In this review of Birds of Prey #4, Wonder Woman joins the fight against the Birds of Prey on Themyscira, however a larger threat than the small invasion is revealed.
Title: Birds of Prey #4
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Leonardo Romero
Color Artist: Jordi Bellaire
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Leonardo Romero
Variant Covers: Chris Bachalo, Joshua “Sway” Swaby, Chunma Hill, and Leonardo Romero
Release Date: December 5, 2023
This review contains spoilers
Birds of Prey #4 opens with the same major fight as the last issue closed with. The Birds of Prey continue to fight the Amazons after making contact with Sin. Zealot, who knows that Diana has arrived, urges the others to retreat as she faces down Diana. A brief struggle ensues in which Diana promptly leaves to search for the Birds, leaving the Amazons to deal with the lone warrior.
Dinah delays Diana with some tricks she collected from her time with Zatanna. Barda then moves to engage the Amazon, leaving the others to search for her meg-rod. After a vicious fight, Barda is knocked unconscious and Diana is soon attacked by Batgirl. She keeps Diana off her feet with her tricks.
Zealot is shown to have handled the Amazons left to deal with her. The others are attacked by more Amazons. They gain the upper hand on the Birds only to be beaten by the suddenly appearing Meridian who then quickly vanishes again.
Barda regains consciousness and fights Diana with Batgirl. Barda reveals the reason for the Birds’ invasion to protect the world from Megaera and then she surrenders.
After Meridian’s disappearance, the Birds were all captured and held in a cell except for Sin. Diana keeps her at her side as she talks to the Queen. It is discovered that Penelope could have been compromised and the two amazons race to her. Diana tells Sin to unite with the Birds and evacuate, she will handle Magaera.
The Birds tend to their wounds and Batgirl shows up with the keys and frees the Birds. They respond to the battle with Magaera only to see Diana tossed aside and then they prepare to engage the being Zealot calls a god.
Unfortunately a lot happens off panel in Birds of Prey #4. It is not shown how the Birds were ultimately defeated by the Amazons. We see them victorious and then they are then seen in prison in power restraints with Canary wearing a dampening gag? It is not shown how Batgirl could have escaped and it is stated that the other Birds did not even know that she was not imprisoned with them. This is an uncharacteristic mistake of Black Canary who always knows where her teammates are.
Sin even appears to vanish from the story. Diana sends her to reunite with the Birds but she never reunites with her despite the movements of the Birds to her location when the battle with Magaera starts. Another question arises when we see Diana give her lasso to Sin. Why does she do that?
Action wise this issue is brutal. Zealot’s sword is seen dripping with blood however the Amazons were only wounded. The Birds are shown battered and bruised in the cell. Diana takes a lot of punishment first with Barda where she appears to have had her back snapped like Bruce Wayne in his first fight with Bane in Knightfall. She however does not not appear to have sustained any major injuries in her contest.
Art wise there is no difference. It does make sense that the colors are dulled out as it is night time so I will adjust my criticism for that. It is important that the reader gets a feeling of the time of day and conditions from the art. I can only assume that the restraints the Birds are in are power dampeners as the art has them glowing blue white. If Dinah’s cuffs are dampening her power, what is the purpose of the muffled gag she is wearing?
The design for Magaera is truly out of this world. It is shown as a nondescript face with massive tentacles coming out of it. It is shown as huge. Diana is dwarfed when she is next to it and the tentacles are shown to be completely surrounding the Birds in the end.
This story answers some questions but it appears that some important sequences were left on the cutting room floor. For this reason the story jumps around and it looks like whole scenes are missing almost like missing an episode of an episodic TV series.
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