Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SPOILERS: Batgirl #10

So, there's an event being held in Gotham, and while all the yuppies are eating well, their cars are in the process of getting jacked... well, sort of, as Batgirl is breaking up the thefts, but at the same time wondering a question Batman would probably never ask, "am I being a jerk?" After all, they are just car thieves, and being put through some serious pain, but Babs does feel a bit bad, even worse when one gets their foot caught in a randomly placed bear trap.

Feeling bad for the kid, Babs calls for an ambulance, and tries to calm him down, as he's losing a lot of blood. Three people show up though, dressed all nice and fancy, telling Babs that they'll take care of it, and that the police had been called already. Babs is reluctant to go, and leave the injured kid to some shady seeming people, but she has no choice.

Inside the event, Charise Carnes, a young girl who at one time was thought to have murdered her family, is giving a speech about how her family wanted to help revitalize the Cherry Hill district in Gotham, and how she will continue their mission. One person in the room isn't quite buying it, and that's Lois Lane, who after the speech, tries to get an interview out of Miss Carnes. Lois brings up the fact that many people in Gotham still believe Charise killed her family, that she just got off, and continues to send the hard hitting questions her way. Charise is eventually brought to tears, and her three security guards (the same three Babs met) take her away, telling Lois that's enough.

Meanwhile, as Babs gets home, she realizes she hasn't heard or seen her roommate Alysia in a few days, last she heard, she met some guy (James Jr). Well, good timing, as she soon gets a call from Alysia.

Meanwhile, back in her private room, Charise talks with her guards about how Gotham believes she killed her family, and how she was the victim, watching her family get killed, then later being locked up in Arkham, known as the "Butcher Brat" or the "Spoiled Slaughterer." A voice from behind the curtain starts calling her name, as she mentions attempting to find forgiveness, but not having any at the moment. Behind the curtain, a man, all cut up, locked in a cage, begs Charise for death, something the young lady tells him he won't be receiving for some time.

Turns out that Alysia got arrested during an Occupy movement. She and Babs go out to a diner after leaving the police station. Alysia rants about the Wayne initiative to revitalize the city, and mentions Charise, someone who is "doing it right" by getting the community involved, then asking how Gotham's "saviors from above" are working out.

The next night, still feeling guilty about leaving the kid, Babs returns to the building, to find three dressed up vigilantes (the three with Charise) dangling the kid, minus one leg, over the edge of the roof. Impressed with what they saw on the security footage the previous night, the three on the roof, calling themselves "The Disgraced" offer Batgirl a chance to join them, but first she must pass a test of difficult decision making, as they drop the kid off the roof. Babs instantly goes to save him, something that constitutes failure of the Disgraced's test.

As soon as Babs catches the kid, she's knocked into a nearby window by a Hawkman looking girl (something Babs mocks her for). The fight spans a few of the rooftops, until Babs is surrounded by the Disgraced, and their leader, Knightfall appears.


So, first things first, that whole leg thing... only one panel, thank god.

Over all, I actually enjoyed this book. No moody Babs, no dramatic TKJ references and call backs, just plain old Batgirl fun, which is something the book needs to be, in my opinion. Charise (Knightfall) seems... well, pretty crazy. Gail Simone has teased her as being Babs' new arch-nemisis, but we'll have to see how that pans out, as we didn't get a whole lot. If there was one detraction, I'd say it's that nothing much happened, it was your typical first issue of an arc thing, nothing bad, but nothing big and crazy... just left with a shadowed figure, who really didn't do much... Oh well.

Alitha Martinez's fill in pencils, I've got to say, were more to my liking than Syaf's regulars. Lines were less bold, characters looked less chunky, and while I feel as Martinez was trying to stay true to Syaf's (something that shines through in the few less than stellar panels) I thought it was generally more pleasing to my eye.


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