The Birds go out with a whimper... NEVER!
Indulge me for a moment while I wax philosophical. What makes a person a hero? Is it their abilities, physical or otherwise, that allow an individual to rise above the masses and take on the moniker hero? Or, is it really about the heart of a person? In his Superman run JMS is showing us how we all can be heroes in our very own neighborhoods, when we choose to put our own selfish desires aside and simply make ourselves available for others. A beautiful notion to be sure, but things are more complicated than that, and Simone wades deep into the most complex of situations. When there is no obvious right or wrong answer, how do you choose?
The story here is divided into three overlapping sections; Black Canary Vs White Canary, the Birds Vs Penguin, and Barbra Vs Savant and Creote.
Black Canary the Gentle Execution has been put on the table. If Dinah, in the heat of battle, were to strike White Canary down no one would give it a second thought. She was simply doing what she had to do. But, this is not what she does, this is not who she is, and because of it she is able to learn the identity of the one who framed her. It is her remarkable use of restraint in a situation that shows why she is a hero. Not because of her sonic scream or her advanced fighting techniques, but knowing when and how to use them. She does not let her emotions direct her actions she is patient and thoughtful, and those are the qualities that make her a hero.
Dove the Strong This is a short section of the issue, but still has a strong impact. Penguin's plot is exposed, and he has become paralyzed with uncertainty. It is here where being patient and thoughtful would be the wrong course. Action must be taken, and taken quickly. Simone represents this with the traditionally meek Dove punching Penguin in the face. It is an uncharacteristic act for Dove, which is why it is so important. Sometimes being the hero means stepping out of your comfort zone and making the hard decisions. Sometimes you just have to move.
Barbra the Sacraficial Oracle is one of my favorite characters, and it is moments like these that bolster that. Barbra is not particularly super. Sure she is super smart, but lots of people are smart. When Savant's true intentions are revealed she leaps out of her chair to stop him. She lays herself completely exposed and vulnerable at the hands of those who wanted to hurt her the most in order to save them. In my book that is the ultimate definition of a hero, one who gives of themselves completely to help those who would despise them. Creote loves Savant, but it takes Barbra's willingness to completely set her own safety aside for him to realize that doing what is right and doing what is best are not always the same thing. And, especially when it comes to love, being right is rarely what is best.
The Good The writing is paced nicely, and the internal monologues help keep the motivations of the characters forefront in the midst of all the action.
The art is fantastic. There are, once again, some really awesome images of White and Black Canary just kicking the crap out of each other. That is of course intermixed with great closeups, especially of Barbra, that help convey their intense emotional state.