From The Editor’s Desk: Janelle Asselin on BIRDS OF PREY
Like most DC editors, I’m not just an editor - I’m also a fan. And the book that made me a DC fan was BIRDS OF PREY. I’ve read a lot of DC books over the years, but BIRDS is the book that really hooked me. So when we were originally told that DC was bringing back BIRDS OF PREY in 2010, I may have knocked a few people over in claiming editorial rights to the book. I thought I was excited then.
It’s nothing to how excited I am right now.
The new BIRDS OF PREY is thrilling, fun, and beautiful. Writer Duane Swierczynski has crafted a story that takes off from issue one and does not let you stop for breath. It’s a new take on the characters and the team, so both new and old fans will come into the book on equal footing. But the spirit of BIRDS OF PREY - the spirit of doing good against all odds and the spirit of unlikely friendships - that remains in full force.
This spirit of friendship is most evident between Black Canary and our new character, Starling. Black Canary is, for the most part, the same incredible character she’s always been. As we move forward with the series, readers will discover that Black Canary in world of the New 52 has moved to the fringes of the super-heroic world but refuses to give up trying to save the world in her own way. Her good friend Starling has been by her side since college and they make a fun duo. For anyone who’s ever had that awesome BFF that’s nothing like you but seems to understand you anyway - you’ll immediately recognize and love the dynamic between Black Canary and Starling. Katana joins the team thanks to a nudge from another of Black Canary’s old friends - and while she isn’t exactly what Canary and Starling expect, well, she delights in bustin’ evil heads the same way they do.
But how does that spirit of friendship work with Poison Ivy, you ask?
For that you’ll have to wait and see - we have to keep some aces up our sleeves, you know! I will say that Duane’s done a great job of making her part of the team in a way that’s true to the spirit of all of the characters.
All of that being said, I’d be seriously remiss to not talk about artist Jesus Saiz’s contribution to the book. Holy cow, it’s so pretty. The thing I love about Jesus’s art is that he draws women realistically. The BIRDS are sexy, don’t get me wrong. But they’re a realistic kind of sexy that is a visual representation of the dedication the whole team has to making these characters real - not just eye candy. Each character has an individual style and flair that Jesus takes pains to show in his art. From the classic, traditional style of Black Canary to the rockabilly flair of Starling to the modern-samurai-chic of Katana to the sexy organic dress of Poison Ivy, each lady looks different and matches their personality externally. Jesus did endless designs and sketches to make sure we had each character right before we started on the book. And beyond the look of the characters, Jesus’s storytelling is dynamic and eloquent.
I could not be more proud of the work the whole BIRDS OF PREY team has done to put together our portion of the New 52. We look forward to having you along for the ride.