Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Birds of Prey Out Today!

There's one DVD out today that I have to highlight.

If you a Batman completist, or just like cheezy superhero shows featuring hot women in tight leather outfits, then I have to direct you to Birds of Prey: the Complete Series.

Very loosely based on the ass-kicking comic of the same name, Birds of Prey is set in the Gotham City of the not-too-distant future, and follows the exploits of Oracle, the Huntress, and Black Canary as they fight crime.

It deviates quite a bit from the comic, as they kind of chose to tie together a whole bunch of obscure and forgotten bits of continuity to create something in new.

Oracle remains pretty much unscathed. Oracle is still Barbara Gordon, the once and future Batgirl, paralyzed from the waist down by the Joker. Re-making herself as the Oracle, Barbara Gordon is now the information broker to superheroes, and commands the Birds of Prey from a hi-tech command centre high atop a Gotham tower.

For the Huntress, they went back to the character's original, parallel universe origins. This time around, the Huntress is Helena Wayne, the long-lost daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Having inherited her mother's superpowers (oh, yeah, in this continuity, Catwoman had superpowers), she is following in her father's footsteps and cleaning up the streets of Gotham City.

The most radically changed was the Black Canary. She was no longer the best martial artist in the DC universe and armed with a crippling sonic scream. Now, she's the daughter of the original Black Canary...a shy, timid teenager with emerging psychic powers.

They fought crime on the streets of Gotham, and like Smallville and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, they were working their way up to the big bad. For these 13 episodes, the big bad was the head of psychiatry at Arkham Asylum...one Dr. Harleen Quinzel.

And where's Batman? Well, after the Joker paralyzed Batgirl, he murdered Catwoman, and then the Joker mysteriously disappeared. Consumed by grief, Batman also mysteriously disappeared.

I never watched much of Birds of Prey. It was on in the 2002/2003 TV season...that's my "lost year" for pop culture, as I was in Japan. I did, however, catch a couple reruns on Space when I got back. It was...OK. I might pick it up out of curiousity.

For bonus materials, you get the original, unaired pilot, which boasted the Huntress in a more comic-accurate costume and a different actress playing Harley Quinn. You also get the complete series of Gotham Girls, the Internet-only Flash cartoon that focused on the female characters of the Batman: The Animated Series universe.

So, there you go.

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