Birds of Prey: Batgirl/Catwoman

    (DC, 2003)
™ and ©2003 DC Comics
Continues as Birds of Prey: Catwoman/Oracle #2.

The vampire villain in this issue is old-school generic—he moons over a nightclub singer and acts all“Gothic-y”—and the plotline, which involves the investigation of the deaths of a number of wayward young girls, is a solid (if unspectacular) piece of work that successfully brings together the title characters. Set early in Batgirl’s career (à la Batgirl Year One), the story does a nice job illustrating Barbara Gordon’s personality, especially as it involves her trying to get close to her adoptive father, Commissioner Gordon.

Catwoman’s personality also shines. Her moral ambiguity, which runs the gamut from utter self–absorption to reluctant hero, has been her most interesting feature for years, and Moore brings this out in convincing manner. Less interesting are the bad guys, whose motives and ambitions never engage the reader to the point of out–of–the–seat excitement, utter disgust, or any other strong emotion. Their actions are inherently repulsive, of course, but their personas are largely forgettable. Not every villain can be The Joker, though, so this is a minor complaint.

The strongest thing about this issue—and the reason to buy it—is Robertson’s art (as inked by Jimmy Palmiotti). His characters are expressive, his action scenes are dynamic, and the overall look of the issue warrants the high price of the prestige format.

— Brett Weiss

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6 copies available from $3.61
Continues as Birds of Prey: Catwoman/Oracle #2John Francis MooreDarick Robertson