Birds of Prey 1: Trouble in Mind

birds of prey volume 1 trouble in mind cover trade paperback tpb katana black canary starling poison ivy
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Good team

So-so story tries too hard

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Birds of Prey (Volume 3)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Duane Swierczynski

Artist:  Jesus Saiz/Javier Pina

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2012


Birds of Prey (3) #4

Reprints Birds of Prey (3) #1-7 (November 2011-May 2012).  Black Canary is assembling a team.  Made up of Starling, Katana, and Poison Ivy, the Birds of Prey find a terrorist named Choke is turning people into walking assassins.  With no idea who Choke is, the Birds of Prey must first identify him before stopping his threat.  Unfortunately, when anyone can be transformed into a killer, even the Birds of Prey could become potential assassins.

Written by Duane Swierczynski, Birds of Prey Volume 1:  Trouble in Mind is the New 52 relaunch of the New 52 Batman family team book following the events of Flashpoint.  The collection features art by Jesus Saiz and Javier Pina and was met with mixed to positive reviews.

Birds of Prey was always one of those fringe books for me.  I wanted to like it more than I did.  I thought the characters were interesting and I liked their relationships, but something about the series never really connected through various writers and incarnations.  I was really looking forward to the relaunch of the DC Universe but approached Birds of Prey with some hesitation…rightfully so.

The story for the book tries too hard.  The book has a number of instances of the characters losing time due to the powers of Choke.  It attempts to be a twisting story, but it just comes off as confusing and Swierczynski just doesn’t pull off this style of writing.  I wish that the story had been written more straightforward since it doesn’t pull off what it is attempting.


Birds of Prey (3) #5

The comic also struggles to find a balance.  There are often attempts at humor in the situations, but the humor just seems to fall flat or reduces the book to “girls having fun”.  These are strong characters, and I don’t think that they can’t have fun, but it just doesn’t fit in with the tone of the book.

The team angle of this book is interesting.  Black Canary and Katana are pretty standard fare as DC female superheroes, but adding Poison Ivy to the mix is an interesting choice since unlike someone like Catwoman who has always toed the line as a hero, Poison Ivy has primarily been a villain (and continues to act like one here).  It isn’t surprising that they added a new character in Starling, but it automatically puts her under suspicion since she becomes expendable as a new character.

Birds of Prey 1:  Trouble in Mind shows potential.  Despite the potential, the book is extremely average.  The New 52 could be seen as an attempt to throw up a bunch of books to see what sticks and Birds of Prey follows in the middle of the pack.  Birds of Prey 1:  Trouble in Mind is followed by Birds of Prey 2:  Your Kiss Might Kill.

Related Links:

Birds of Prey 2:  Your Kiss Might Kill

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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