Alright, so that’s the most random Rolling Stones quote of the week. But I’m trying to put two and two together, something I’ve done fairly successfully in the past, about who might be the shadowy figures on the cover of the new Birds of Prey #1 by Gail Simone and Ed Benes.
When the series relaunch was announced this morning on DC’s blog, the general sense of enthusiasm for a Simone-helmed Birds of Prey relaunch was almost enough to drown out the people who started speculating right away as to who the pair of shadows in the team’s midst might be. There appears, from my point of view, to be a male (this would be the first time a dude was “officially” part of the Birds of Prey) and a female, largely because I can’t think of a single female in the DC Universe who would be large enough to account for the figure standing on the ground.
As ever, I’ll start with the character(s) I think most likely to be the one pictured and work my way down the list. After the top two or so, the order stops having any order whatsoever, as I figure the odds of the people down there to be somewhere in the 10% or less range anyway. For the female (flying) character, we’ve got:
Dove – This is my odds-on favorite, and why? Mostly because of the dude below. I’m thinking that the “birds” are finally going to have some bird-themed heroes on the team (besides Black Canary and Lady Blackhawk) in the form of Hawk and Dove. They’re breakout characters from Blackest Night, and so the idea of Birds of Prey having a “Brightest Day” banner on the first few issues is a big clue, too. Besides which, the silhouettes match pretty well.
Why not her? We have no idea what the status of Dove will be after Blackest Night, and there’s always the possibility of writers throwing a wrench like “Hawk and Hawk” into the mix.
Batwoman – Aside from the fact that she’s one of the properties DC is really keen on developing and promoting right now, it appears as though Huntress is sitting on her car. I mean—given the red bat on a black car, you’d think that’s Batwoman’s, right? Or else it’s just an homage to the Batmobile from the Adam West show, although even though those bats were red, they weren’t on the hood. Plus, the scalloped cape.
Why not her? This figure appears to be flying of their own volition (read: no ropes attached, and the angle at which she appears to be approaching the viewer indicates forward motion, not stopping herself with her feet after a jump), which Batwoman can’t do. Plus, if that IS Batwoman’s car (it could always be Batgirl’s, although since she’s not independently wealthy like Kate Kane is I think that’s probably a stretch), she could always still be on the team…if she’s inside the car.
Batgirl – Batgirl’s monthly has been performing pretty respectably, as far as I know, and while I haven’t heard too many fans raving about it, there’s plenty of support for Stephanie Brown in fandom. Oracle’s connection to the Batgirl mantle could easily be either a liability or an asset to another Batgirl on the team, but when you’re looking at people with scalloped- or wing-shaped capes, you have to throw her into the mix. Plus, it could be her car, too. Y’know. Hypothetically.
Why not her? She’s already got a title of her own, and she really doesn’t fit the makeup of this team too well. This is a group of characters who are being given second chances: not the original Huntress, Blackhawk or Black Canary, and Oracle isn’t Barbara Gordon’s first identity. Oops, wait. That sounds JUST LIKE Batgirl. Move along, folks…!
Cassandra Caine – In the same way that fan demand for Stephanie Brown to be treated right led to the former Spoiler/Robin coming back as Batgirl, it’s not unreasonable to think that the Internet will eventually be responsible for the former Batgirl getting a better deal. Since Infinite Crisis, Cassandra has gotten the short end of the storytelling stick, and a lot of fans really resent the way this once-interesting character (once thought to be one of the strongest young women in superhero comics) has been treated by DC Editorial.
Why not her? She can’t fly. Plus, I think that bringing her back into the heroic fold will take longer and be revealed in a more dramatic fashion, very much like what they did with Stephanie.
Hawk – Goodness knows whether Dove will make it out of Blackest Night alive. If she doesn’t, then maybe a revenge-minded Hawk will be out there somewhere. Holly could easily rise and walk again given that Nekron’s very presence throughout all of Blackest Night makes it hard to know whether any of the characters “killed” will stay dead (we’ve already seen covers to indicate, for example, that Donna Troy won’t).
Why not her? I think it they bring one Hawk back from the dead, it’ll be more likely to be Hank. There’s plenty of interesting storytelling to be had from having a Hawk and Dove duo who aren’t siblings, don’t HAVE to work together, etc. My guess is Holly stays dead.
There are some other names I could put on the list—Hawkgirl, Dawnstar, Flamebird, Misfit—but there’s really nothing much to justify them with besides, “Hey, it could be!”
Check back in the morning for a list of candidates as to who I think might be the big bulky guy behind the car.