Gail Simone launches a new two-parter “Hostile Takeover” in Birds of Prey #12. The issue jumps back and forth between Huntress, who is both assisting and attempting to recruit the Question on to the team, and pretty much everyone else (Hawk, Dove, Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk) who are infiltrating a rather unusual building in Gotham that seems to have no real floor plans on file anywhere, and whose tenants have come to Oracle’s attention.
The first few pages are of a Mr. Tripe interviewing twin women for some nature of job. He has them take off their tops, but only to examine scars on their backs and ask about them. Personally, those scars look a lot like the brand on Grace from the Outsiders to me, but what do I know?
Zinda poses as a damsel in distress, seeking Mr. Tripe’s aid in resolving a blackmail mess, while Canary and Dove sneak into the building and poke around to see what’s hidden here. Why Hawk stays back in the entryway I’m not entirely sure, maybe just that stealth isn’t his strong suit.
Question and Huntress take on what at first seems to be dirty cops in a weapons deal, but nothing is that simple. For one, Question is sure these particular cops are clean, and for another, when the heroes, naturally, win, at least one of the defeated cops begs that they kill him and the others. His story involves the kidnapping and videotaped torture of his wife’s twin sister, and the rest ties in to the end of the issue here.
Hawk gets confronted by the twins from the opening pages, who pull guns on him and demand to know where his “damn friends” are. Meanwhile, Canary and Dove find a set-up that seems very familiar to Secret Six fans- a large crate, a notepad, and a phone. The cops Huntress and Question found, as well as the power behind Mr. Tripe, is Junior, Ragdoll’s very terrifying sister. As Huntress learns this, she radios Oracle to have the others clear the building, as the issue ends with Junior jumping Canary and Dove.
What I liked and what I didn’t:
Recruiting Question makes a lot of sense. Huntress points out that the team is lacking a detective, and she’s right. Q would be a good addition, although we don’t get an answer one way or the other this issue. Junior is a skilled manipulator, and using clean cops to do her dirty work fits with her past appearances in Secret Six. I guess reports of her demise were exaggerated. I hope that doesn’t mean the despicable Tramp-antula survived as well.
There are a few minor holes here I hope get filled in during part two. Why, exactly, did Tripe and/or the building come to Oracle’s attention in the first place? That’s never actually mentioned, and leaves me somewhat curious. On a related note, what did they learn that made them try the “help with a blackmailer” approach? I’d wonder how Huntress managed to track down Question out on the streets so easily, but all the Bat-family and the adjuncts seem to have the “find anyone in Gotham at any time” power. I’m also not entirely sure about either why Huntress knows who Junior is (did Catman tell her about their run in during some as yet unseen date?) or why she panics so badly on learning that’s who the team is facing. Junior is a nasty piece of work, I grant you, but I’ve never seen anything to make me think that Black Canary, with both world class fighting skills and her sonic powers, or Dove, with her various abilities, would have anything to fear from Junior.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|recruiting Question, the return of Junior||why is Huntress so scared of Junior, and how did Tripe pop on Oracle’s radar?|