Birds of Prey #6
Birds of Prey #6
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Penciller: Javier Pina

Since the New 52 Relaunch, Birds of Prey, while perhaps maybe not the flashiest or most continuity integral book, has been one of the most consistently enjoyable new titles, and this issue is no exception.

Barely staying one step ahead from an unknown adversary who specializes in stealth, mind control, and turning people into living bombs, the Birds finally have a plan to take the fight to the mysterious Choke. All it involves is kidnapping and injecting experimental drugs into a normal guy who is totally crushing it at work and in his personal life right now. Typical to Birds style, not everything goes totally according to plan.

My biggest worry when the Relaunch plans for this title were announced was how it would survive without the dynamic friendship between Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance that had been the book's heart since its conception. However Swierczynski has such a great handle on these characters and has so masterfully built a variety of believable and enjoyable relationships between these characters, that Batgirl's addition to the team last issue was just icing on an already delicious cake.

Javier Pina steps in to fill in on art, and considering that he was inking regular series artist Jesus Saiz's work already, the substation is almost unnoticeable. In my mind, this is the quality of a good fill in artist, especially one that comes on mid-story. Pina's figure work is excellent.

Like Saiz, he is adept at drawing the female form in a way that exudes tone and realism, rather than cheesecake, a skill that should be mandatory for any BOP artist. My main complaint with the art is one sequence towards the end, where Black Canary is leaping into action, and the layout composition and figure positioning are unmotivated and confuse the reader of what is actually happening.

As we hit the half a year mark, Duane Swierzynski proves that he gets what makes this book and these characters tick. Trust me. This book is the hidden gem of the New 52. Check it out now.

Grade: B+

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