Oracle: The Cure
Writer: Tony Bedard and Kevin VanHook
Pencilers: Claude St. Aubin, Fernando Pasarin and Julian Lopez
Distributed By: DC Comics
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When DC Comics announced that the Birds of Prey comic book series had come to an end, fans were very disappointed. We had all grown to love the series although I, for one, thought it was much better when Gail Simone was writing it. The series would be sorely missed and I am sure that DC heard about it from quite a few fans. Then, a rather short time after it was cancelled, we were informed that the series was coming back. Even more exciting news was that Gail Simone would be returning as writer of the series. Coinciding with this announcement was the release of a new trade paperback that ties together the end of the original Birds of Prey series and a three-issue miniseries featuring Oracle.
When Oracle: The Cure hit the stands, I searched for it everywhere. Every time I entered a bookstore, I looked for it on the shelves. Anytime I entered a comic book or magazine shop, I checked for it on the racks. Unfortunately, it took a long time to find this trade paperback and I was forced to order it on Amazon. Oracle: The Cure is a compilation of issues 126 and 127 of the original Birds of Prey series and issues 1-3 of the Oracle: The Cure miniseries.
We begin at the ending, so to speak, with the final story arc in the original Birds of Prey series as the group struggles to put to rest the criminal antics of the latest incarnation of The Society. The evil villain group has problems of its own, however, as they find themselves betrayed by one of their own. The Calculator decides to move on, reprogramming Kilg%re, a villainous program able to take on tangible shape by absorbing anything mechanical to his somewhat intangible body. By taking over Kilg%re, The Calculator becomes incredibly powerful, but his target remains the same as ever - Oracle.
The battle with The Calculator leaves Barbara Gordon with some serious doubts as to the path she has taken as a crime fighter. In the miniseries, Oracle: The Cure, she decides to start fresh, disappearing on her own in an effort to find clarity and direction. Returning to Gotham City, she sets up shop in an apartment on the shady side of town and immediately gets to work trying to hunt down The Calculator who has now hijacked the internet for a very special purpose - saving the life of his daughter.
Unfortunately, the Anti-Life Equation that he is so bent on assembling and using to save his daughter could in fact have some very devastating effects on the rest of the world. And, of course, it wouldn’t be The Calculator if some lives weren’t lost at the expense of the assembly of this equation. Can Oracle stop The Calculator before he can assemble the Anti-Life Equation alone or is one crime fighter too little too late to prevent the destruction of humanity as we know it?
I have to say that I have grown rather tired of The Calculator story arc. I feel that it lasted way too long and helped contribute to the demise of the original series. That being said, I can only wonder why the powers that be would return to The Calculator to be the big bad guy of the Oracle miniseries.
Although the stories are passable in this trade paperback, I have to say that the Birds of Prey series in its earlier days was much more enjoyable. Tony Bedard is a decent writer, but Chuck Dixon and Gail Simone were simply better writers for the series. They created better story arcs and wrote the characters better. No offense, Mr. Bedard, but these are just the cold, hard facts. Once Tony Bedard became writer of Birds of Prey, the comic book went downhill, featuring too many characters, barely solid story arcs and whispers of life.
That being said, I did enjoy the artwork found in Oracle: The Cure, which has grown incredibly detailed over the years. I particularly liked the artwork found in the miniseries story arc, although I have noticed that the artists had a flare for voluptuously curvaceous women. Never before has Barbara Gordon looked so incredibly sexy…in fact, never before have we ever witnessed Barbara Gordon taking a shower so…intimately. Although very tastefully done, I would suggest that you cover the eyes of all the youngsters out there who would love a peep show given the chance.
In closing, although Oracle: The Cure sort of ties up all the loose ends for Birds of Prey fans, the fact of the matter remains that it is only a decent trade paperback storyline-wise. Artwork-wise, it’s terrific, but the story is sub-par and makes one yearn for the early days of Birds of Prey. Thankfully, with Gail Simone returning to the flock, things are already looking up on that score.
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: Platinum Flats
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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