Wednesday, February 16, 2005

BIRDS OF PREY #79

I think I'm officially hitting a point where the cheesecake art is distracting me from the story. And I'm not talking about the cover. It probably didn't help that the cheesecake art -- it was positively Top Cow-esque with the inappropriate clothes and crotch and T-'n'-A shots -- was paired with a really poor story. I know some of you are in the 'Gail Simone can do no wrong on this title' camp, but... I'm really trying to find what she's done right in the last twenty issues apart from some first rate snarking between Cheshire and Dinah. It's not enough that she's not her predecessors anymore.

Where to start? Characterization. Zinda is nothing more than a Mary Sue while Creote and Savant are painful plot devices. Helena has had a brain transplant (that, or someone's slipping Zoloft into her milkshakes) as she's suddenly happy, relaxed, and making her peace with God and Church after nothing more than getting a new job and Dinah being nice to her. Babs is now almost literally a deus ex machina as she's been fused with Brainiac to give her all the perks of cyborghood and none of those annoying drawbacks. And Dinah... Dinah spends whole arcs as Exposition Lass, doomed to tell everyone's backstories because she's the old crone of the group, and then I-Founded-the-JLA-Lass where she gets to do things like yell at Batman because Gail doesn't think Dinah would ever use her legacy in a subtle manner.

Then we can move on to plot. Or lack thereof. Maybe Gail's just taking this slowly -- hey, Rucka's WW took a bit of time, too -- but the post-Gotham, livin' in a jetplane BoP has been little more than illogical space filling that has more to do with Jerry Springer than actual storytelling. The Harvest story and now this Rose/Thorn thing.... I've had my limit of unintentional villainesses who started out as abused girls and grew up to be good at killing... and the Well Intentioned Cute Men Who Straddle the Line to Help Them. I don't give a flying fig for Rose/Thorn -- she's a third rate Typhoid Mary and I skipped the recent mini -- and I can't say I'm looking forward to a prolonged story featuring her. The real question is whether I care about Helena and Dinah enough to sit through this book -- even when I don't especially recognize Helena.

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