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Subj: Batgirl #2
Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 03:35:52 pm CDT (Viewed 24 times)
Batgirl #2. What can I say? I was busy last week and didn't get to my local comic book store. I didn't get around getting an issue until yesterday. That says something in and of itself. There's no way I would have missed a Steph Batgirl issue and waited a week to get one.
So we begin where we left off. Mirror standing tall, Babs barely standing and detective judgy von holier than thou on the ground holding her service revolver, which is odd considering most police departments haven't issued revolvers in 20 years.
Detective Judgy says Mirror is a sick bastard and he killed her partner. Last issue she screamed that Babs was a murder because Babs froze and let Mirror throw a man out of a window.
Mirror has a hand-held grappling gun himself and escapes, thus escalating the arms race between hero and villain. He escapes and Babs takes off after him, drawn in provocotive poses, thus making me sigh in frustration. Anyway Mirror stops on a rooftop and Babs knocks him over, and she goes over and she grabs him and he shows his gratitude by throwing off the ledge they landed on. Modern Villains, why do they have to be so ungrateful? Doom wouldn't have tried that. He would have owed her a favor.
Babs shoots her grapple line and swings into a parked car, where she gets yelled at by the owner. Cut to the Hospital where Detective Judgy decides to go full cliche, stating she's fine, doesn't need to be examined by doctors and just wants to avenge her dead partner, who was a lox. Commish Jim shows up, puts her in her place as a detective and learns Batgirl is back. Dun Dun DUN!!!
Batgirl follows Mirror to a cemetery. They spar, she laughs at his mirror on the inside of his cape routine. She gets the worst of it, but they here sirens. He flees. She's grateful because she couldn't fight back any further. Once again, Batgirl, who is on Mirror's deathlist is saved because he can't take the time to kill her. First when she froze when he pulled a gun and pointed it at her. Instead of taking the half a second to pull the trigger, he threw a crook out the window. Now that Babs is down for the count, he flees instead of finishing the job, which would have taken, what 20 seconds? Anyway, while being tossed around like a wrestler, Babs grabbed his list from his utility belt.
During the fight in the graveyard, Babs monologues to herself about how the rich have staved off having the placed turned into shopping malls and the unfairness of it all. Oh, the evil capitalists who can fight city hall.
Cut to Babs new apartment. Her roommate, who now has a name - Alysia Yeoh. She patched Babs up, taped her ribs because she's a bartender in Gotham, which is just lame. I've worked in bars in Detroit, and trust me, when trouble hits, you duck, you don't use skills equal to that of an Army medic. Babs tells Roomie that she wants to call the cops. Why she didn't call an ambulance like any sane person is beyond me. Babs talks her out of it.
And then she borrows a dress, because apparently that's what women do. Gail Simone would know better than I. Strikes me as weird, but then I'm a dude and we don't trade clothes. (See episode of "That 70s Show" where Red and neighbor had a bit about shoes). Also Babs eats/Drinks Roomies Taska soup. It works, she's all better. Said she had that soup before. Is that a clue as to her miracle recovery.
Babs go on her date with her physical therapist in a borrowed dress. We still don't know how she got her legs back.
Babs uses Mirror's list and his fighting skills and the fact that he was in an exclusive cemetery to deduce the identity of Mirror. She goes to his home, and is surprised when his video screen pops on and he says he lost his family in a fire. People who survive disasters are really just suffering, with survivor's guilt being such a bitch and all. Batgirl is told that she's on the list. Now what disaster Batgirl survived that she shouldn't have, we don't know. Babs is also on the list and we know what she survived, but why is Batgirl on the list?
Batgirl is told that a guy who survived some disaster is on a train, and there's a bomb on the train. And the story ends.
So what did I like? Not a lot. The plot was, at least to me, dull. The art was off. There's a shot of babs talking to her roommate where her eyes don't align with her nose. The action was muddled and difficult to follow.
Babs' roommate is not a real person because real people don't catch injured roommates who are strangers in their doorway, put them in bed and dress serious wounds. Real people call the police or an ambulance.
The Judgy Detective (I would totally watch a show called that) is full-on cliche. Babs can sure take a beating. I do like the fact that when she goes up against a guy who outweighs her by 100 pounds, all of it muscle, she can't outpunch him. That's a pet peeve of mine. There's a reason there's weight divisions in boxing and olympic wrestling.
The villain's motivations to be a psycho, I don't know, maybe it's me, but I am so tired of bad guys who CRAZY, evil. Say what you will about Chuck Dixon, but his criminals tended to be in it for the money. You know, like 99 percent of real life criminals are.
We still don't now Babs got her legs back. I don't like being teased about this. At her lunch with her physical therapist, Babs said she was carded. This emphasizes how young she is. But that's part of the problem. Babs has been around for 44 years. She was a congresswoman, a superhero, Oracle. She's a woman. Turning the character back to someone who can be carded, has to borrow a pretty dress from quirky roommate, can't afford her own place doesn't work for me. It would work for Steph because Steph is a "girl" (I mean 18 years old). Babs is what now, 23 or 24. That's woman territory. For those of us old enough to remember her as a woman, this isn't working. By us I mean me, and that's all that counts with my wallet. For new people, this isn't the Babs in the Batman animated series.
Additionally my point about charm and fun being gone last issue still applies. As I said, Batgirl is a gateway character. I have a hard time seeing 10 year old girls being attracted to this book. If you're going girl, go full girl. Make Babs 18. Trying to eat your cake and have it too, by that I mean start off all new, but keep 40 years of history isn't working for me. It seems to me that this is now neither fish nor fowl.
The Batgirl book is now infected with the "serious" Batman virus. The villains are killer psychos, the action really violent. The charm of Batgirl is thrown out the window, and that's a mistake. At least the dialogue, while not sparkling, wasn't godawful this time around.
I probably won't review the next issue, unless Emerickman and Otomo want me to. (Others can request my super insight, my vanity won't be harmed). I am still really angry DC threw Steph under a bus. Her Batgirl book, while not perfect (see some of my reviews) was what a Batgirl book should be. Fun and charming, with action instead of violence. Steph's relationships with Mom, Babs, Wendy, Damien, Supergirl, were just terrific. No quirky roommates to get on my nerves.
Sorry, DC you've gone to reboot well one time too many for this old cowboy. I predice within four months, sales for books will drop to their low levels again. I know Steph Batgirl only sold around 24,000-25,000 a month, but I suspect BabsBatgirl will do no better, or even be worse.
Or I could be wrong.
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