The issue starts off with Jason Todd being broken out of police custody by a group of man-beasts known as the Menagerie. Not known for being easy to work with, Todd decides to reject his rescuers’ help and fights back. Things really become chaotic when Batman and Robin join the fight and Todd is forced to fight alongside the dynamic duo. The tables are turned yet again, when it is revealed that the woman who arranged Todd’s release is holding Scarlet hostage.
Before I get started, I just wanted to complain about two things in general about DC’s books right now. First, is the obnoxiously hideous Green Lantern banner across every single cover. The Green Lantern movie is coming out, we get it, move on. And even more annoying is the Super 8 multi-page ad in the middle. Not only is it a waste of space, it completely ruins the pacing of the story.
Back to the book. This story is great. I think it’s safe to say that Judd Winick knows Jason Todd and knows him well. He’s done a tremendous job with the character, and personally I feel he’s turned him into a much more likeable character. This story has just the right amount of suspense, action, humor, everything. It’s a shame that just as this title has found a respectable replacement for Grant Morrison, it will all be changing in September. With this being the final arc and all, I think it’s great that Winick has brought back Scarlett from Morrison’s run. The only thing I found unenjoyable about this issue was the art. It was just terrible on so many levels. Thankfully, the story completely overshadows the shoddy line work, muddy colors, and and overall unfinished look. 4/5
Gail Simone’s run on the Birds of Prey ends here. This issue primarily takes place in three arenas: the hotel, Oracle’s all seeing tower, and Huntress’s journey to her friends. In reverse order, Huntress, who is trying to persuade the Question into joining the team, races to save Dove and Black Canary from the vicious Junior. Before she gets there, though, Dove receives a near fatal blow from Junior’s scissor; yes, scissor. Oracle receives some help from an unlikely fellow, Catman, just in time to help her Birds.
I thought this was a decent issue. There wasn’t anything glaringly bad about it, but it did have some problems. Like, Oracle could have turned on the lights in the basement from the beginning, but what, she forgot to? Or what about the fact that Black Canary got beat by a deranged psycho with a potato sack around her head? But like I said, minor details aside the issue was enjoyable. Specifically, the interaction between the Question and Huntress was especially great because the dialog was smart, witty, and fun. Huntress has been in the spotlight for most of the series, and all of that comes to a high point for her as she’s named field leader. Unfortunately for her, she appears to have been forgotten in DC’s reboot. 3/5
As Tim eloquently explains, there are way too many groups of individuals that spend their time killing others, and he’s had to face almost all of them. Tim is able to outmaneuver the current group after him, the Scarabs, but his prisoner is able to escape. His information leads him back to Mikalek, which then leads him to the Assassin Promise. Using her powers, she subdues and kidnaps Tim, bringing him to her sister.
As this series is drawing to an end, as far as I can tell because a new series hasn’t been announced, I can’t help but feel sad. From the beginning this series has been excellent. Tim has really developed over the last two years. As this issue displays, he’s grown stronger, smarter, he plans things out, and he relies on others. The last scene is all kinds of creepy in such a great way. Overall this issue was fantastic. The action was exciting, the dialog was entertaining, but most of all it was just great to see Tim in his element. I think the second biggest tragedy regarding this title and the DC reboot, the first being the cancellation of the title, is that the artist, Marcus To, will not be on any books come September. His art is absolutely gorgeous. As great as the story has been this entire series, the art has been equally as astounding. It’s truly a shame his talents aren’t been utilized. 4/5
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