I was really looking forward to Birds of Prey, Volume 1: Trouble in Mind. Perhaps I hyped myself up for it a little too much, because ultimately I’m feeling a tad disappointed.
As a relatively new comic reader, I was convinced that it would be great to get into these worlds through The New 52 titles. But I’m starting to notice a pattern with these titles and that is, they feel less like ‘new’ stories. I think it’s really misleading to attach ‘new’ to something, because I personally would anticipate reading about an origin story. Unfortunately Birds of Prey didn’t feel like an origin story, and I was more or less thrown into the deep end with this one.
This criticism doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the story. I think it has a lot of potential. But unfortunately because there was very little set up to the story and the characters, consequently I didn’t feel hugely connected to either. Black Canary and Starling (whom I’ve never even heard of before this comic, so she must be new to the DC world) are essentially already in a team before the story starts. I would’ve liked to see their formation as a team, seeing as this graphic is about said team.
I also thought the story-telling was quite weak. It felt very plain and that came off as quite juvenile to me. (But I will say that as of late, I’ve been on a huge fantasy bender, and so I could just used to more intricate writing styles.) Also at times I felt that I was experiencing over exposition. The story would be told through inner-monologue, and it was like having the plot spelled out to me. Instead, why not have the characters engage in dialogue?
Something I really enjoyed was the character designs and their costumes, I really liked how they reflected the character and who they are. Poison Ivy in particular looked really cool and I hadn’t seen her stylised that way before. I’m still unsure if she was wearing a suit, but she had these really cool black tendrils that would change on her face. Although the art was mainly consistent through-out the volume, I did notice a character had gone from having tan skin to whiter skin. I literally thought he was a whole other person. I understand they employ different artists sometimes from issue to issue, but if some things could just remain to avoid confusion on this idiots behalf (I’m talking about me here btw) that’d be great.
Despite not liking the first installment, I will definitely give this series a chance. The writer was clever and left this volume on a good cliffhanger that makes me really want to pick up the next volume!