By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ed Brisson, Fernando Blanco, Christian Duce, John Rauch
“I’ll do it.”
“Harper…it’s too dangerous. I don’t – ”
“Seriously? It’s Bluebird. See the uniform? The mask?”
Come on, Grayson, at least she’s trying to hide her identity these days. Since when is a gray shirt a costume anyway?
Ed Brisson takes over on the scripting duties this week from the story by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV as he shows us some behind the scenes information about Cassanda and the Orphan, along with continuing the story about Mother. The entirety of this issue takes place in a dream-like state as we’re shown Cassandra’s upbringing and how cruelly she was treated in an effort to create her into the “perfect weapon”. Brisson does a good job at crafting a story where we can see just how helpless Cassandra was during all of this…who would she have become if not for Orphan?
Something else Brisson does well this issue is tie in some of Bluebird’s humor; granted this issue is heavy on the dramatic and not so much on the funny side of things. The quote above shows a moment when we see Harper/Bluebird speak out against why she seems to be constantly referred to by her real name instead of the name she chose to hide her identity.
On the artwork side of this issue we have Fernando Blanco and Christian Duce working on the pencils and inks, each with their own set of pages, accompanied by John Rauch on colors. The book takes place in flashbacks, with Bluebird physically walking through the past, and so Rauch covers the scenes in pale tones compared to the brief scenes taking place before and after the flashbacks. A lot of the panels are kept dark, showing how dismal Cassandra’s upbringing was – the only use of white coming from the costume of Orphan, whom definitely doesn’t offer a beacon of hope in the dark. A well done scene features Bluebird traveling back to a moment Cassandra would rather hide, they’re high in a building in Gotham, the shadows of the pink sky cast the floor in a dark blue as Bluebird runs to try to stop a version of Cassandra she cannot control. This scene also adds another layer to the dramatic impact of this issue, as well as shows just how corrupt one has to be in order to please Mother.
Brisson does well in delivering a high impact issue with some of the series’ most graphic scenes yet. We get to see another side of the Mother saga and how an innocent bystander is impacted, even inadvertently, by her persuasions. The art team of Blanco, Duce, and Rauch craft scenes befitting to the horror taking place in the past, as Bluebird learns more than she ever thought she would about her newest friend.