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Old January 18th, 2006   4PointOh is offline   #1
4PointOh
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Default BIRDS OF PREY #90, "Perfect Pitch, Part Five" (SPOILERS!)

Justice for a Songbird

Gail Simone is undaunted (and so incredibly modest).

It has been the professional trend of late to bash Gail concerning her “Women in Refrigerators” past. From the cacophony came the jeers calling Gail a “sell-out” and a “hypocrite” for working with a company that she once criticized. And I believe that her past critiques were cogent and valid. An industry overwhelmingly dominated by men, comic book displays of what can certainly be interpreted to be misogyny and sexism run rampant—whether the displays are conscious or subconscious is open to debate. What Gail's critics did not have the prudence to understand was that changes are best made from the inside. What they called hypocrisy was simply a better strategy than they themselves had at their disposal.

Over the last couple of years, many people have asked Gail to comment on specific events that transpired in the funny books of the company for which she works. I specifically remember a few readers getting up on their high horses at the DC message boards demanding that Gail tell them how she can continue to work for a company that produces works like IDENTITY CRISIS, with its offensive portrayals of women. Gail was the consummate professional and refused to disparage DC. In all honesty, I wanted her to do more than disparage them. I wanted her to punch Brad Meltzer in the face for womynists everywhere! But, I digress….

What I admire most about Gail’s genius is its quiet intensity. It doesn’t call attention to itself. It’s not pretentious. It’s not arrogant. It gets its point across in the most subtle and sublime of ways. BIRDS OF PREY #90 is a perfect example.

Although entitled, “Perfect Pitch, Part Five,” I will forevermore refer to this issue as “Reversal of the Dog.” Not only did Barbara forever change the dynamic between herself and Bruce with lines like, “How about if you don’t tell us where to go, I won’t tell you where to stick it?” and, more succinctly, “No,” but both Helena and Dinah makes tremendous strides here. More importantly, they go for the oppressor’s nads full force!

In what was the best moment of comic reading for me since WONDER WOMAN #219, Dinah uses a Kill Bill-like move on Deathstroke and announces, “That’s for Phantom Lady you sick son of a b****.” Not only does she avenge Dee’s brutal murder in INFINITE CRISIS #1, but she also avenges her first confrontation with Deathstroke in IDENTITY CRISIS. She did what Ollie didn’t have the guts to do: She guts his good eye.

And finally, Bruce gives Helena the credit she deserves. I’m not sure why Helena thinks she needs Bruce’s approval—maybe it’s a Daddy Complex—but I’m glad he gave her what she needed. Perhaps, now she can go on with her evolution; that is if Helena makes it out of INFINITE CRISIS alive.

I must also say that Creote is one of my favorite characters and one of the few positively portrayed “fancy boys” in comics. And in one of the best mind fornication moments I’ve seen in quite some time, The Calculator falls to pieces; the beauty of the train wreck.

You have love how rich and intelligent and complex and flawed Gail’s characters are written. With each word, she proves that you have to fully participate within the system if you wish to change it. The revolution will NOT be televised.

Bobby
http://www.myspace.com/bob_eakanatturner


"One hasn't got to have an enormous military machine in order to be unfree when it's simply easier to be asleep, when it's simpler to be apathetic, when it's simpler, in fact, not to want to be free, to think that something else is more important."

-James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

 
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Old January 18th, 2006   bgztl is offline   #2
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Justice for a Songbird

In what was the best moment of comic reading for me since WONDER WOMAN #219, Dinah uses a Kill Bill-like move on Deathstroke and announces, “That’s for Phantom Lady you sick son of a b****.” Not only does she avenge Dee’s brutal murder in INFINITE CRISIS #1, but she also avenges her first confrontation with Deathstroke in IDENTITY CRISIS. She did what Ollie didn’t have the guts to do: She guts his good eye.


You have love how rich and intelligent and complex and flawed Gail’s characters are written. With each word, she proves that you have to fully participate within the system if you wish to change it. The revolution will NOT be televised.
ddf
4PointOh

First, great review. I haven't flipped through it yet, but this sounds terrific.

Second -- I've written it before, and I'll write it again ---SOMETIMES THE VILLAINS JUST NEED TO BE POUNDED!!!!

Dinah's vengeance for Dee sounds like a gratifying if gruesome read.

Third, Simone has emerged as my favorite DC writer during this last year. That's not a slam at any other writer. Johns, Rucka, Arcudi, Loeb, Waid, and others have turned in some fine stuff. But Simone really seems to capture the voices of each individual heroine and character in a way that does not diminish ANY of them. And the plots have been truly enthralling.

And speculation from Infinite Crisis # 4:

SPOILER. Highlight below text to read
Will OYL be on a "new" Earth? Earth-1 where Barbara's from? Earth-2 where Black CAnary and another Huntress are from? Or dot he Birds break all the rules and GO WHERE THEY PLEASE!!! I wonder.

 
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Old January 18th, 2006   Emma is offline   #3
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Nice review. I wasn't planning on picking up my books until next week. But looks as if I will have to make a special trip to my guy this weekend.
 
