Comics

Birds of Prey: Platinum Flats

Writer: Tony Bedard

Pencilers: Michael O’Hare, Nicola Scott and Claude St. Aubin

Inkers: John Floyd and Doug Hazelwood

Distributed By: DC Comics

Reviewed by Melissa Minners
 

            The announcement that the Birds of Prey comic book series would come to an end with its February 2009 issue shocked me.  I had been enjoying this series and had collected every graphic novel available (and some issues not included in the graphic novel series).  I loved this series and was surprised to see it come to an end.  Yes, there are a great many strong female characters in the DC Universe, but I only one series containing a strong female character fighting crime from the confines of a wheelchair.  Thus, it was with dismay that I began reading Platinum Flats, quite possibly the last Birds of Prey graphic novel to ever hit the stands.

            Platinum Flats opens with the Birds in a new town, with a brand new headquarters.  People in the town of Platinum Flats are unaware of the forces of evil hidden within their midst and are unhappy at the new contingent of costumed crusaders.  In fact, they have gone so far as to blame the Birds of Prey for the influx of crime in their area.  But Barbara Gordon knows different - an enemy now turned informant has given her the scoop on a network of techno-baddies bent on world domination. 

            Unfortunately, what Barbara doesn’t know is that the cyber-geeks have allowed a new member to join their ranks, one with a disturbing link to Barbara’s past.  Can Barbara and her team stop the criminals of Platinum Flats before their plans for world domination come to fruition?  Can Barbara overcome the demons of her past?  Will Misfit ever find a way to fit in at the local high school?  All these questions and more are answered in Birds of Prey: Platinum Flats.

            I think the Birds of Prey began their downhill spiral when they began taking on more and more characters.  When it was just Oracle, Black Canary and Huntress, there were less good guys to focus on and more storyline to enjoy.  Now, with all of the new characters added to the group, there are a lot of back stories to follow and a whole lot of distractions.  Every character has to get some viewing time in the comic and trying to fit everyone in can cause little hitches in the storyline.

            That being said, I still found the storyline of Birds of Prey: Platinum Flats to be rather enjoyable.  There was no jumping around, the enemy was clearly identified until the surprising twist at the end and there weren’t too many characters to pay attention to this time around.  Although Black Canary isn’t a part of the team anymore, she does make an appearance and that makes me very happy.  Also, Misfit is not as whiny as she was when she started out.  In fact, her issues at school remind me of Dinah in the Birds of Prey television show I enjoyed the introduction of Infinity as a new crime fighter on the Birds of Prey payroll.  Her powers are rather interesting and I think her skills in infiltration will be invaluable to the team. 

            I also enjoyed the way the storyline forced Barbara to face down her old demons.  Coming face-to-face with a former enemy whose past actions destroyed Barbara’s life as she once knew it forces Barbara to come to grips what happened in her past and move forward.  There will always be a part of Barbara that will want to race the rooftops as Batgirl, but this storyline allows Barbara some closure and acceptance of her new path in life.

            The artwork in this series was very good.  All of or favorite characters and bad guys are drawn just the way we envision them to be.  Even the cover art, with the exception of issues 119 and 124 are awesome.  My favorite has to be the cover art for issue 124 that almost jumps out at you from the page.  What a great piece of art!

            Fans of the Birds of Prey comic book series are going to want to add this graphic novel to their collection.  Birds of Prey: Platinum Flats, a compilation of issues 119-124 of the series, is a step in the right direction for the Birds of Prey series.  It contains a great storyline and some very good writing.  Unfortunately, this is probably the last graphic novel we’ll ever see from this series as it ended with issue 127.  Perhaps if we cross our fingers and yell loud enough, the folks at DC Comics will bring back our Birds!

 

For more about Birds of Prey, check out these links:

Birds of Prey: Batgirl / Catwoman & Catwoman / Oracle
Birds of Prey: The Battle Within
Birds of Prey: Between Dark & Dawn
Birds of Prey: Black Canary / Oracle: Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey: Blood and Circuits
Birds of Prey: Club Kids
Birds of Prey: Dead of Winter

Birds Of Prey Feature
Birds of Prey: Metropolis or Dust
Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds
Birds of Prey: Old Friends, New Enemies

Birds of Prey: Perfect Pitch
Birds of Prey: Secret Files & Origins 2003
Birds of Prey: Sensei & Student

Birds of Prey Television Series
Birds of Prey Television Series DVD


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