Birds of Prey
Perfect Pitch

Author: Gail Simone
Artists: Paulo Siqueira, Joe Bennett, Joe Prado and others
Titan Books
RRP: 12.99, US $17.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 8457 6423 4
ISBN-10: 1 84576 423 4
Available 23 February 2007

The Birds of Prey have suffered a number of traumatic ordeals lately, and they're ready for events to slow down. But before they can rest, the Secret Society - a collection of supervillains - takes one of the Birds of Prey hostage, demanding Oracle's secret identity as their ransom. The Birds will have to save their friend and battle Deathstroke to defend their leader...

The stories reprinted in Perfect Pitch were originally published in the Birds of Prey comic issues #86-90 and 92-95. There are several stories here, but the two main tales see Black Canary making a deal with the Lady Shiva, where the two swap places, and the Birds attempting to take down the Secret Society of Super Villains, and in particular their leader the Calculator.

My favourite tale in this collection sees Black Canary temporarily leaving the team to undergo intensive martial arts training in another part of the world, and in her place the Birds have taken on their newest member... the deadly Lady Shiva. But has Black Canary unwittingly walked right into the hands of Lady Shiva? Is there more to this exchange than meets the eye?

As Black Canary undergoes her new training, she soon realises the sacrifices she will have to make if she decides to go through with her deal. She believes that she can go through the training without emerging as a power crazed killing machine. Meanwhile will Lady Shiva follow the code of the Birds by resisting the temptation to kill anyone who crosses their path - especially when Black Canary has one request that way oversteps Shiva's idea of good taste.

The other major tale sees Savant being kidnapped by a shadowy supervillain who is desperate to find out the true identity of Oracle. Whether or not he succeeds in discovering Barbara's real identity, there is a good chance that Savant's torture will undo the hard work the Birds did getting him to the stage where he wanted to work on the side of the good guys.

This collection represents another interesting series of tales in the Birds of Prey series, and it was great to see Green Arrow and Batman make brief guest appearances.

Nick Smithson

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