The Birds of Prey are now fully back in the pages of DC’s comics, with a new ongoing series launching for the team to critical and fan acclaim. The new era for the team has already been providing a different, but familiar flavor, bringing together characters from different corners of the DC mythos. In the process, the issue name-dropped a villain who has been absent from the comics for quite some time. Spoilers for Birds of Prey #1 from Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue sees Dinah Lance / Black Canary recruiting the team for her new top-secret mission — to rescue Cynthia “Sin” Lance from the Amazons before they accidentally cause the end of the world. After getting Cassandra Cain / Batgirl into the cause, Dinah asks Cass to go recruit Big Barda, who she finds kicking butt in a bar in California. Cass and Barda join forces to fight vampires in the bar — vampires who are underlings of Barda’s “former teammate”, Bloody Mary.
Who Is DC’s Bloody Mary?
While the name Bloody Mary has been used multiple times in DC — through a short-lived Helix Comics hero, a Batwoman villain, and a Dakotaverse villain — Barda’s comment about her “teammate” confirms which version is in question. Created by Karl Kesel and Barry Kitson in 1991’s Hawk and Dove #21, Bloody Mary fought alongside Barda in the Female Furies, and had the ability to absorb the energy of her victims. She appeared across DC’s comics twelve times before dying in a 2008 Wonder Girl arc.
Another version of Mary did appear in the Elseworlds book Ame-Comi Girls, as a member of the Pirate Furies.
What Is the New Birds of Prey Series About?
In Birds of Prey, Dinah Lance is one of the DC Universe’s most elite fighters, and combined with her sonic scream, she’s a fearsome foe in any scenario…but sometimes even the Black Canary needs help. Faced with a personal mission brought to her by a mysterious new ally, and up against near-impossible odds, she re-forms the Birds of Prey with an unrivaled group–Cassandra Cain, Big Barda, Zealot, and Harley Quinn–with only one goal: extraction of their asset at any cost. What could possibly go wrong? This all-new, all-deadly Birds of Prey is still breaking hearts and faces after all these years!
“The arc is called “Megadeath” and we’ve said it’s a very personal story, and this is a very dramatic dangerous team, which all seems very “grim and gritty” but I don’t know…it’s just not how I write,” Thompson explained to ComicBook.com in a recent interview. “I feel like even in the darkest stories, there’s humor. It’s how we survive the worst stuff! So yes, I like dire situations, and to write big action and super coordinated fights. But I also like to let my characters really feel like they know one another–so I’m big on banter, which naturally keeps things a bit lighter. A character like Barda–who is a sort of fish out of water truth teller character–is so fun to play against a more laconic Cassandra Cain Batgirl. I find when you start smashing these characters together, magical things happen. You just can’t let it overwhelm the actual plot you’re trying to execute. I do think we found the balance here–but I am obviously biased!”
Birds of Prey #1 is now available wherever comics are sold.