Birds of Prey

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The Origin of Feces

Dinah, already showered and changed -- apparently one of her metahuman powers is super-showering -- interrupts to ask about another fake-o newspaper clipping on another computer screen, with the headline "Local Businessman Killed in Bus Accident." "Are you guys investigating this? Because I was there when he died, and it wasn't a suicide." Dun dun dun! Commercials.

Great, back to Dr. Quinzel's office. Helena says that when her mother died, Helena learned not only her father's identity, but that he had a whole other life. Quinzel's confused: "You mean another family?" "More like a really aggressive hobby," says Helena. She starts in by saying she blamed her father a little for her mom's death. "If Barbara hadn't taken me in…" she begins, but Quinzel cocks an eyebrow and asks why she did that. Helena explains that Barbara's known her since she was a kid and just wanted to help. "Human beings are essentially selfish creatures, Helena, no matter how we try to mask it to the world or ourselves. You say Barbara rescued you. Did she do that for you or for herself?" Helena doesn't answer, defend Barbara, or even seem a little confused that Quinzel is suddenly questioning a good friend's motives.

Back at the Clocktower, Dinah explains to Barbara about the imaginary rats, which Barbara says sound like a "tailor-made illusion" drawn from the victim's subconscious. "What he feared most, came after him," she assumes. Okay. "Yeah, but what could make him see something that wasn't there?" asks Dinah. Drugs? Mental illness? Imagination? Bzzzt! "A metahuman," says Barbara. Must be! She types something at a keyboard, only to discover, much to her chagrin, that there isn't a metahuman criminal in her "database" with that ability. Dinah says the guy said something about a phoenix. Then we get some annoying dialogue along the lines of whether phoenixes are real or not, and Barbara is all, "Uh, not that I know of," and Dinah says all relieved, "I knew that," as though it would be out of the realm of possibility in this world of metahumans and supercriminals.

What follows is a Batman tradition, wherein, from one single word, the hero takes several great leaps of logic and deduces the entire plan and motive of the bad guy. To wit: The dead men are two of four owners of Phoenix Industries, a dummy corporation set up to buy the old Gotham dockyards, in order to gain complete access to Gotham's infrastructure. Of course! Phoenix! It was right in front of you all along! Barbara says the owners of the dockyards would have access to everything coming in and going out of the city, even though, you know, the dockyards are abandoned and everything, and Gotham does have highways and (I'm assuming) an airport or two. Wait a minute -- why am I pointing out plausibility problems in a story in which people can fly and turn into cats and wander around abstract plains?

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Birds of Prey




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