Sunday, February 25, 2007
Birds of Prey: The Battle Within could be my favorite of Gail Simone's four Birds of Prey trades. The book starts with three seemingly stand-alone Birds of Prey tales, but everything comes together at the end of the third, in a startling (and long-awaited) scene where all the Birds shine, especially the Huntress, leading in to the real meat of the trade, the "Battle Within" storyline. Though the very end feels slightly rushed, it's obvious that Simone tried to finish the trade with a bang, and the gesture is much appreciated. I felt a little nervous to see that artist Joe Bennett gets top billing here over Ed Benes--perhaps because I had Bennett confused with someone else--but his art shines, especially his Barbara Gordon, and without the bevy of nipples brought by Benes. Ultimately, The Battle Within is a fantasic conclusion to the "old Earth" Birds of Prey stories (the next trade contains both "old Earth" and One Year Later stories), and I'm eager to see what Simone brings One Year Later.