So Starling has been "kidnapped"and Mr. Freeze wants Strix in exchange for her, and naturally the Birds expect the new guy, Condor, to have possibly tipped off Freeze, giving him the ability to hack their phones. Or not, but Condor says he thinks that's what they think, but the Birds say they already know a bit more about him than he lets on, nevertheless, during the course of discussion, Strix leaves the dojo, nowhere to be found.
So, Batgirl and Condor go to search for Strix, one by land one by air, while Black Canary gathers gear for the mission, which naturally, starts to become a flashback to her husband, who she still thinks is dead, but has been running around for god knows how long in the DCU alive, because you know... we haven't done enough waiting with that plot point.
Anyways, Condor manages to find Strix, who didn't leave to face Freeze on her own, but is hiding. Babs approaches her, as she reads a message in the dirt that says she doesn't want to go back. Babs understands, but she pleads with Strix, pointing out Starling's life is in danger, which is enough to get Strix to buck up and go with them.
Sooooo, Strix leads them to the the Court's lab, where there are two scientists experimenting on a dead body, then are all "Whaaaa! You can't be here!" Oddly enough, Freeze and Ev are no where to be found, which makes the Birds realize he was using them to figure out where this lab was in the first place... as he shows up shortly after them.
Some fighting happens, tables start getting turned on Freeze, and eventually it's revealed that Ev is working with him, for whatever reason. BOOOOOO!
Well, they're at least trying to be interesting and relevant with the story, tying things into the greater Bat continuity. I enjoy that.
Let's get the small stuff out of the way... There's some clunky dialogue. At some point Dinah says something along the lines of "Screw you and your vendetta Mr. Freeze" and I have a hard time believing anyone would use his full name like that. It'd work better if it was just "and your vendetta, Freeze," no "Mr." Also, those two Court scientists are just WAAAAY too casual when the Birds crash.
So, on to more pressing matters. OH MY GOD I STILL DON'T CARE. Condor. We know nothing about him, the Birds know some general stuff, but we don't even know what his first name is. We've never been given a reason to care, or why he's even there to begin with, and yet... he still just continues to be there. Solicits suggest he may have a connection to Basilisk, which, if you've read my thoughts on Suicide Squad, whoop-dee-fucking-doo, an entire organization we've never given reason to care about.
Kurt Lance again? Dear DC... pull the fucking trigger already. Stop dicking around, and just do something with him. Have Canary figure out he's alive, anything! It's been close to, if not over a year, and he's done jack shit.
Then there's the twist. No. Just, no. Starling was the best thing this book had going for it, and writing her out as a villain now is a terrible idea. I don't care if she's been working for Waller the entire time, but teaming up with Freeze and pointing her guns at them? What the hell!? So if they continue down this path, we'll be left with Batgirl, Black Canary, Condor (who again, who the hell cares about?) and a mute. RAD.
The Bottom Line:
I have nothing against Christy Marx, I think I've made it known enough that I enjoy Sword of Sorcery, but she's just brining nothing of any stand out uniqueness to this book. There's just no soul to this issue. The Birds of Prey used to be about a group of women who above all else were friends both in and out of costume. This issue just shows a team that's so disjointed, untrusting, and are getting deeper and deeper. While on face value, this book is an enjoyable read, but if you look for anything of substance beyond "This happens, then these people get punched," it's just not there. Birds of Prey can be so much better, but this issue is just a big swing and a miss.