Birds of Prey | Book Club: Weeks 14-15 | SPOTLIGHT: Huntress & More ORIGINS

We are back with another Spotlight, everyone, this time highlighting Huntress :00_huntress2: with a few more early adventures! Plus, we’re finishing off our Origins of the Birds of Prey with the remaining few one-shots that set up our big and epic ongoing series, which we’ll be diving into soon! Are y’all ready?

Detective Comics #652

Detective Comics #653

Batman: Huntress/Spoiler - Blunt Trauma #1

Birds of Prey: Revolution #1

Birds of Prey: Wolves #1

Birds of Prey: Batgirl #1

Birds of Prey: The Ravens #1

What did you like? What did you not? Have you read them before? What did you think of the artwork? Anything about the books you’d like to talk about—drop you thoughts below when you’re ready!

We’ll take the first week (4/5 - 4/11) to read, then discuss during the second week, (4/12 - 4/18). See ya soon! :purple_heart:

:birds_of_prey_club_oracle: You can join or learn more about Birds of Prey HERE


Looks like I need to add some Detective Comics issues in my back bin search!

The Huntress/Spoiler book wasn’t bad but it really helps if you read the Cataclysm/Road to No Man’s Land books to get the bigger picture. However, I was a fan of seeing Stephanie Brown and Huntress fight Spoiler’s dad in a mall.

Out of the Birds of Prey 1 shots, I think The Ravens was my least favorite. It wasn’t bad in the least but considering the list of BoP books that are on this list it didn’t wow me like the others.


As a huge Huntress fan, I’ve read these all before when compiling my lists of “all Helena Bertinelli appearances” - and I really love those 90s Dixon appearances, particularly Huntress/Spoiler: Blunt Trauma - my two favorite purple girls together!


For me, the Cataclysm one shot is a big moment in Steph’s growth to seeing herself as a hero, and contrasting herself with a more angry hero, since she’s coming from a very angry place herself.


I should also mention that I much prefer the suit in the Cataclysm one-shot - it’s similar to her Rick Burchett redesign for Cry for Blood a few years later, which I think is the best of the 90s design. I like the Jim Lee design, but I wish he made it a onesie rather than a semi-bikini. Nicola Scott would later render the Lee design in that way, becoming my favorite version.


:raised_hands: :00_huntress1:

I’m really glad to read this, because I enjoyed it…so this means we made a good choice! :wink: Thanks for joining us this week, @millernumber1! :purple_heart:


Wonderful! I’m trying to get more regularly involved here on the forums, and the Birds of Prey are huge favorites of mine, as one of my first loves when I got into comics in 2005ish. :slight_smile:


Amazing! Then this is the perfect place! Welcome to the Birds Nest! :hugs:


Oooh, the Bird’s Nest, I love it. :slight_smile:


Was the Clocktower ever called the Birds’ Nest? If not, that’s right up there with Green Arrow and the Quiver of hero lair names that should have happened sooner.


The closest I can remember is all of Tim Drake’s Robin’s Nests around the world and Gotham in Batman Eternal.


No, not that I recall.

Funny thing for me is we’ve been using that for months and no ones noticed until this week. lol :00_birds_of_prey:


I mean, I noticed, but as the name for this group, but having it in the comics just kind of clicked at me all of a sudden. :man_shrugging:


Ah, I gotcha! Aerie was on the board too (plane). Could still happen—who knows!


So, my thoughts on what I’ve read so far:

Detective Comics #652-653

Or, as I like to call it:

It’s a decent story. Nothing to really say much about this one. Batman and Huntress team up to fight some baddies, get caught up in “how far to we cross the line” and depart grumbling at each other – pretty standard fare for this 90s-00s era of Huntress. I did kind of chuckle at Batman both being irked at being in the passenger seat of someone else’s car, and him subtly poking at her costume choice by asking if she’ll be warmer in the car.

Speaking of, I’m curious to what you guys think of her look in this era. Like, the design Jim Lee gives her with the ab window has gotten its fair share of hate over the years, but that plunging neckline! Either way, I think we can all agree that mullet is terrible and that Helena should feel bad subjecting her schoolchildren to such atrocities.

Batman: Huntress/Spoiler - Blunt Trauma

Think we can add some more colons and dash marks in that title? Sheesh!

Awkard title aside, this was a solid one-shot. It’s funny, this is a character combo that you don’t really think about until it’s laid out on you, but both Helena and Stephanie have a lot in common. Both were kind of adjacent in the Bat-Family – there to help, but at times unwanted by the main players. Both deal with having a family rooted in crime, Helena with being a daughter of the mob and Steph the daughter of a super-villain. They even share the same love for purple garb!

Now I’m picturing what would have happened if Steph decided to train or become a partner with Helena…

Birds of Prey: Revolution

It was okay. It’s funny, when I saw that they were going to Santa Prisca, I figured they were going to do something more with that setting. Like I was thinking “What if Bane showed up and Dinah had to fight him?” But here it’s basically just your standard exploited Central American/Carribian place. It’s really not that much different in plot from any other crime story in Gotham, except this tropical paradise gives Dinah an excuse to put on a bikini.

Birds of Prey: Wolves

One thing I found interesting about this was how these series of one-shots suddenly starts getting a bit of continuity, where the last one ended with Barbara and Dinah on the outs after what happened in Santa Prisca, and now they’re kind of fighting their own battles.

This issue also introduces something else, and funny that our talks about setting things up for Pride Month reminded me of this – queer coding between Dinah and Babs. "Oh, we’re not girlfriends, just really, really, really good friends. It’s kind of ironic, considering Dixon’s own backwards views on LGBT rights.

