Birds of Prey #106
This is largely a big right issue. As that sort of thing goes, though, it is a whole lot of fun.
Honestly, there isn’t much else to say about it.
In reference to the character that return at the end: Wha? Really? But then what was the point of that recent miniseries. Arrgh, frustrated.
Thankfully, the rest of the issue did not stoke my ire in quite the same way, despite playing the return of Elastic Lad card. I actually enjoyed the Rogue section this time out as Pied Piper showed signs of having drifted back to his heroic self (while keeping almost everyone else in the dark). It still drives me a little nuts that Heatwave is so easily accepted (but perhaps he too had to go through this when he first rejoined the Rogues) but the storyline is starting to take shape.
The Monitors arguing sequence is pretty perfunctory and could’ve been cut without costing the story anything and probably would’ve pumped my interest up a bit.
The back up frightens me given how the back up that started 52 went, but, at this stage, I can at least say that it is not that bad. It is not all that necessary or interesting either.
The Lords of the Avenue arc almost closes on a satisfying end, but trips a little at the finishing line. Over the course of the past few issues, Robin has not been able to catch a break in helping reporter Alexandra Brackett stay alive and get the information she needs to publish an article on Strader Pharmaceutical and their illegal testing of a strength enhancing drug on a Gotham gang. His luck does not change this time out as he is caught in the sights of a Strader funded mercenary team, fails to save the life of one of the few people who could blow the case open, cannot out-manipulate an unscrupulous corporate type, and is stuck watching without a clue when somewhat is killed right in front of him. It is a well done study in how you can do everything you can and still not win the day.
Then, out of nowhere comes a miracle solution. I shouldn’t say â€œout of nowhereâ€ as it is built upon something from previous issues but the timing of it is overly convenient and saps some of the story’s strength because of it.
However, the issue is good enough that, poor ending or not, I feel comfortable recommending it. It has a nice surprise at the end that I wasn’t expecting and Williams art continues to be a strong fit for the book.
Regarding the last few pages: Isn’t weird that in that other book Beechen is writing right now, Teen Titans, he co-plotted an issue that gave Batgirl a sort of pass on her recent behavior and a chance to be a good guy again and yet, in this book, Beechen is guiding her rather down the path of no return? I don’t mind, I think the formerly Batman-approved hero turning no-holds-barred anti-hero is intriguing (even if another former Bat sidekick, Jason Todd, is doing it simultaneously). I just find it out that the Deathstroke’s drugs thing would be introduced but go unused.
Still a great book by my measure though.
American Virgin #15
Adam leaves the county andâ€¦I didn’t hate it. In fact, I liked it very much. What a relief.
A big part of that, no doubt, goes to his traveling companion Vanessa. While she is obviously cast as the impetuous one to Adam’s over thinker, Seagle is not content with that sort of simple, one dimensional rendering. He gives her depth, showing that she might be for taking chances, but she is also grounded in ways that Adam isn’t. Her only demerit? The breast speech. Sure it is great sentiment, but is waaaaaaaaaaay overwritten and who really talks that way anyway.
Back stateside, the very modern romance of Mel and Cyndi begins to heat up and I find myself surprised about my interest in them as a couple. I was a bit soured on it from the start because I thought Seagle was being overly clever with the whole Mel being a girl thing when he said all his cards about 4 pages after Mel showed up but still played cute with it, dropping further hints here and there, for 5 more issues. Also, not for nothing, but Mel is a mercenary who seems wildly untrustworthy to say the least. And yet, there is a sweetness to them that is unexpected and I appreciate how the world weary Cyndi is suddenly befuddled and confused, providing a nice mirror image of her step brother Adam.