Written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher
Art by Babs Tarr, Serge LaPointe, and Lee Loughridge
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Everyone’s favourite cranky bird returns to Burnside in time to help Babs hunt down the source of her memory problems, making her the last of the gang on the Batgirl #50 cover to pop up in Burnside.
This is largely a fun goof-off issue that opens with a superhero date between Babs and Luke, who has brought the Batwing costume out of retirement just for the occasion. The celebrations for buying the building that will house the energy company that may or may not result in the creation of a doomsday device get cut short when they’re called in to face off against the pair of video game nerds Babs faced in the free DC You preview issue.
This time Babs and Luke run briefly through a wrestling simulation that gives them the fun luchador(a) spin on their costumes that Babs Tarr has been lobbying for, but once the fun is over, Babs’ memory problems return to center stage when it becomes clear she doesn’t remember her previous skirmish with them.
From here the story gets congested by the efforts to unravel the source of Babs’ memory loss, resulting in the original Birds of Prey taking a trip to the Burnside hall of records (a stealthy homage to Batman Returns, perhaps?) where they discover who was behind it the whole time.
It’s not a particularly surprising revelation and feels somewhat like a retread of the Velvet Tiger issues, but the confrontation leaves Babs in a catatonic state, setting up for next issue that will take place at least in part inside Babs’ mind. The idea of a cyberpunk riff on the wordless Morrison/Quitely issue that saw Emma Frost and Jean Grey dive into Xavier’s mind is exciting to say the least.
All in all, this is probably the weakest issue of the run so far, which is still a lot more engaging than many books have ever been. The key highlight of the issue is Babs Tarr cutting loose on things like dinosaur holograms and luchadora Batgirl, but it’s the return of Dinah that really hits the high note. Tarr’s Canary is much softer than Annie Wu’s sharp, angular take in her solo series but Tarr uses that curviness and big hair to communicate her larger than life rock star attitude.
Most importantly, what keeps Dinah the biggest babe in the DCU is her flawless fashion sense, breaking out a strappy bra top and cincher topped off with a pair of ruched over the knee boots. Tarr also appears more confident than ever in the action sequences, displaying tremendous growth over where she was this time last year. Even on a bad day, Burnside remains the place to be.
The Verdict: 7.0/10