BIRDS OF PREY #10 (DC Comics, May 2011) Gail Simone, writer. Inaki Miranda, artist. Nei Ruffino, colorist. Swans, letterer. Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, cover artist.
“The Death Of Oracle” conclusion: “The Gristle And The Ghostly”
The Death Of Oracle story arc wraps up here in nice fashion. Oracle gets what she wished for - - her faked death which ensures she can remain a background player in crime prevention. As Barbara Gordon so aptly puts it: “If I’m out in the open, then the criminals get cautious. And we can’t have that. . . . . Because my goal is that they never see me coming.”
Second tier criminal The Calculator gets the credit for disposing of Oracle, and ups his credentials by doing so. Word gets around because he’s a big bragger, and likes the free drinks all his associates are buying him now. But he doesn’t earn his stripes easily - - and not before the Birds Of Prey crush his credibility with the hired guns, as well as abuse him both physically and mentally. The fun in this issue is reading how they manage to escape from execution, turn the tables on The Calculator, and still deliberately leave him with the false credit of taking out a major player on the crime-fighting scene.
The battle scenes here are brilliantly portrayed by writer and artist and worth the price of admission. In addition to being a somewhat dark and serious book, this is a hell of a lot of fun. The past three issues have featured three different artists. I commented earlier that the transitions in art from issue to issue have been mostly seamless, and I credited the book editor for conveying a sense of continuity and style. Inaki Miranda now gets a second consecutive start on the art and the style seems a little different than the past three issues. But I sure like it. Issue #10 of BIRDS OF PREY reminds me a bit of the stylings of Daniel Gete (LOGAN’S RUN). But don’t get used to Miranda. The letters column reveals that Jesus Saiz takes over as artist with Issue #11.
I’m beginning to understand why my fellow BC Refugees support this book. Check it out.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: YEAR ONE #2 (Dynamite, 3/09/2011) Written by Scott Beatty. Illustrated by Daniel Indro. Colored by Tony Avina. Lettered by Simon Bowland. Covers by Francesco Francavilla, Aaron Campbell, Daniel Indro.
Issue #1 was very much plot-driven. It had to be since it was essentially a stand-alone issue meant to introduce and establish the character and setting without forcing the reader to wait another month that a story arc would require. A smart move. Issue #2 allows writer and artist to stretch and flex a little more, as it begins a multiple issue storyline involving a new serial killer (of males!) on the streets of London.
We’re given much more background on both Holmes and Watson (the able narrator of these books - - his captions are concise and witty at times). We learn of Watson’s subtle humor as he berates the police officers while willingly taking their wages as a medical consultant at crime scenes, etc. His probing and inquisitive nature also gets us a peek at the lifestyle and habits of Holmes, a most peculiar individual indeed.
Beginning with the opening splash page and continuing through the following pages, artist Indro perfectly establishes the scene and evokes the mood and somberness of dreary Victorian London so perfectly. I marvel at his research and detail.
As in Issue #1, writer Beatty plants clues throughout the story - - although they are not so obvious this time and a little harder to decipher who might be behind the killings. All I can figure out is that theater and plays of ancient Rome have a connection to them.
I am really enjoying this book and look forward to it each month.