Birds of Prey: Dead of Winter by Gail Simone (Birds of Prey vol 7); graphic novel; 128 pages
This arc and Blood and Circuits really should have been bundled into one book. In this installment, the unwilling team is under the leadership of Katrina Armstrong, a.k.a. Spy Smasher (dumbest code name EVER). Kat orders the Birds into the former Soviet Block, with the plan to secure a weapon that former soviet leaders plan to use against the United States. The mission goes from bad to worse as the Birds must evade soviet armies, as well as an elite team of mercenaries--the Secret Six.
I liked a lot of aspects of this book: the exchanges between Huntress and Catman (okay, that's a pretty lame superhero name, too); the growth of Misfit as a character; the whole team's interaction with the Secret Six (including Harley Quinn, one of my favorite characters); and Spy Smasher's final comeuppance. However, there were also many places where I was disappointed: the soviet threat felt dated and out of place in a book written within the last ten years--how many former soviet leaders are even still alive??--and Oracle's recaps at the beginning of each issue would have been useful if I were reading this month-to-month, but it felt heavy and repetitive in this format.
I'm surprised at how hit and miss Simone's stories have been, but I'm hoping the next volume will be one of the good installments.