I was also surprised that this issue is actually the debut of the douchey ex-husband from the Black Canary mini we covered last time. I figured he was just made for that series, I didn’t think he had any appearances before.

Birds of Prey: Batgirl

This was really fun. This is one of those hot takes that gets people mad at me sometimes, but I honestly more prefer Babs as Batgirl rather than Oracle, so seeing her in the classic suit fighting with “Black Canary” was cool to see.

And they pulled a fast one on me! The tricked me, and I daresay I may have been bamboozled. Because as soon as they mentioned Mad Hatter, I figured “Oh, so this is that episode of BTAS ‘Perchance to Dream’ but with Babs, okay cool.” But then we find out that it’s Spellbinder! Who I honestly never heard of, but way to swerve my expectations, comic!

Another thing of note is the Greg Land art. Early Greg Land art, because this is him before he started tracing everything – though he definitely does some here, his Joker feels straight from Brian Bolland – and I have to say, I really wish he stuck with just traditionally drawing for the most part, because he’s really solid here.


I do agree that Huntress’s costumes are often pretty silly. This one feels too early 90s power vest, and doesn’t really project the kind of power and intensity that I associate with Helena.

I love the Huntress/Spoiler one shot - though I think it’s really interesting that Steph was more pushed away from the violent direction of heroing by Huntress, and encourage to hone her skills by Dinah, another Bird of Prey.

The other ones aren’t nearly as engaging, sadly, though I agree that early Greg Land stuff is pretty solid, especially compared to the current product.


Yeah the look isn’t the best, but… 'twas the '90s :woman_shrugging:

And thanks for all the awesome analysis and discussion, I’m loving it. Gotta remember to chime in later! I do have a weird fondness for those early '90s crime stories :thinking:


Moth returns to the nest! …Do birds eat moths…?

This week was Chuck Dixon heavy. Honestly… I’m hot and cold on Chuck. On one hand, he created the Birds of Prey and he did A LOT for the Bat Family in the 90’s. On the other, I always kind of had the feeling that Chuck and I wouldn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. More on that as we go…

Detective Comics #652-653:

And, sure, let’s start with diplomatic immunity. Yeah, I guess it could be a mechanism for bad foreign actors to get away with things they normally wouldn’t if not properly regulated. However, it’s also a mechanism that prevents foreign diplomats from being unfairly prosecuted for political reasons…

Diplomatic immunity must’ve been a semi-hot-button issue in the 90’s because I remember it being a plot device in a lot of stories when I was a kid (nice Lethal Weapon II reference, btw @Jay_Kay). Now… it’s kind of a non-issue.

I don’t have too much more to add except this story chronicles Helena’s further descent into the ruthless, vigilante tactics that would come to define her. She definitely has a long journey into the night…

I don’t know what you’re talking about… :sweat_smile: :innocent: :sweat_smile:

Huntress/Spoiler- Blunt Trauma: (I left out Bats cuz I don’t think his name really needs to be there)

This made me want to read Cataclysm/No Man’s Land all over again… but I don’t have time for that. What I really liked about this issue was Spoiler’s reaction to Huntress and how that changed as events progressed. At first, Stephanie has this hero-worship of Helena. As she got to see more of Helena’s brutality and as she realized that could mean the end of her father’s life… that hero-worship turned to something like fear. It gives you perspective on why other heroes tend to interact with Huntress cautiously, if at all. I also always like seeing that complicated Spoiler/Cluemaster, father/daughter relationship play out.

Birds of Prey: Revolution:

I was also hoping to see Bane and was a little disappointed. This issue definitely continued Dinah’s streak of having bad taste in men. There is something going on in this issue and I’m not sure if I find it funny or troubling. First, it is kind of funny that a corrupt dictator was overthrown by the interests of a cola company. However… that makes me think of some uncomfortable historical parallels like how Cuba was basically being gutted by U.S. corporate interests Pre- Fidel Castro. Is being exploited by a corporation really that much better than being exploited by a dictator? I don’t think the story gives a definitive answer. All I know is, I’m with Dinah:
Soder Cola Girl

Birds of Prey: Wolves:

Speaking of Dinah’s bad taste in men, it was fun seeing her ex-husband pop up again (I have been keeping up with the reading even if I’ve been a bit negligent on the posting… sorry…). Then there’s this moment:

Superheroes for GNP
Again, I’m with Dinah. Superheroes should not be out protecting corporate interests. And, of all the things you can and probably should criticize Ollie for, his “bleeding heart” isn’t one of them. C’mon, Babs…

Birds of Prey: Batgirl:

Speaking of Babs, people really need to stop underestimating her because of the wheelchair. I liked how trippy this story was (I tend to really like dream sequences/hallucinations). The fact that things would start to get really weird whenever The Joker popped up was a nice touch. You could almost feel Barbara’s anxiety along with her.

Birds of Prey: The Ravens:

Not a lot to say about this one other than it was fun watching Cheshire lead a band of misfits on, what turned out to be, a pretty important mission. I’m hoping they’ll show up again later on to give more context/meaning to this one-shot.

Those were my initial reactions! Good to be back!


Very thoughtful commentary! I definitely get struggling with some creator’s philosophies or other points of view, though Dixon isn’t usually one of them for me (of course, I don’t agree with him all the time, but then, who agrees with anyone all of the time?)


Thank you! When it comes to Dixon… It’s never really anything overt or obvious about his philosophies or messages… just this nagging feeling just under the surface…