10 October 2002 | Techtite
Another fresh look at the Batman Formulae
Birds of Prey is set years after Batman's final victory against The Joker; a battle with a terrible price. Catwoman was killed, and Batgirl (Dina Meyer) was confined to a wheelchair for life. Batman disappears...apparently, too stricken with grief to continue. In his absence, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) becomes "The Oracle," acting as the eyes and ears of her protégée, The Huntress (Ashley Scott). The Huntress has a personal vendetta against the criminals of Gotham; she's Catwoman and Batman's daughter. So continues the Bat-legacy.
Enter `bird' #3: Dinah Lance (Rachel Skarsten), a young psychic who arrives to Gotham to explain the strange dreams she's been having. Of course, comic book buffs will know that Dinah Lance is the name of The Black Canary, thereby completing the "Birds of Prey" trio. However, for now, she's just a young novice, learning to be a super-heroine as the series progresses...
While comic-purists whine about comic-book inconsistencies, there is a lot to love about this "alternate" Bat-city. For one, their arch-nemesis is Harley Quinn (Mia Sara), who was once The Joker's main squeeze. The premiere also had the fun of Mark Hammil as the voice of the Joker, which he performs as brilliantly as he did in the cartoons. Best of all, though, is how The Huntress' eyes turn into feline slits before a fight; it may not be like The Huntress of comic lore, though who cares? It's a cool shot, plain and simple.
Regardless, some comic purists insist there is no way Catwoman and Batman had a child. What's the alternative, kiddies? That the rumors about Batman preferring the company of young boys are true.? Of course he and Selena Kyle were more than `just friends,' as we've seen in movies, TV, the comics, and even the cartoons. So yeah one thing led to another and Huntress was born. It could happen. Accept it.
Of course, you can never tell what series will be accepted by younger audiences. Back in the 1970's, "The Six Million Dollar Man" lasted four seasons, while "Bionic Woman" lasted only two; go figure. In today's pop culture, will a young Superman in "Smallville" be considered cooler than Batman's daughter in "Birds of Prey"? If so, that's a shame. There is a lot to like about this series. I look forward to seeing Birds of Prey as long as it lasts. I hope that's a long while.