So. It’s been almost a year since the New 52 relaunched, and before that, DC had newly relaunched a second Birds of Prey series.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely LOVING the new Birds of Prey that Duane Swierczynski is writing with great characterisation of Dinah and Barbara, I’m especially loving Starling, and Katana is a great addition to the team. In fact, New Birds of Prey is one of the few books I’m buying regularly in print every month.
Yet, despite the awesome book Duane Swierczynski is putting out, I unfortunately can no longer go back and re-read my pre-New 52 Birds of Prey without getting so many feels. Without being reminded of how great these characters were together, what they’ve been through together, and how they evolved together. The loss of beer-loving and gun-toting Zinda Blake despite a suitable replacement in Ev Crawford, the significant loss of Barbara’s time as Oracle to return to the mantle of Batgirl despite excellent characterisation from Swiercsynski, and I’m not even sure anymore if Helena
Wayne Bertinelli still has a history with the Birds at this point. So far there’s been no mention of her amongst the birds so I’ll take that as a “no.”
So like the rest of DC’s pre-New 52 stuff, my old Birds are locked away in what I fondly refer to as “the vault,” along with the pre-New 52 Catwoman, Power Girl, and Justice Society titles (though I occasionally re-read the Annual #1 for the lovely Earth-2 Huntress/Power Girl team-up).
Again, don’t get me wrong. They’re still great stories. But it’s unbearable to reread these stories now and realise HOW FAR these characters have gotten before the reboot set them all back to Square One. Maybe one day I’ll be able to read them again once the New 52 characters stop feeling so new and have acquired positive developments that actually add to their characters and get them back to who they were and what they stood for prior to this entire clusterfuck. But for now, I’ll just keep moving forward and I’ll keep telling myself (as delusional as this may sound) that this is only the beginning of the journey and that they will eventually grow and develop into the things that made them great in the first place.
So I conclude this post with three images of Barbara Gordon from Gail Simone’s second Birds of Prey run, rolling herself into an alley, and succeeding at beating the shit out of some thugs who thought a woman in a wheelchair was easy prey.
And she showed them. Like. A. Freaken. BOSS.
Oddly enough, the title of this story is very fitting for what really happened.
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