Book Review: Birds of Prey Volume 1: Trouble in Mind

Since yesterday was a pretty crappy day, I decided to read something short and entertaining that I hopefully would be able to finish quickly and wouldn’t have to exert huge amounts of effort to read. So I picked up Birds of Prey Volume 1: Trouble in Mind (Graphic Novel 158 pages).

“The sirens of the night. One is wanted for a murder. The other is on the run for knowing too much. Together, Black Canary and Starling work in Gotham City, taking down the villains other heroes can’t touch. But now, as a grizzled newspaper reporter threatens to expose them, the two get sucked into a nightmare involving stolen pharmaceuticals, terrorists for hire and killers in stealth suits who can appear – and disappear – at will. Realizing that Gotham City’s citizens are in grave danger, Black Canary recruits Katana, a vengeful samurai, and the notorious bioterrorist Poison Ivy. Will the Birds of Prey be able to work together to save Gotham?”

I think it’s entirely possible that I was not the only one complaining about the DC Comics trend of not putting their collections in any particular order because this edition is clearly marked in several places. The spine of the book has the title and the issue number, the back of the book gives away the perfect amount and content of information to get me curious to read more, and the back cover next to the barcode actually says: “Birds of Prey: Trouble in Mind (collecting issues 1-7 of the New 52 series) is a hard-hitting story by mystery novelist Duane Swierczynski (Expiration Date, Cable) and artist Jesus Saiz (The Brave and The Bold).” So now I know exactly what collection of comics I’m reading and what issue number this is. In theory, this will also help me to buy the future compilations of the comics. Something this small probably shouldn’t make me this happy, but it does, most likely because this will help me fill the holes in my collection and also make sure I’m actually reading the story in order, which should help me figure out who these people are and where the story is going 🙂

As a general rule, I’m not typically a fan of stories that are not told in a chronological order. I understand why writers and artists often start a story at the top of the action and then fill in the details with how that action started later in the story, but I actually dislike stories written like that. I tend to be a person who likes things in true chronological order because I’ve found that things that bounce around with the time line are more confusing to me than ones that just tell a story from beginning to end. That’s kind of how this story went for me. There were a few times when I was really confused with when things happened and what kind of order the events of the story were taking place. My confusion might also stem from having had a really long day and not being at my sharpest. I guess that might be a good lesson about writing – you never know what experience or where the reader is at when they’re reading your story. If you’re writing in such a way that someone in a state of extreme exhaustion or some other similar state of altered consciousness and things are confusing to more than one person, that might be something to look at to make sure the story is as clear as it should be.

I really enjoyed the artwork and the characters in the story. Each one appears to have their own individual personalities, skills, goals, motivation, and conflicts. They react differently to the same situations. I think it really worked for me and I liked it, especially since each character really did have their own “real-world” scenarios where they don’t all just magically agree on things.

Overall, I liked it. It was a quick read and a good story with solid characters and good artistic style. I would probably rate this as a solid three on my rating scale. I’m glad I bought it and I will likely buy the next books in the series as they become available.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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