Science Comics: Birds of Prey | Review
Science Comics: Birds of Prey: Terrifying Talons
by Joe Flood
First Second, $21.99 (hardcover), $12.99 (paperback)
Joe Flood is no stranger to terrifying installments of the Science Comics series, having previously authored Sharks and illustrated Dinosaurs. This volume focuses on raptors, including eagles, hawks, vultures, and falcons.
I was drawn in immediately, thanks to the viewpoint character of a squirrel frightened by a bird show at a renaissance faire. The animal’s interest and self-preservation were appealing, as well as cute.
What kept me involved, though, were the glorious following pages showing a huge panoply of different birds. It’s awe-inspiring. The impressive art and color carry through the following pages, as we learn more about what defines a bird of prey.
Throughout, Flood’s comparisons are illustrated in detail, making his points memorable. Raptors are larger birds with sharp talons that eat meat obtained through hunting. Flood shows the birds in history and myth, their environments and anatomy. The detail here is comprehensive without being overwhelming, with information on flight, feathers, sounds, sight, and behavior, including courtship and reproduction.
John Audobon appears, showing us how the study of birds has changed. There’s also information on how birds relate to dinosaurs and various family trees showing species connections.
Plenty of fascinating facts follow, with key characteristics of individual species called out, including how Australian eagles work together to take down a kangaroo. It’s all beautifully illustrated, with plenty of majestic birds and inspiring scenery.
The book ends with information on conservation efforts, environmental issues, and a history of falconry. Science Comics: Birds of Prey is a fascinating read that makes the most of its art and format.
Johanna Draper Carlson has been reviewing comics for over 20 years. She manages ComicsWorthReading.com, the longest-running independent review site online that covers all genres of comic books, graphic novels, and manga. She has an MA in popular culture, studying online fandom, and was previously, among many other things, webmaster for DC Comics. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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