Birds of Prey Returns

The DCU Blog has been ablaze with news all week after the announcement of Brightest Day, the post-Blackest Night direction for the DCU, which will see a 26 issue fortnightly series, and a variety of titles under the Brightest Day banner.

One returning title that I’m very happy to see is Birds of Prey, and even better it has Gail Simone returning as writers, with Ed Benes as the artist.

The original run of Birds of Prey was an exceptionally good book, as Gail turned Black Canary into an A-list character and gave much needed focus and character development to Huntress and Oracle.  It became one of DC’s best-loved team books, and brought something different to the market by focusing on a mostly-female superhero team.  Gail’s dialogue between the characters was what really brought the book to life though.

Sadly, times changed.  Presumably a victim of her own success, with Black Canary now a popular character, she was brought back into the JLA as chairwoman, removing one of Birds of Prey’s lead characters.  Gail ended up moving onto Wonder Woman, and the Birds of Prey book eventually ended up axed by DC.  Something I thought was a real shame as it was a home to popular characters, and as I say, stood out as somewhere that DC’s female characters could really shine.

Of course, things have moved on again since Black Canary was in JLA, and I think its fair to say that the move didn’t really do her character any favours, with her automatically playing second fiddle to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and then the eventual Green Arrow/Black Canary book that never really seemed to take off (for the record I was never opposed to the marriage itself, but the book has never seemed to really click).

So the announcement that Birds of Prey is coming back, with the core cast of Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress and Lady Blackhawk reunited is brilliant news.  I really can’t wait to see how Gail approaches the happenings in the characters lives since the first series ended (and could we please have Helena reinstate the updated version of her current costume.  It looked so much more practical).

Of course, causing debate are the two silhouetted figures, with most people figuring its Hawk and Dove, with Hawk being a resurrected Hank Hall.  I never really followed Hawk and Dove before, but I’ve enjoyed their appearances in Blackest Night, so Birds of Prey would seem like the ideal book for them to capitalise on that exposure.  I’ve got no clue about Hank Hall’s Hawk and how he might interact with the Birds, but you have to assume the fact that as a Black Lantern he killed Dove’s sister might cause some tension.