Story: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Roge Antonio
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 does just as the title of the arc suggest and brings us Full Circle as we see our Birds face off against their greatest rivals from the series one last time. After the dust settles from Canary’s extra strength Cry to stop Burnrate, she and Batgirl race to rescue Huntress from Calculator and crew. An exciting, fun, and feels-full conclusion as we say farewell to our Birds of Prey.
Roge Antonio and Marcelo Maiolo have been one of my favorite team ups in BOP, and #22 is a perfect example why. Maiolo’s color choice, especially in the Blackbird panels, brings so much life to each panel. You almost get lost in Blackbirds gaze yourself, as the colors swirl behind her. The emotion Roge Antonio brings out of each character, especially in the eyes, adds so much weight to the Benson Sisters words. You feel as if you know and understand Babs, Dinah, and Helena on a personal level.
From a story aspect, Julie and Shawna Benson give us a fun and satisfying ending. The relationship the Bensons have built between the Birds of Prey is on full display in this issue as Dinah and Babs ditch the special guests to go rescue their partner and sister, Huntress, and put an end to Calculator and crew. They even have a little Spartacus moment that shows just how different this team is now from where we started. At the same time, the Bensons make sure to highlight each individual of the team.
Dinah rises from the aftermath of her own Cry, to find that her worst fears didn’t come to pass, and the only one not getting up is Burnrate. Her new found control means her fear of her own power no longer has to control her, and she is ready for her rematch with Blackbird. Babs continues to prove she is smarter by using Calculators own tech against him (I mean he uses it against them again, but not super well). And Helena finally gets to learn who her mother really is, and at the same time, finds who she herself wants to be.
As sad as it is to say, #22 brings us to the end of this great series from Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Roge Antonio, as well as all of the incredible artist that joined throughout. From BOP Rebirth #1 to now, this creative team has given us exciting arc after exciting arc, with beautiful artwork, and a lot of fun. I am sad to see it go, but excited to see what the future holds for Babs, Helena, and Dinah. This issue also gave us a look at the Ollie we will get from the Benson Sisters as they take over for Green Arrow, and I have to say, I am a fan. Extra bonus, the Bensons will still have Dinah to write for!