A bad day for Nightwing is a good start to a new arc in DC Comics' Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. In Issue 8, written by Julie and Shawna Benson, Dick speeds into Gotham City from Bludhaven on the track of the villain Gemini -- who apparently has just slaughtered all of her friends, and has the same plans for him.
And to think, Nightwing was less concerned about Gemini and more bothered he had to take street directions from the new Oracle instead of Babs, who is training the latest addition to the Birds. But things go from annoying to murdery for the former Robin when Gemini gets him where it hurts, kicking off the "Blackbird" story.
Without spoiling the mystery of the new story, The Benson Sisters chimed in via email to tease the new issue (as well as Issue 9). Check out what they have to say, then take a look at the exclusive Syfy Wire preview below of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #8, written by Julie and Shawna Benson with art by Roge Antonio, cover by Yanick Paquette and variant cover by Kamome Shirahama. The issue will be available on March 8.
Set up the action in this issue, and why it’s one to pick up?
The Benson Sisters: We're so excited about this new arc! We're introducing an arch enemy to the Birds of Prey: Blackbird. Savvy readers will have noticed that the titles to the issues in the first arc were Beatles lyrics to the song "Blackbird," a little hint foreshadowing what's to come. Like Batman who has the Joker as an established foe, the Birds will find this metahuman, Blackbird, will cause Gotham a lot of trouble and prove herself to be a dangerous villain. Blackbird has no interest in friends or maintaining relationships, unlike Batgirl and the Birds of Prey who consider themselves a family.
What is your favorite panel/page/line in this issue?
We're always blown away by what Claire Roe and Roge Antonio deliver each issue. In #8, we each have a favorite panel -- seeing Batman in the shadows on page 3 and the first look at Blackbird's power on page 18. Our favorite line is Babs to Dick: "Now put your suit back on. Your abs are distracting."
Tease how this might set up the next issue.
In Issue #9 we're going to see Dinah going old-school BoP undercover in order to unravel the mysterious Blackbird. It's almost entirely a Black Canary issue and we're excited to give her some much-deserved spotlight. We'll see the Birds of Prey (with a little help from their friends Nightwing and Green Arrow) work together to take down Blackbird before she can do more harm.
The official word
"Blackbird" Part 1! There's something strange afoot in Gotham City — someone's making promises to the world's deadliest killers, offering them things well beyond the powers of a mortal human to provide! Unfortunately, Nightwing's been caught in the crossfire and is badly hurt … good thing he's not the exact person whose presence is most likely to make things weird between Batgirl and Huntress, right?