracle, one who seems to know everything about our heroes and is the catalyst for Babs getting the team back together.

It’s a tight, fun and engaging script that leaves you dying to know more. Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress are just nailed, both in voice and attitudes and the central mystery of this new Oracle is nicely set up.

It’s a massive help that Claire Roe’s art is so effective. Perfectly balancing a scratchy indie look with more conventional spandex art, Roe is a great fit for this book, bringing a vitality that the more cheesecake artists would never come close to. It’s quality stuff from an artist who stared great and is improving all the time.

DC are just knocking it out the park with all their Rebirth titles and I’m pleased to say this is another home run. Get in on this one now, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 5/5.

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JULESAV The Writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle
Jules tweets from @Captain_Howdy

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