The Birds of Prey have parted ways but the sinister, White Canary forces them to reunite so she can blackmail the Birds of Prey and many other heroes and villains in Gotham. Can they stop Canary from divulging their deepest secrets and killing everyone on her hit list every hour before it’s too late?
‘End Run’ starts off strong. The dialogue is witty and snappy, moreover Black Canary’s inner monologues suite the context of the opening story perfectly. The artwork, especially the fighting compositions are enticing as well. However, everything slowly unravels for this publication once the main thread of the story starts. When focusing on the female characters’ words and actions the book disintegrates completely and almost becomes a comic book version of ‘Jersey Shore’. Gail gives the characters too much attitude and debases them with profane and immature dialogue; Huntress suffers the brunt of this excessiveness. You never get a true sense of the emotional upheavals the characters suffered prior to their reunion, so certain words and actions which are affected by their past make no impact on the reader. The mini-drama with Savant is implausible and forced. How can a villain…hero, whatever he is, break down like that?
In the centre of the story is White Canary’s blackmailing of the team and her threat of murdering everyone on a hit list that has all their personal information. What information she has is only briefly alluded to when she releases Black Canary’s information, connected to her adopted daughter Sin. This tidbit about one character is not enough to make us feel the grave danger other people on the list are in or the irreparable damage divulging their personal information will cause. The connection to ‘Brightest Day’ is tenuous at best, as Hawk and Dove’s inclusion in the team seems pointless. How could White Canary affect Hawk’s powers so radically? This too is never explained adequately.
The art starts strong too but then veers off course midway in the second chapter. Benes’ work is marvelous but he does not work on the entire project, leaving it gasping for air when placed in the hands of the other artists. It finds its feet again in the third chapter but once you reach ‘Two Nights in Bangkok’ you’ll be shaking your head in disappointment that such lackluster artwork was commissioned. Where Benes uses lovely detailed line work with captivating anatomical and action compositions, the latter work is infantile and unsophisticated, amateur even.
‘End Run’ is a disappointment and should never have been forced into the Brightest Day saga. The plot, characters and artwork are too inconsistent for pleasurable reading and viewing. Unless you’re a die-hard Birds of Prey, Hawk and Dove or ‘Brightest Day’ fan, be wary of this one.
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