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Old January 18th, 2006   Chris Hansbrough is offline   #4
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wow. wow. wow. wow.wow.....

I'm trying to find another word to come into my mind but really wow is all that's coming....
 
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Old January 18th, 2006   TheShade is offline   #5
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Dinah trying to take out Slade's eye in the memory of Phantom Lady was touching. Phantom Lady was always one of my favorties.

Huntress impressing Batman was actually amazing to even me.

The Gordon's standing up to Batman was pretty cool as well. We need to see more of Jim Gordon.
 
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Old January 18th, 2006   Lundonj is offline   #6
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I probably don't say it often enough, but every month after reading BoP, I keep thinking to myself, "Best <bleeping> Black Canary ever."

And then the next adventure trumps the last and it happens again... and again.

All that and Babs and Huntress are characters I care more about than ever before.


-Don
 
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Old January 18th, 2006   Nightwing826 is offline   #7
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The best part was Batman, Gail, you should get one of his books to write some time
 
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Old January 18th, 2006   marburger is offline   #8
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Wow.

Batman impress with the Hunteress I think it has to do with the situtation from IC#3 when he learns of the Former Earth-2 Batman's life.

But Black Canry getting back at Deathstorke, nice!!!

But how did Gordan stand up to the Batman??


Great job, Gail!!! Looking forward to the next one.
 
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Old January 18th, 2006   Atom-Smasher is offline   #9
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This book is just further proof that Oracle, Huntress and Black Canary (and Zinda) are the best DCU heroines. Each stands up to Batman in their own specific way: Babs with her determination, Helena with her mind, and Dinah with her not giving a **** if he's the Dark Knight, she'll make out with him anyway and he'll like it.

Did anyone else not notice at first that Joe Bennett didn't pencil this issue? I got about halfway through the book without realizing it. These guys (I don't have the issue on hand at the moment) did a great job with the facial expressions of the girls.

Calculator snapping at the end was also great. That just might bring the Society down a peg.
 
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Old January 19th, 2006   Alena Callaghan is offline   #10
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This issue filled me with glee! From Babs chewing out Batman (with her father at her back), to the Black Canary/Deathstroke fight, the whole issue was just perfect. I laughed out loud when Dinah kissed Bruce, and when Dr. Psycho kept wanting to kill Calculator, and when Zinda exclaimed, "He's a fancy boy?!" Well done, Gail. This is why BoP is one of my favorite comics every month.
 
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Old January 19th, 2006   franksmapdi is offline   #11
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Dear Gail
Thanks for making Batman so blasted AWESOME in this issue! I thoroughly enjoyed how he actually told Huntress what a good job she did! That, and Canary's response!

Keep up the awesome work, as if there was any doubt!
 
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Old January 19th, 2006   Brian LaBelle is offline   #12
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You made Batman say it.
 
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Old January 19th, 2006   ConnorFan is offline   #13
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Default Kiss Kiss bang bang… ( okay maybe not in that order)

I honestly can not decide what my favorite part of this issue was. “There was a time you called me Jim” was a fantastic line. And who wouldn’t love Babs for the line about don’t tell us what to do and we wont tell you were to stick it. Huntress gets some mad respect on this issue, really Babs fully trusts her now and even the word of the bat isn’t enough to change her mind for even a moment.

3 seconds baby! Black Canary shows yet again that when the pressure is on she is a clutch player. Going after Deathstroke’s good eye was fantastic especially since she thought about it in advance, she knew from the second she saw him how she was going to handle the situation.

Zinda had two great moments, the first staring down deathstroke and the second was “fancy boy” I am so glad I wasn’t drinking when I read that, I would have totally ruined the comic.

Creote and Savant were really cool and I think it was a good parting, it had a natural feel to it, the relationship as it was between those two and the birds had to change... though i wonder what Savant will be up to next time we see him.

Black Canary kissing Batman was gold, and the lines afterwards about the naughty school girl was just priceless. Batman giving Huntress respect was a long time coming and I am extremely glad, the dark knight was dark but he wasn’t too dark in this, he had a heart that is lacking in other appearances.

Fantastic job all around, great read from start to finish and as always I cant wait for next issue.
 
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Old January 19th, 2006   Eric Q is offline   #14
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Will this be collected into a trade?
 
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Will replace free speech w/fee speech. You can still give your 2 cents but you have to pay us $2 each time. U$A, U$A, U$A!
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Old January 19th, 2006   Whealer is offline   #15
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Gail simply never fails to please me with BOP. She can show a characters greatness in a single panel's dialog. She is the mistress of action passages. When she focusses on character relationships, the relationships are vital and undeniably on target. The first poster pointed out many of the great moments in this issue. I will only say I love this book. I love this book.
 
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Old January 19th, 2006   imarriedsatanII is offline   #16
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Many truly wonderful moments in this issue.

I felt a little vindication for Dee Tyler's death after Canary's dedication. I'll feel satisfied after someone puts a major smackdown on Slade, Cheetah and any of the other villains present at the Freedom Fighters slaughter.

The humbling of Batman continues... and I heartily approve and enjoyed.

Thank you for another wonderful tale featuring these four women!

"He's a fancy boy?!"

(teehee)
 
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