Black Canary is an expert at martial arts, investigation, and covert operations, armed with a powerful, sonic "Canary Cry" ability. She's an incredibly capable hero on her own, but she's also been an invaluable member of the Justice League and the Birds of Prey -- a team she co-founded. This fall, she'll find herself in a desperate situation that can only be resolved with the help of several powerful and highly proficient allies.

That's the set-up for the upcoming Birds of Prey series by writer Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero, which kicks off on September 5th. CBR spoke with Thompson about her take on Black Canary, the teammates that will fight alongside her, the book's initial supporting cast, and the nature of the team's inaugural mission. DC also shared an exclusive look at the covers for Birds of Prey #3 and #4.

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Birds of Prey 1 Main Cover Art Leonardo Romero

CBR: How does it feel to launch a new incarnation of one of DC's most iconic super teams, the Birds of Prey, with your partners in crime from Marvel's Hawkeye, artist Leonard Romero and colorist Jordie Bellaire?

Kelly Thompson: Honestly, it's a dream come true. Though I'm hesitant to frame it that way because you wake up from dreams, and I want this to go [for] a long time! Working with Leo and Jordie is, of course, the ultimate dream. It's so cool to be able to come back together after years apart and build something new together. We're all of us the same and different, and we've all gotten better, so it's been one of my favorite experiences of my career thus far. I was incredibly nervous about making the leap to DC, but Ben Abernathy is a terrific editor, and we are having the best time!

The leader of this new incarnation of the Birds of Prey is one of the team's founding members, Dinah Lance, AKA Black Canary. She has a long history with the team and seems to be good at working with them. Why do you think that is?

I think the original creation of Birds of Prey -- Barbara Gordon and Dinah coming together to build something separate from what other heroes were doing -- to blaze their own trail together is pretty special. I think Dinah is an incredible character that's surprisingly flexible. She works well in Super Hero stories big and small, from Justice League world-ending events to off-beat Birds of Prey shenanigans. She also works well in spy and espionage stories, street-level crime stories, and everything in between. So letting her build her own team here for a personal mission felt right.

This new team features two representatives from Gotham; the often loquacious Harley Quinn and the laconic Batgirl, Cassandra Cain. What's it like bouncing these two off of each other?

There's a great scene between Cass and Harley in the first issue that I think sums this up better than I ever could in an interview, but time will tell how readers feel about it. Generally, when you're talking character dynamics and bouncing them off one another, you want things that are different from one another, not the same. Water and water isn't very interesting. Oil and water? Okay, now we're cooking. [laughs]

The team also has two members with histories of having one foot in the cosmic and the other in earthbound adventures; Big Barda and Zealot. What made you want to bring these two characters into the book?

In the case of all the characters, I just love them. I find them all interesting and complex, and [they] bring something different to the table. Zealot is probably the most mysterious character on the team for most readers, and we lean all the way into that. Barda is a pure delight for me. She's one of the purest distillations of the "truth teller" character to me. She's very observational in a humorous way, and she says what's on her mind -- for good or ill. Also, people know I love a giant strong woman in comics. If you don't already have a brilliant buff lady lying around available for me, I'll make one! Fortunately, Barda was there.

Are there any other cast members you can tease?

Well, a lot of an ensemble's first issue is about assembling the team, and of course, you lose any tension there when you show everyone your cover. So I'm trying to be careful about our remaining surprises -- overall plot, antagonists, and other as yet unannounced characters that are playing a role -- [to] preserve a great reading experience. I can confirm that Green Arrow is briefly in Issue #1 and in Issue #3. And I can also confirm that there are at least two other characters involved in the story that I think fans will be pretty excited about. At least one of which is clearly revealed in Issue #1.

What can you tell us about the inciting incident that brings your cast together?

Oooh. Nothing? [Laughs]. I'm so sorry. This is a trickier interview than I expected. You only get so many surprises in a first issue, and we built ours specifically, so our cast wasn't our only surprise, but if I give the rest away now, we're sunk! Here's what I can say about the plot. It's a very personal mission for Dinah. That personal aspect and what they're fighting is WHY she brings such a powerful team to the field, and in a way, also why Barbara is not there. All will be explained, dear readers, if you tune in!

What I've read and seen suggests that for their initial mission, the new BoP will run a gauntlet of foes in order to protect an asset. Is that true? What can you tell us about what they're up against?

Yeah, that's a pretty fair assessment, and you definitely don't bring this team to fight anything easy. Since you're revealing some covers with this interview, the cat is a bit out of the bag on at least one A-list guest star, and I'm sure, based on that information, fans can guess what another major location might be for the book.

Big Barda, Batwoman, Black Canary, and Zealot in the Birds of Prey

Finally, the street level and sci-fi roots of your cast afford you interesting story opportunities. What else can you tell us about your immediate plans for the Birds of Prey and the role you see them playing in the DC Universe?

While the first two issues take place in and around Gotham, the rest of the book is in a new location. I think what role the Birds play in the DC Universe is a bit up to DC and the fans. I'd love it if we can become a cool fun anchor book for DC. That's the dream.

I love this book so much, and I hope the fans do too. It's been too long since there was a regular ongoing Birds of Prey, and I hope we can do it justice.

Birds of Prey #1 is due out on Sept. 5.