By Gail Simone (writer), Diego Olmos (artist), Nei Ruffino (colors), Carlos M. Mangual (letters)

The Story: Huntress and the Question race to the rescue while Dove and Black Canary try to survive their encounter with Junior.

What’s Good: Where have concentrated doses of the phenomenal Huntress/Question dynamic been all my life? These two are fantastic together, and having them ride in together to try and save the day as a team is spectacular fun to watch. Likewise, Canary’s and Dove’s sisterly devotion to each other is both touching and (under the circumstances) nerve-wracking. It’s absolutely clear (if the last 12 issues hadn’t already given it away) that Simone has a great deal of affection for these characters and this team. I’m almost glad that the new Birds will consist of almost entirely different members; I’m not sure I could go back to someone other than Simone writing them. Their interaction together is so real, and the relationships ring so true. Not having this book to look forward to every month is going to be quite an adjustment.

What’s Not So Good: Although he does an excellent job choreographing fight sequences (particularly the scenes of Junior stalking Canary and Dove through her house of horror), the overall visual product lacks the detail and dynamism that past artists have brought to Simone’s scripts. It’s a small complain given the strong nature of the overall storytelling, but the panels just do not provide the flow or energy that I look for in my comic art.

Then…there’s the ending. While the final line is wonderful and sums up in a nutshell what I love about this book, it IS quite a cliffhanger, one that we know will never be satisfactorily resolved. That’s a big disappointment, especially given how strong this particular storyline was. Even one more issue that allowed us to watch all of the Birds, together, hunting down and taking out Junior, would have been very welcome.

Conclusion: While I wish the ending had provided more closure, this issue was still a nice way to say goodbye to one of my favorite DC books. Since neither the Birds team nor creative team is continuing on the book post-DCnU, I’ll be trading it in for Simone’s new baby, Fury of Firestorm. While I don’t imagine it will capture my heart in the same way Birds did, Simone is worth following anywhere she chooses to go.

Grade: B


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