No, I’m not pushing for some kind of crossover or meet up between the two (although I think it would be fantastic), but I’ve been struck over and over by the similarities between these two things that I really enjoy, so I thought I would see if anyone else has noticed them.
For those who know only one or the other (or, I suppose, don’t know either, but I’m not sure why you’d be reading this in that case), some simple background on both.
As originally conceived, the Birds of Prey comic book was about two characters. Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl, had her spine damaged in a savage assault by the Joker. Rising to the challenge, even confined to a wheelchair, Barbara put her formidable mind to work and became Oracle, the world’s best hacker, tapping into information systems, manipulating records, finding out about all manner of trouble in the world.
But there’s only so much you can do from behind a keyboard, and Barbara was smart enough to know that. After looking into several candidates, she approached former Justice League member and second generation hero Black Canary. Canary was at a low point in her life. Her long time lover Green Arrow was dead, she was working by herself and being careless, barely making it through some cases. Oracle recruited her, and they became an incredible team, combining Canary’s phenomenal fighting skill and experience with Oracle’s knowledge and research, later expanding to more members. Canary didn’t know who Oracle was for a long time in their partnership, communicating by emails and voice over computers.
Sadly, all this has been retconned away, but it was a great idea for a very long time, created by Chuck Dixon, and later continued by Gail Simone.
Person of Interest is a show on CBS. On it, a computer genius who goes by Finch (played quite well by Michael Emerson) has designed a machine for the US government to predict terrorism plots. But, it can also predict smaller crimes, which the government wasn’t interested in. Finch was, and realized he needed to do something with the information. Himself partially physically disabled under still not explained circumstances, Finch recruits John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former CIA hitman living on the streets after losing the love his life. Reese’s combat skills and Finch’s computer genius let them get to people in trouble and help them. The show is brilliantly written and acted, with some great additions to the cast over time. Oh, and one of Reese’s hobbies is trying to figure out who Finch really is.
See any similarities? I strongly recommend fans of the comic (pre-reboot only) to check out the show. Likewise, if you’re a fan of Person of Interest, find a comic shop, or go to Amazon, and order some of the early Birds of Prey, just not anything from 2011 or later. I really think if you like one, you’ll really enjoy both.