BOP: Look on the bright side: They could've gone with Greg Land!
Looks like 2010 will welcome some old friends back to the DC Universe. Not only will we see the return of "Birds Of Prey", but also the return of a creative team that launched the book to new heights: Gail Simone and Ed Benes.I've got mixed feelings about this.
It's not on the writing end. As long as she doesn't spread herself too thin, my attitude is the more Simone the merrier. And while lightning doesn't always strike twice when an acclaimed writer returns to his or her old stomping grounds (cough*Claremont*cough), sometimes it does, as John Ostrander fans will attest. And Gail's style is closer to Johnny O's than the 'Mont's.
The mixed feelings come on the art side. While I enjoyed Benes' run on BOP when he and Gail worked together, he's since worn out his welcome with me. He's kind of a poor man's Mike Grell. He draws good-looking heroes and heroines, but as a storyteller let's just say he's one hell of a pin-up artist. His figures are kind of stiff and crude, and his characters' facial expressions run the emotional gamut from A to B (he could take hints from fellow BOP artists Gary Frank and Nicola Scott here).
Worse, he's in love with butt-shots, and not the kind Sally loves. On his BOP work he seemed to rein them in in service to the story, but more recently he's sacrificed story for the sake of the butt-shot, to the point of arrested adolescence. Here's Snell with an example here. I reached my limit with him on a JLA issue when he turned what should have been a double-page spread of the JLA fighting their alternate-world doppelgangers into a double-page pin-up of Wonder Woman and her ass with the JLA and their doppelgangers standing around in the background. If you want to appreciate how bad it was, picture what someone like George Perez, Alan Davis, or Greg LaRocque would have done with the same panel direction.
But look on the bright side: They could've gone with Greg Land.
Land was a great artist on BOP and later on Nightwing. Then he discovered tracing.
I could just picture him on "Birds" now:
* Babs and Misfit would look the same age.
* Both Dinah and Lady Blackhawk would look like that same blonde woman whose image Land uses for practically every blonde female he draws, no matter what age. (Probably a model from whatever porn mag Greggie is into.)
* Certain scenes would look suspiciously like Land's past X-Men or Ultimate Fantastic Four panels.
* Huntress would have a perpetual "O"-face.
* The characters would be dancing.