Is being average the new standard of quality? If so, then Batgirl and the Birds of Prey is doing a great job! Okay, that’s a little harsh of me (or at least sarcastic), but it’s also sadly true.
For the first issue since its Rebirth relaunch, I found an issue of what I’ve come to know as B-BoP which hasn’t made me foam at the mouth with rabid anger at how poor a job has been done with it. Which isn’t to say it’s a great issue, you understand. It’s just that with the previous issues having been so bad, even a slight improvement seems like a huge leap forward. So congratulations, B-BoP! You’ve achieved mediocrity!
In Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4, the team has to learn to work together in order to rescue the mob boss they allowed to get kidnapped in the last issue. Since a huge chunk of the issue deals with Huntress’s past more than the actual case, it’s a nice break from the uninspired main storyline.
Because there’s so little to talk about in plot, let’s try to figure out why this issue wasn’t all that bad (which isn’t an endorsement, but once again the bar has been set so low that it sounds like it is)…
Waaaaait… is it because there’s a different artist on this issue? It’s true that, up to this stage, the art hasn’t been all that brilliant. The fight scenes in particular have been a muddle of confusion, with nothing flowing. The art in this, from Roge Antionio, is a step up so maybe that’s it. Except… it’s kind of hard to tell. I’ve seen other work from regular artist Claire Roe and it’s been good, so it’s hard to really say the art is the real problem on this title anyway. Since nobody held up a hand to take the hit for what’s happened up until now, it’s just as easy to blame the writing.
Sometimes the artist can only do so much based on what’s in the scripts. Given some glaring gaffes in the writing so far, it could be as simple as that. Since this installment also doesn’t feature any of the ridiculous moments of earlier issues, and instead trims the fat of the woefully ham-fisted plotting, maybe it isn’t that the art is better but just that there’s tighter writing this time around?
Whatever the reason, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 is a decent – if uninspiring – way to pass a few minutes of reading time. It isn’t a classic in any way, nor is it worth adding to your collection. However, in terms of complete average-ness, it crushes it.