The Spirit of Bruce Timm’s Justice League Lives on in 1 Underrated DC Team

Warning: Spoilers for Birds of Prey #6!


Summary

  • The Birds of Prey are switching up their team for each mission, making it harder for villains to plan against them.
  • This new tactic puts the Birds of Prey on par with the Justice League and Titans in terms of adaptability.
  • Black Canary is determined to protect Barbara Gordon, leading to the formation of a new version of the Birds of Prey.


The spirit of Bruce Timm’s storytelling is alive and well thanks to the Birds of Prey, an underrated alternative to the Justice League. Bruce Timm is best known for his contributions to the DC Comics animated universe and television franchise during the 90s and 2000s. One of his most popular series was Justice League Unlimited, where the League would keep a rotating roster of heroes, constantly switching things up for each mission.

DC’s most underrated team looks to borrow that same method in Birds of Prey #6 by Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero. At this time, the Titans have usurped the Justice League as the universe’s top team, and thus there’s been plenty of debate as far as which of these is the better team.


However, one team that should be in that same conversation is the newly formed Birds of Prey, thanks largely to their new tactic to go into each mission with a new line-up of members. This strategy is confirmed by Black Canary at the conclusion of this issue.

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The Birds of Prey Are Already Switching Up Their Team

Birds of Prey Gatefold DC


The title characters wrap up their first arc by saving Dinah Lance’s sister, Sin, from a Ragnarok-style doomsday scenario on Wonder Woman’s island. The team celebrates with a party, but the festivities grow gloomy when Dinah’s usual Birds partner Barbara Gordon visits. The Birds of Prey founder is visually disappointed to know that not only were the Birds reformed without her, but she had no part in helping to save Dinah’s sister. When she leaves, readers learn that Dinah deliberately left Barbara out on a recommendation from the time-traveling Maps.

The newly christened Meridian admits that she warned against bringing Barbara on to the mission because, in every future scenario, Babs is murdered by an unknown force who is clearly and actively trying to kill Barbara from the future. Black Canary makes it clear to both Maps and the lurking Cassandra Cain that she has no intentions of letting anyone or anything kill her friend. She expresses to Cassandra that they are going to need to form a new version of the Birds of Prey to protect Barbara Gordon.


A Smart Tactic Puts the Birds of Prey on Par with the Justice League and Titans

Comic book panel: Close up on Cassandra Cain's Batgirl as she swears to protect Barbara Gordon.

The Justice League and Titans are the best super-teams that DC has to offer, but it’s easy to plan against them when both include the same members in each of their missions. Meanwhile, this new tactic for the Birds of Prey makes it harder for villains to plan against when they switch up their team frequently. Plus, they can adapt to each mission with new members who work better on certain missions than others — a tactic in the same narrative spirit as the beloved DC Animated Universe show, Justice League Unlimited.


A follow-up to the original Justice League program, each episode of the Timm-produced show followed a different member of the expanded League, from the core team to tertiary characters like Booster Gold. If each mission (and conflict) is different, it follows that a different kind of superhero and superhero team would need to solve each problem. The same is definitely true of the latest iteration of the Birds, as Dinah and Cass put together a new team for a new conflict. Such a tactic should put the Birds of Prey on the same level as the Justice League and Titans.

Birds of Prey #6 is available now from DC Comics.

BIRDS OF PREY #6 (2024)

Birds of Prey 6 Main Cover: Costumed superheroes push their hands toward a glowing object.

  • Writer: Kelly Thompson
  • Artist: Leonardo Romero
  • Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
  • Letterer: Clayton Cowles
  • Cover Artist: Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire