The million dollar question: Who is White Canary!? Well, we still don’t know. It’s okay though, this issue was excellent.
Jumping right back into the action from issue #1, Black Canary and Huntress face off with White Canary who is serving the Birds some serious whoop ass. Black Canary manages to get a few licks in. Maybe a few licks too many as she responds emotionally to what seems to be some major hater vibes coming off of this new enemy.
Back up comes not a second too soon in the form of Hawk, Dove and Zinda. White Canary immediately launches Hawk into a brick wall, and makes him bleed. Apparently that’s kind of a big deal. Meanwhile, Oracle is watching as Black Canary is being framed as a murderer on live TV, and not a minute later, major law enforcement shows up to the scene in the alley to arrest Dinah. Being arrested was so not on the agenda.
Things go from bad to worse. Upon realizing that they’ve been thoroughly set up, Dinah points the finger at White Canary. Her response: “One of you will die every hour for the next six hours. You choose. Or I will.” Cut to Oracle getting a com from an inconsolable Creote. They were attacked by a woman because of their affiliation with the Birds, and now Savant is dead. Creote is devastated, and kills himself while Oracle is listening.
Back in the alley, the whole crew happens upon a TV set up for their viewing pleasure. The Action 8 news is on with “breaking coverage” of Black Canary’s messy breakup with Ollie, a wildly distorted version of her almost adoption of Sin, and her identity. Dinah is brought to her knees while White Canary watches from a rooftop above.
Even after all THAT, the high impact moment of the issue is at the end. Oracle realizes that she’s become complacent over the past five years, letting the machines do her work. Whoever this enemy is, s/he is using the grid against the Birds. Oracle dries her tears and reminds herself that SHE IS THE GRID, it exists because she allows it to, and she enacts what can only be the ultimate cyber command “Data Womb Code, Omniscient.” I’m pretty sure that means “IT’S ON!”
The art was fantastic, Ed Benes and Adriana Melo are beyond belief talented. Both artists have a lushness to their pencils – expressive eyes and pillowy lips. Still, their respective styles have some distinct differences. It is quite obvious where Ed’s pencils end and Adriana’s start. REEEMIIIX! Melo makes up for the abrupt shift in art with her up-close face panels and the beautiful splash page of Oracle.
Major props to Gail for immediately addressing some continuity issues that were created after she left the book, like the huge, gaping hot-mess that was the Sin story arc. And I’ve always loved Creote and Savant, but the characters fell to the wayside without Gail’s pen. It’s sad that they met their end, but it’s a memorable scene that tied that loose end right on up. It reminds me that Gail loves these characters as much, if not more, than the fans do. I am certain she will keep on serving up excellence in the form of Birds of Prey for as long as they let her. At least we hope so.
Birds of Prey #2
Writer: Gail Simone
Pencillers: Ed Benes & Adriana Melo
Inkers: Ed Benes & Mariah Benes
Colors: Nei Ruffino
Released: June 16, 2010