In this review of Birds of Prey #5, the Birds and the Amazons continue their battle against Megaera. Will they be able to walked away from it.
Title: Birds of Prey #5
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Arist Deyn
Color Artist: Arist Deyn
Letterer: Clayton Cowls
Cover Artist: Leonardo Romero & Jodie Bellaire
Variant Cover Artists: Chris Bachalo; W. Scott Forbes; Nathan Serdyuk (1:25), Bachalo (1:50)
Released: January 2, 2024
The Birds of Prey #5 – The Story
The Birds of Prey #5 begins as the Birds are steeped in combat with the entity known as Megaera. Many Amazons are under its influence and are attacking the Birds as well. In the middle of the fight Megaera falls back. Dinah, believing it is after Sin takes Barda with her to try to stop it. The plan is for the rest of the Birds to fight the controlled Amazons and join her if they can. Zealot tells the others; Batgirl and Harley go after Dinah, she can handle the Amazons alone.
Megaera has found Sin and it draws her in, just as Dinah and Barda arrive. Cass and Harley arrive and find Barda hacking at the thing while Dinah kneels in front of it. Harley tells her comrade that the fight is not over. Finally she smacks Dinah in the back of her head. This wakes her up and she decides to keep fighting for Sin.
Inside the creature Megaera talks to Sin. It wants to use her body as a means of life for itself and since it has absorbed the girl, it is only a matter of time before it takes Sin over completely.
Outside, Barda and Dinah create an entry point. She has ordered Cass to find the urn or Meridian and she enters. She finds Sin quickly and joins the discussion.
Batgirl finds Zealot but she is lying in a pool of blood. Cass approaches her and Zealot returns to life. Meridian also materializes in front of them but quickly dematerializes again leaving Zealot and Batgirl alone with a compromised Wonder Woman. Meridian appears again and tells the two she will face Diana.
Inside Megaera, Dinah discovers that Sin inadvertently invited Megaera to absorb her. She wanted to be stronger and more powerful. She wanted to travel the world with Dinah and maybe be a hero. This makes Dinah realize that she was neglectful of her little sister as well. She tells Sin that they are going to get out together. Megaera begs to differ, Sin will be absorbed but she will need a place to stay with Dinah through.
Outside the Birds are all attacked by the Amazons including Wonder Woman. Inside Dinah gives a powerful canary scream ending this issue and teasing for the next issue, Symphony of Destruction.
The art here is very similar to the previous issues. I noticed the character design was interesting to me. The faces of the characters are childlike. What I mean by that is that the characters appear to be younger than what they are. They look like children with some adult features mainly around the eyes. In addition the final panels make it look like the Birds are actually enjoying their fight with the Amazons. They seem to be smiling.
Both Barda and Harley have grins on their faces as they are punching and throwing bombs. This is an interesting choice and I am not sure I understand why this choice in the art was made especially when the previous page shows different facial expressions on the character especially in Harley which almost has an apologetic look on her face as she pummels an Amazon.
Story wise however is a major improvement. For the first time in this story we see why Megaera is after Sin. It wants to draw on her life force thereby creating a life for itself. It actually gives the impression the entity itself just wants to live.
There is a nice juxtaposition of the two aspects of the story. There are the wild fight scenes outside which is in contrast to the more contemplative story inside. The reader gets the action of the fight along with the intellectual and emotional exchange inside.
The reader gets inside the heart of Sin. She wants to be stronger and more self sufficient but I think it is more important that she wants a relationship with her sister. She wants to feel the love of family and yes there is a desire for action but in the end I think it is more of a desire for companionship.
Dinah herself realizes where she failed her sister. She even says that she failed her sister by not seeing this struggle in her but also she failed to ask the right questions. She just assumed and made her decisions off of assumptions that were false and if she had slowed down and asked she might have known. She vows to correct this and I think this vow pushes Dinah to make her move the way she did in the final pages of this issue.
The art in Birds of Prey #5 is still a little different than I would expect but the colors are more dynamic and that makes this enjoyable form a visual perspective. Story wise this story gains dimension and a more solid emotional element.
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