Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #8
Art by:Roge Antonio
Colours by: Allen Passalaqua
Cover by:Yanick Paquette
Variant cover by:Kamome Shirahama
Written by:Shawna Benson, Julie Benson
Batgirl’s rejuvenation over the past few years has been nothing short of amazing and while her main book goes from strength to strength it’s a nice change of pace to see her in this team up title. Here we see Barbara as a leader of the group more concerned with crime fighting than her personal life (mostly).
The writing by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson depicts a strong team who have heir quirks but each character feels well rounded. In some team books with a large pool of players there will be some of the cast who get underdeveloped, this sometimes mean you need to have read their solo books or stay on the series until more time is given over to them. This is not the case here as each member of the team feels where they need to be at the time of this issue. There are still questions on the characters and their motives of course but you feel that you understand how they will act in given situations and support each other.
As a jumping on point to the series this works well as it is the start of a new arc named Blackbird. The opening sequence does not focus on any of our team instead it focuses on Nightwing with the Birds of Prey acting as a support team in his hunt for a renegade Metahuman who has gone rogue. Of course despite the best efforts of everyone involved things do not go according to plan as Gemini proves to be a difficult customer to handle. Not only that, but her motives call in to question a larger story that opens up as the issue plays out.
Emotional context plays a huge part in communication, the difference between reading a text and hearing some say the words to you can change the way you perceive its intent. This is where Comics have an edge over prose as although we do not speech we do have an opportunity to see the facial expressions of the person giving us the information. The depth of expressions that Roge Antonio is able to produce within the characters help the reader to engage with some quite tender moments littered throughout the issue. Elsewhere his ability to truly display the abilities of Gemini is one of the highlights of the Birds of Prey run to date. Colour wise Allen Passalaqua gives the art a punch by using a bold and bright palette for the cast with darker backgrounds help to eventuate this.
Overall as both a jumping on point and a continuation of the story Issue 8 of Batgirl & the Birds of Prey comes highly recommended.