Birds of Prey #1 is What the Movie Wanted to Be

Birds of Prey #1 Cover

Writer: Brian Azzarello  /Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino / DC Comics

Where was this story when they were working on scripts for Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey?!?!

First of all, why did no one tell me that Birds of Prey #1 was a 100-page book?

Second of all, I’m so glad they didn’t because I didn’t realize it was longer than normal until I was on page 45. By that point, I was too deep to turn back and had to finish. And I didn’t even cheat by looking to see how many pages were left so I could enjoy the ride.

That speaks volumes.

Birds of Prey #1 Inside

Birds of Prey #1 tells the story you’d expect. It’s about Harley Quinn, Dinah Lance, Detective Renee Montoya, and Huntress coming together to fight crime. Sound familiar? It should. I just watched it be told half as well over the weekend.

In short, the respective Birds of Prey all get wrapped up in a case of a drug cartel bringing fentanyl into Gotham City. As they come together to take on their shared enemy, they earn each other’s trust and respect and show us what their motivations are. They’re all deeply flawed but looking to be better.

It’s a truly enjoyable story.

Aaannnddd people get beheaded. More than once. And their heads may or may not then be used as weapons. The 17+ rating on this book does not go to waste.

I’m not trying to go for the low-hanging fruit here, but this is the story we should’ve gotten. It introduces all of the characters and their respective backstories with ease, introduces worthwhile villains and has enough cameos to make the story feel connected to the larger universe but doesn’t rely on them so much that they overshadow the plot. [Prime example, the use of the Joker—or lack thereof—is masterful.]

There are pages in this book that are drawn so vividly that I can’t help but replace the drawings with live-action clips when I look back on them in my mind’s eye. Azzarello and Lupacchino both put their feet all in this.

I’m already trying to find way to own this book myself.

10 out of 10

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