Review to Birds of Prey, by Marc Bernardin of Entertainment Weekly

Nearly six years after the show premiered on The WB to venomous hatred from comic-book fans, a startling realization rears its ugly head -- Birds of Prey isn't that bad. Yes, it played fast and loose with its origins: New Gotham is completely devoid of its Dark Knight; the Huntress, once a mobster's kid, is now the superpowered daughter of Batman and Catwoman; and Dinah Lance is a psychic teen instead of a tough-as-nails adult. But BOP is an eminently watchable crime-of-the-week diversion, made more so by Ashley Scott's kung-fu spunk as Huntress and Dina Meyer's maturity as the handicapped ex-Batgirl. The four-disc set boasts all 30 episodes of the animated Gotham Girls Internet series and the unaired BOP pilot -- notable only for the presence of Sherilyn Fenn as Harleen Quinzel, a.k.a. Big Bad. Mia Sara, another geek goddess, replaced her.

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Birds of Prey


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Sep 30, 2015 4:22AM EDT

The “hatred” was probably from expecting the TV series to use the then-current versions of the characters when the track record for comic to film adaptations should have led them to expect silver or bronze age versions instead.
The Bronze Age pre-crisis Helena Wayne always was a deeper and more interesting character than the Bertinelli version with its tired-old “the crimelord’s offspring is a crimefighter” concept.
Since the series creator mentioned in interviews that she used the version of Catwoman from the “Batman Returns” movie where her ‘9 lives’ power is treated as an actual (if subtle) superpower it makes sense in the context of the TV series that her daughter would be meta.
There was a very obscure telepathic Black Canary III in a short one-shot ‘coming of age’/’passing the mantle’ style ‘future’ story that was one issue of the “Batman Family” comic series (it may have been reprinted from somewhere else though). It used the bronze age concept of Dinah Drake as the first martial artist/infiltrator-only Black Canary, her daughter Dinah Laurel Lance as Black Canary II with the canary cry power, and introduced a granddaughter who thought she was not fit to eventually take over the family tradition since she was “only” a psychic with touch-telepahy and no matter how hard she trained she was not a particularly good martial artist and did not have the canary cry power. At the end of the story she is attacked and instinctively blasts the attacker with psi power she later calls her “mind scream” which she realizes is how she can take up the mantle when it is time. While using such an obscure version is a bit odd it is not any worse than some of the other adaptions used in other movies and series and the character herself does fit the TV series concept rather well.

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