DC’s New 52: Week 4

I’m already a week behind. I read these books six days ago, and just got around to finishing a post. I’d love to get to work my Phonogram piece but I …

Starling RulesI’ll see what I can do.

Birds of Prey #1Book of the Week: Birds of Prey #1 by Dwayne Swierczynzki and Jesus Saiz

Wait … what? Didn’t Daredevil come out this week? And Scott Snyder’s Batman? Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff fucking Chan?

Yes, they did, but a book I wasn’t even sure I was going to buy was the biggest surprise and my favorite book of the week:¬†Dwayne Swierczynzki and Jesus Saiz’s Birds of Prey.

The internet loved Wonder Woman, but it left me really flat. Some of you nerds could identify the different gods in those pages, but not me. If it wasn’t for my faith in the creators, I may not even buy issue #2.

Daredevil was fun, but I didn’t get that “Oh, wow!” moment I expect when I see Marcos Martin’s name.

Batman was GREAT. But even that didn’t get me as excited as this.

So … why’d I even go for it?

  1. <sacrilege>I liked Swierczynzki’s Iron Fist more than Brubaker and Fraction’s.</sacrilege>
  2. Birds of Prey always interested me as a concept, but Gail Simone’s work never grabbed me unless the Secret Six showed by. Come to think of it, I feel that way about ALL Simone’s work. Seeing a new name on the title peaked my interest.
  3. Jesus Saiz does nice work. Not that I could have told you this a month ago, but I’d seen his work on Checkmate and an issue of Crime Bible.


Reading this book was the most fun I had all week. Well, second most fun, but let’s not continue down that path. And I don’t like “fun” books. Why can’t I have fun with some super serious and violent? I don’t need something light and cartoony and filled with jokes to have fun. I just need something I can get sucked into. Reservoir Dogs is my favorite movie. I find Harvey Keitel and Eli Roth’s “You’re gonna be okay” scene more fun than anything in Caddyshack.

People have complained about the treatment of Catwoman and Starfire’s sexuality this week. Do you know how much sex was in this book? NONE. It was great. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some pretty ladies, especially naked ones, but I don’t need that in my comics. People try to sell me on True Blood, enticing me with nudity. TV is for stories. Porn is for nudity. The two don’t need to come together. Here, Black Canary wears more than I’ve ever seen. Her new costume is cool and still says “Dinah Lance.” And oh my god, this book would pass the Bechdel test. How many new 52 can say that? (Wonder Woman is the only other one I read that I can think of, though they did talk about Apollo.)

Alright, enough weird digressions. Why did I like the book so much?

First, it had character. “Who does bitch have to cut to get some service around here?” may be the best introductory line in years. I don’t know what powers if any Starling has, but I know what she’s like as a person because of lines like this. And her “Wheeeeeeee-haw!” as she drove through a church door makes me want to read more about her than knowing that she’s good with guns or has psi-powers or whatever ever would. She got whimsy this one. And some cool tattoos. We’ll find out about her abilities eventually. I’m not worried.

Two, the aforementioned Jesus Saiz art. My first thought was to call it Dodson-esque, but even that’s not right. Its just very clean and round, with great body language and action. So yeah, great.

Three, some nice comics moments, by which I mean using the medium in a fun way. The panels transitions into Keen and Starling’s flashbacks mirror those immediately proceeding them. E.G. On page eight, Keen is hiding under a car. The next panel, which took place two weeks before, is Keen under a car. It’s the sort of cut you’d seen a movie, but most comics would do something dialogue-wise instead of using the art.

Yeah. Sexy without being degrading. Fun. Full of character. Came out of nowhere. With Katana, Poison Ivy and Batgirl coming up soon, I can’t wait for the next issue.

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