This volume made precisely no sense whatsoever. Black Canary and Lady Shiva are running around Hong Kong promising not to kill each other while they try to avenge the death of their beloved master. Meanwhile, Oracle is back in Gotham having her computer system hacked before getting kidnapped by some fake government spooks, and finally getting saved by Huntress. There’s nothing inherent in those two plot lines to occasion the sheer amount of confusion I experienced reading this volume, but somehow Sensei & Student managed to have me frowning in bewilderment and muttering things like . . . “Black Canary got her sonic cry back when? They’re where? And why? And how did they get there? And they did what? And, why?”

I want to like Birds of Prey, and I want to recommend buying Birds of Prey because I really feel that there isn’t enough representation of strong capable women in superhero comics. However, between utter confusion that was this plotline and the issues I had with the last volume, I’m not sure that I can push Birds of Prey in good conscience anymore. That is not to say that I won’t be reading the next volume, but I’ll be going into it with trepidation.

Birds of Prey: Sensei and Student
ISBN 9781401204341
By Gail Simone
Art by Ed Benes, Alex Lei, Michael Golden, Joe Bennett, Cliff Richards
DC Comics 2005

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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