I'm going to go out on a slight limb here and call Batgirl and the Birds of Prey one of the most underrated series in DC Rebirth to this point. Yes, I know we are just one rebirth one shot issue into the series, but I'm getting a good vibe on this one.
For starters, the one shot issue is really good, which hasn't been the case for all of the DC Rebirth books, especially some of the monthly ones now, but this one is very solid. Thanks to a life-changing procedure, Barbara Gordon who was once Batgirl until The Joker shattered her spine with a gunshot in Alan Moore's classic story The Killing Joke, an event that led her to become the technologically dominant Oracle from her wheelchair, is now back in action as Batgirl better than ever, no longer crippled.
The problem now is that since she has returned to donning her cape and cowl, someone is masquerading as her old alias of Oracle and using that alias to make nefarious deals with the criminal underworld. In hopes of tracking the identity thief down, Batgirl seeks out Dinah Laurel Lance, the Black Canary for her assistance and the two team up to seek out the Oracle impostor, unbeknownst to them that their investigation will lead them to cross path with the formidable Helena Bertinelli AKA The Huntress, who recently left the organization Spyral in the Nightwing Rebirth one shot issue and is dead set on taking out the criminal underworld that did what they could to lay waste to her family in the name of vengeance.
Right off the bat, I love the artwork of this book. It's very different than other Rebirth series and has a gritty grungy feel to it all throughout, which I think is appropriate considering the nature of these characters and their methods of how they are going about their investigation into the mob. In many ways it has an indie crime film feel to it and I think it's a perfect setting and tone for this series.
I also really like the chemistry between Batgirl and Canary, both bringing their experiences from their other respective solo careers into the mix for this team up. They also provide quite the contrast to the style and approach of The Huntress when it comes to getting things done and their opinions on the criminal underworld.
This wasn't a series I was looking a whole lot forward to but Julie and Shawna Benson have proved me dead wrong and I'm kind of disappointed that this is only a monthly. I'd love to see it twice a month because I'm greedy, but the extra time will certainly give them greater flexibility and a wider berth to tell some strong stories and build some strong issues for this series for sure. It should be a great one to follow from here on out.
4 out of 5 stars - DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH - Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth #1
This series runs monthly, next issue due out August 17.