Dreams That Never Were
If the preview is any indication, this issue is going to suck. It's always a bad sign when the thing DC puts out to make you want to buy the book has the opposite effect. I don't think the series really deserves a detailed analysis right now, so I'll make this quick. Black Canary and Condor are in silly romance mode, Basilisk is an uninteresting team, and there is nothing interesting currently happening with the series.
Does Birds of Prey crank things up a little with Birds of Prey #23 or is this a completely skippable issue?
In this issue, Basilisk loads up the defeated Birds as our heroes dream of realities that never were.
I Offer Up This Series for Sacrifice in the Place of Batwing
Take Birds and leave us Batwing, please! Batwing might not be perfect or deep, but at least it's fun. This is just...I don't know what this is. I was enjoying things just a few issues ago, but this series has gone down the crapper quickly.
I just got done saying how comics overuse the head trip trope while reviewing Batwoman, and what do we have in this issue? Almost the whole issue is nothing but a head trip as the various members of the Birds of Prey relive their past with slight alterations, and as per usual, it's tired and boring.
What sucked about this flashback in particular was that you really could not piece anything together if you didn't already know the stories. Batgirl's dream is to simply have a nice family life, but the significance of that would be completely lost if you didn't know what her real story. Even knowing it, it still was not interesting. It could have easily been told in two panels equally well as in the two pages allotted to it. Mary gets three pages which is kind of cool since we did not see much of her origin, but it really amounts to nothing more than a nice family moment with a bomb drifting down from the sky on a parachute. I've got to think that this would just raise questions if you did not already know her origin. Black Canary's was really a mess. We get three pages from Team 7 without any context. I'm guessing that this is the moment Kurt Lance "died," but since he lived in the dream, I'm not sure. Kurt then told Canary to move on which is of course the last thing that will happen after the events of this issue. Worst of all are the thoughts of Condor, the one member of the team without any real background. It would be cool to get some insight into his past, but instead we see him pining, lovesick over Black Canary, the woman he hardly knows. It would not be too bad if it were not so over the top cheesy. He actually pictures scenes where he says, "You are a beautiful woman. A woman I want to make happy." Is that...I mean, I have a really odd relationship, I suppose, in that I flirt with my girlfriend by saying mostly mean things about her in a way she knows is in jest, so maybe I'm not the best judge of sweet nothings, but don't those lines sound a bit robotic? I can only hear it in one of two ways, as a robot reading a line of dialogue or as a guy who is full of cheese who thinks he is a smooth talker and just wants to get a girl in bed. "Hey baby, you are a beautiful woman. A woman I want to make happy. (wink)" One of the follow up lines of sweet talk include, "Dinah, I need to be close to you," which isn't really winning any dialogue prizes either.
Really, amazingly, surprisingly, these "dreams" are most of the issue. There's not a lot else to it. The villains are horribly generic. The one action scene is also basic. The reveal at the end doesn't even make sense. It pretty much sucks.
My offer stands. Take Birds of Prey away and leave us with Batwing. Batwing has potential. I don't really see these versions of characters as ever amounting to anything unless DC puts some top shelf talent on the book or a very skilled newbie. If I were DC, I think I'd be calling up JimZub (former writer of Skullkickers and current writer of Image's Dark Skullkickers Dark and Dynamite's Pathfinder and UDON's Makeshift Miracle)and making some very tearful and heart felt pleas for him to return to the series.