After all the noise I've made about how Gail SImone's Secret Six might just be one of the best books going right now, it's only fair that I check out her other stalwart title Birds of Prey, which for some reason I've never really gotten into before. It makes for perfect timing, since the last two issues have featured characters from the Six prominently. Last issue, it was Catman plotting an elaborate triple-cross to kill off any romantic interest the Huntress had in him for her sake, and now, one of the Six's most dangerous foes has marked the Birds as prey.
We open up in a high-rise where two ex-con women are being humiliated by their prospective employer while trying to go straight – "Mr. J" has no interest in that aspect of them, but rather making sure they stay bent. Soon after, Lady Blackhawk, the Black Canary, Hawk and Dove stage a sly infiltration of this Mr. J's corporate front under the direction of Oracle, while Huntress is off trying to recruit/annoying the crap out of the Question while she's trying to bust up some dirty cop deal. Turns out they're all connected, and they're about to get a whole lot more than they bargained for when they're up against Junior, the sickly twisted sister of the Six's Ragdoll (who's fairly twisted himself). That particular he/she wields a hell of a lot of power, and a hell of a lot of terror. Creep with a capital CREEP.
As always, Simone's gift for dialog shines through, although it's more subdued than it is over in Secret Six, but that's likely because here she's dealing with legit heroes and much more normal people instead of a giant talking shark with arms and legs. It's great that both Simone's good sides and bad sides still manage to be entertaining, and it's great when both sides come together like this. She certainly has an imagination that's not afraid to go into the icky end of the pool. Jesus Saiz (which I believe is what the broken old neon sign used to read) is pretty solid handling the art chores, although when not in profile, the varied cast of women could use a little more differentiation in the face, but that's a general issue with many comics. It should be interesting to see him go nuts with Junior next issue, who's got to be a fun challenge for any artist.
A couple of minor notes from someone just wading into BoP – apparently, Oracle has recently faked her death or something similar, which makes sense, because she'll likely be much more effective if no one knows she exists. Also, the Huntress's costume is still ridiculous with its exposed belly panel. It's just silly, and the eyes are always drawn to the navel. Thirdly, with all these bird-themed heroes, I want Dr. Mid-Nite on this team. He likes owls. Let's make that happen, shall we?