Birds of Prey: Between Dark & Dawn
Distributed By: DC Comics
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Birds of Prey: Between Dark & Dawn is a compilation of issues 69-75 and takes of where Sensei & Student left off. When we last visited the Birds, Huntress had been assimilated into the group, having proven herself to be a valuable asset. Savant, a psychologically troubled criminal, professed his wish to atone for his sins. In order to prove that he has been reformed, he agreed to work with the Birds, much to the chagrin of Black Canary.
Issue #69 begins with a series of suicides involving teenagers from well-to-do families whose bodies are found clad in the costumes of deceased superheroes. Barbara Gordon – AKA: Oracle - is, of course, suspicious: “All three apparently chose their locations for the isolation…GPR, fingerprints, angle of entry wounds…everything says suicide. So yes—I think they were murdered.” She sends Huntress to Eastern Oregon, the location of a mysterious cult known as the Second Heaven Redemptive Farm and Gardens. Black Canary is assigned to speak to the suicide victims’ families. While they conduct their investigations, Oracle begins the handling of her newest agent, Savant. She sends him to a known drug trafficking area within New Gotham and orders him to straighten out the neighborhood without sending anyone to the morgue.
Things go haywire when Huntress, now firmly implanted in the midst of the Second Heaven cult members, discovers a laboratory filled with missing-in-action meta-humans hooked up to machines. Oracle attempts to interface with the laboratory computers and finds herself in a winner-take-all battle with an incredibly powerful enemy. Meanwhile, Huntress finds herself in a deadly battle with Vixen, a meta-human with the power to channel the gifts of animals. Vixen had been inserted into the clan by Oracle prior to Huntress’ arrival to act as a secret weapon, but the leader of Second Heaven discovered her and used his powers of mind control to abort her mission. Now, instead of being Huntress’ ally, she has become her deadliest foe.
Gail Simone has more than proven her worth as writer of the Birds of Prey series. Her stories are always action-packed, with surprising twists and turns that leave you on the edge of your seat from first page to last. Between Dark & Dawn is a terrific addition to the Birds of Prey trade paperback series, giving readers better insight into the integrity of their favorite heroes by placing them in next-to-impossible situations that require strength of purpose to overcome. Once again, readers are witness to the strength of the ties that bind the Birds together, making them a formidable force to oppose.
The artwork by Ed Benes, Ron Adrian, and Jim Fern is beautiful and at times incredibly detailed. The cover art is of such artistic caliber that it should be hanging in an art gallery. My particular favorite is the cover art for Issue #72, created by Greg Land and featuring a newly formed vision of Oracle and the feral Vixen.
Can Oracle win her battle against an enemy that only she can see? Will Huntress survive her battle with Vixen? What does the Second Heaven cult have planned for the meta-humans in their possession? What is behind the strange rash of suicides in New Gotham? You’ll have to pick up Birds of Prey: Between Dark & Dawn to find out! At the price of $14.99, trust me, you will not be disappointed!!
For more about Birds of Prey, check out these links:
Birds of Prey
Black Canary / Oracle: Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey: Old Friends, New Enemies
Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds
Birds of Prey: Sensei & Student
Birds of Prey: Batgirl / Catwoman & Catwoman / Oracle
Birds of Prey: Between Dark & Dawn
Birds of Prey: Secret Files & Origins 2003
Birds of Prey Television Series