Collects Birds of Prey issues 1-11 and Birds of Prey: Ravens 1 (from 1998).

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Greg Land, Drew Geraci, Nelson DeCastro, Peter Krause,

The first Birds of Prey run collected! The teamwork of Oracle and the Black Canary strengthens and so does their friendship, even though Dinah still doesn’t know who Oracle is.

In the first three issues Oracle sends Dinah to the small, tropical island of Rheelasia. The local warlord was deposed, and other men are trying to usurp his former position. Oracle has noticed that the place is attracting the scum of the world and sends Dinah there to sort things out. However, Dinah stumbles upon a very nasty man and his slave ring. She also stumbles upon Jason Bard, Oracle’s former fiancé. They’re captured together, and Dinah has to use all of her skills and ingenuity to get them free.

Next, we’re introduced to the Ravens, a group of bloodthirsty female mercenaries lead by Cheshire who is planning to betray her group right from the start. The four women are going after a huge bomb and not to disarm it, but to use it for themselves. At first, this seemed rather strange, and quite bloody, interlude but the Ravens are in the next storyline, too.

Then we return to the regular Birds of Prey. Dinah is taking a vacation at Lake Mackachithoo. Unfortunately for her, international crime syndicate Kobra has employed the three remaining Ravens to retrieve something for them at the same place. Also, the locals think that there’s a monster in the lake. This was good fun with time-travel to boot!

Then we have a couple of one-shot issues. First, Oracle sends Dinah to free a general from lynching. He’s a war criminal. Oracle wants him to get a fair trial which he isn’t likely to get without Dinah’s help. Dinah is, understandably, less than thrilled about her mission and the general. But she does her best.

Next one-shot guest-stars Nightwing when Dick and Barbara have a night out and go to a circus. They discuss their various lives and possibly maybe getting together again, but Babs doesn’t want that. (Too bad. While I’m always team Dick and Kory, Dick and Babs are very cute together, too.)

In the final storyline, Oracle sends Dinah to Koroscova to free a man who has been imprisoned unjustly. Unfortunately, that turns out to be a ruse by the Kobra Prime. Guest-starring Joe Gardner, Guy Gardner’s alien clone!

While all this is happening, Oracle is texting with someone on the internet and some (else?) is watching her through cameras. The latter was rather creepy but ended well. Also, she’s hacking a lot into the US government computers and using their satellites. This doesn’t go unnoticed and a team of US hackers assemble to take her down.

This was a fun read even though it touches on more somber stuff, like slavers and international human rights violations. Dinah and Oracle have their own battles. Oracle supports Dinah as much as she can but when the jewelry through which Oracle communicates is removed, Dinah is on her own. Of course, since Barbara refused to tell Dinah who she is, she’s also on her own.

Even though Greg Land is these days doing rather pornographic and/or blandly generic art, here he’s still better, rougher and more individual. Still, there’s a lot of cheesecake especially in the first storyline where we have Dinah running around in just a couple of skimpy, tattered rags. Then again, in the Ravens storyline, most of them have costumes that cover them completely! However, the way that the Ravens ended up stranded in time was really strange. Maybe they got their own comic with time travel adventures? I don’t know.

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