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Subj: Batgirl #4
Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 08:26:51 pm EST (Viewed 22 times)
I am going to make this short. I am done with Batgirl. DC is not going to get anymore of my money. The book is dreary, poorly structured and filled with plot contrivances meant to move the story forward instead of actually deriving organically from the plot.
We start with Babs having some, I don't know, survivor's guilt. She looks in a mirror, Mirror get it? It like the Mirror is a too on the nose villain or something. Babs thought boxes to herself about how bruised lonely etc. she is. Decides to go look at her Christmas tree and her roommate is there. We learn roomie is from Singapore, wants to be a chef (why not go Paris or Rome?) and finds out Babs has a handicap accessible van because until a year ago it was for her.
Apparently Babs went to some clinic in South Africa. Hey Christian Bernard who performed the first heart transplant was from South Africa, so cool. My problem stems from the fact that Babs getting crippled was front page news. Her cure would also be front page news i.e. "Commish's Daughter Leaves Country for Miracle Cure that Works". There's no way that wouldn't be a thing. Plus, I tend to think of overseas clinics that don't follow strict protocols to be like the laetirle clinics in Mexico during the 1980s - fraud factories.
Babs then ditches her roomie, breaks up a mugging where the muggers not only are going to rob people, they're going to rape them, including the husband, kill them, roast them over a smokey, oaky fire and eat them with a light barbque sauce and a nice red wine.
Babs punches out guys who are six inches taller and outweigh her with punches that lack the physics to punch out guys that big. Simone really likes writing EVIL, EVIL I TELLS YA villains that are fates worse than death. The couple saved are vegans and the fur wrap is fake. Wah, Wah, Wah. Joke's on the villains. They would have brutally killed the couple for no reason. Gail, you criticize the writers of Torchwood for making a vulgar and insulting rape joke because the "hero" uses magic spray to make anyone it's sprayed on want to have sex and it hits both a man and woman and the sprayer now has a man who wants to have sex, yet you have no trouble making an almost murdered joke, or making Bane, a mass murderer, nervous on a date, and only get confidence after killing a bunch of overly aggressive circus hands. -coughHYPOCRITEcough-
Babs is a hero. Leaves a note at Mirror's dead family graves, and says he warned all the victims because she remembers her name because she grabbed his conveniently written on paper list of next victims that wasn't in, oh I don't know a pocket where it couldn't be easily dropped, lost or grabbed.
Babs takes Mirror to a closed funhouse filled with Mirror and kills the villain with irony. Oh yeah, she hits him like 47 times and this formidable trained fighter who outweighs Babs and has much muscle manages to get exactly one blow landed. Babs beats him by showing headlines and pictures of his dead family. He screams like a little bitca and Babs hits one last time.
Cut to Babs' home. She gets some abstract art from roomie and gives roomis a super knife chefs use. Babs doesn't spend Christmas with dad or HER BROTHER.
Door rings, Babs' mom shows up. Cut to next month.
What I liked. Nothing. This issue, to quote Linkara sucked. This is the conclusion to a four issue run. The plot was all mixed, up the resolution hoaky. Babs knows who the villain is and how to get him and SHE DOESN'T TELL THE POLICE. For all we know Mirror killed 50 people before he visited the grave. A police stake-out could have caught him instead of giving him time to go on a killing spree before going off to fight Batgirl.
I don't care about Barb's angst. Really ruins the character for me. She's written both depressed and so damn awesome that Batman should take lessons in awesome from her. Beat up guys far too big to be defeated by a person of that weight and muscle mass. Check. Photographic memory check. Not tell the cops information that could allow them do their job, check. Ignore those closest to you on Christmas check.
Mentioning the brother. Oh brother. I think in the last 40 years there have been three references to brother. One was Miller's story, which would make the lad five under nu52 continuity. The was the recent Scott Snyder story where Jim Jr. is a mass murder which apparently refernced one story done in the past 25 years where Jim Jr. was a mass murderer. Having a brother, who has played exactly zero influence on Batgirl stories for the past 44 years just doesn't work for me. The dynamic is Babs and dad. New readers who are attracted to Babs stories from other media won't know or care, and don't get me started on the notion that a relative no one heard of and whose relationship has no affect on the main characters coming into the mix doesn't work for old readers. She Nathan Richards in the FF. Just a bad idea, written badly, executed badly, ruining characters and stories.
Mom?!?!? Again, who cares. Giving Babs a mom who walked out on her when she was 12? Again, no one cares about Babs' mom. How about showing her relationship with her dad, who we know and care about. I have a real hard time caring about parents who abandon children. There is no way to make her sympathetic or not have me want to stick a railroad spike through her forehead.
We've seen, over four issues, babs interacting with her quirky roommate more than her father. Why? Roommates? Really? A trip to that particular cliche drawer? Oh joy. I can't wait for quirky Singaporean's supervillain father to come into the scene.
The whole issue of wheelchairs and survivor's guilt is tricky and Gail just hasn't pulled it off. It drags the book down, and there are political issues involved that I don't feel qualified to discuss.
Gail is also writing Babs as dumb. The Oracle Babs would have been a detective, tracking down Mirror's equipment, informing the police of who they are looking for, checking with known dealers of explosives, etc. Instead babs issues a challenge that could have ended with her dead and a villain on the loose. No back up, no actual trap or use of tasers, etc that could have taken out the villain. No she has a slug fest that's dependent on the villain shooting Babs' mirror image while babs is able to distinguish between Mirror and his mirror image.
I loved Steph Batgirl. When it was on, it was just about the best book of the month. When it was off, it was still pretty good and always enjoyable. It had flaws, which I nitpicked, but they were minor because tone and character, dialogue etc. worked. Steph Batgirl was ridiculous, ridiculously AWESOME.
Babs Batgirl is just grim and gray, and sad and lonely and I don't like it. The dialogue is full a self-pity, the first villain just another Gotham crazy who kills and is evil and is on the nose and in no way interesting. Gail you're not cutting mustard and you're not getting my money.
Or I could be wrong.
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