Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Birds of Prey Vol 5 Soul crisis by Christy Marx

Rating: WARTY!

After failing the previous volume in October 2016, I don't know why I went into this one. It was on close-out sale at the library, so it was cheap and it helps the library, and I'd forgotten how I disliked the previous one, and there's a movie of the same name due out in 2020 (which would be a great year to release a Vision movie wouldn't it? LOL!) that is about these same characters. It's directed by Cathy Yan, written by Christina Hodson, and stars Margot Robbie and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as well as being produced by Robbie who originally pitched the idea to the studio, so I'm definitely interested in a strongly female-influenced movie about female super heroes. Anyway, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it! But I didn't like this graphic novel any better than the previous one.

The story is the usual tired retreading of the Batman world where Assh'le Gul tries to take over the world. Why they cannot find a new villain is a mystery to me, but this constant bringing back of antiquated garbage is tedious. Why Assh'le even wants this has zero rational, and why there has to be a balance of light and dark is unexplained as usual. His opponent is this old chick who periodically renews and returns to a childishly youthful appearance which is a bit warped to say the least, given that she's several thousand years old, purportedly. Maybe her age is messing with her mind and this explains why she speaks in riddles. Who knows? Who cares, honestly?

None of this made any sense at all, not even with the flood of exposition and characters from all parts DC, indifferent artwork (which to give fair due at least didn't obsess on sexualizing every female it came into contact with, although it definitely wandered too far into that territory and without any need to), and a poor story by Christy Marx (who may or may not know that she shares a name if not a spelling, with a porn actress).

So I did learn there's actually a guy in the Birds of Prey which I had thought was all female. There was an intriguing character named Strix, who was described as a "Talon" but about whom nothing was explained. Presumably anyone invested in this world would know who she was, but with all the other stuff being painstakingly and overly detailed, there wasn't a word about her? Bizarre. It turns out that a Talon is a member of the Court of Owls, which explains nothing to me except that I don't thinks it's a court of ordinary wizarding levels. Even when I'm told they're reanimated assassins, it still explains nothing. I guess it's on a strixly need to know basis?

So endless fighting. No one uses guns even though the fate of the world is at stake and this would be a simple way to solve the problem? That tells me these people are morons. They agree to terms of battle with the Assh'le? Sorry, no. Check please, I'm done. It's bad enough that two people are considering screwing over one or more other people within the team. Not for me. The weird-ass thing about the Birds of Prey is the obsession with color, birds, and cattiness. The bird kind of makes sense, except that a canary isn't a raptor, and "Jade Canary" is really just as much a contradiction in terms as Black Canary is! LOL! But I can see Black Alice and Blue Beetle given how obsessed the team is with beating people those colors.

There was this odd 'dream world' story tacked onto the end of the main feature, like they were embarrassed by it and wanted to get rid of it there rather than try to sell it on its own merit. It was really the final straw - literally, and not a paper straw either, but a plastic one that's enough to choke a turtle. I can't commend this at all. Christy Marx needs to take an originality class or step aside and let some new talent have a chance at this.