Wednesday, July 10, 2013

SPOILERS: Batgirl #22

Revisiting last issues dramatic cliffhanger, Barbara Gordon forgot she had a date! Oh no! Being that she's in her PJs, Babs leaves Ricky on the front step, telling him he saw nothing, and gets dressed as quickly as she can, then heads out with him. Despite his background, Ricky has some surprising ideas for a date, including a local opera, which they need to pass some dark alleys to get to! Because that always goes well in Gotham...


No it doesn't! That never goes well in Gotham. Some gang members who aren't too happy with Ricky's brother grab both him and Babs, putting a knife to her throat. Babs thinks she's eventually going to have to save Ricky, but he makes the first move, head-butting the guy holding him, which allows her to do her thing, and kick some ass. When all is said and done, the gang members hobble off swearing revenge, yadda yadda, and Babs asks Ricky if he really wants to go to an opera... Which he doesn't, so they have a home cooked meal with his mother and brother, then go dancing at a club.

The next morning, Babs meets her father at the police HQ for lunch, noticing he looks a bit disheveled. Gordon takes his daughter to the shooting range, despite her hesitation around guns, and begins to work her through the safety procedures and how to fire properly. Babs thinks her father knows something, but it turns out he's just trying to stealth teach her how to use a gun, because he believes Gotham has taken everything from him. Tearfully, Babs hugs her father, and thinks to herself that Batgirl has to stay "dead."

Later that night, Gordon lights the signal with Batman showing up soon after. Batman sympathizes with Gordon about losing his son (Gordon clearly doesn't know Batman has had the same experience lately), but won't hand over Batgirl on a silver platter for him. Gordon figured that would be answer, so he goes with his second request, and tells Batman to stay out of his way. One last thing? Gordon flat out decks Batman, telling him it's for allowing a young girl to follow in his footsteps, thus allowing her to ruin her life. Batman doesn't say much, but just reminds Gordon that he's always been about serving justice, not revenge.


The Good:

There were some genuinely nice character moments between most of the characters involved. Most notably, I really loved the scene with Bruce telling Jim that no father is supposed to outlive their son. It's just tragic due to the fact that Gordon wouldn't be able to actually understand where Bruce is coming from with that one. 

I'm also really enjoying Fernando Pasarin's art. I think some of his faces are a bit weird here and there, but what he does well is expression. Some artists just have the same stoic face on everyone, but not Pasarin, he uses characters eyes and mouths well to have every character actually emote appropriately, rather than grimace in every panel. 

The Bad:

I found the issue a little boring, to be honest. I'm not really huge on the Ricky/Babs thing, not because I disapprove or anything, I just... don't really care... and the cover to October's issue may give me more reason not to get attached to it. Given this issue hinged greatly on their date, yeah, you could see why I was a bit bored.

I also thought Jim's final act of the issue was a bit absurd. If he's that pissed off, why not just go after Batman for enabling someone like Batgirl to operate? Then that statement he made, what is he, sorry for Batgirl? I don't know. I just felt it was weird, and it's gonna be extra weird the next time Batman is in one of his books hanging out with Jim. I think it would have been better left at a stern "stay the fuck out of my way," so to speak.

The Bottom Line:

Despite being lukewarm on the issue as a whole, it did offer some good character moments, matched with some strong art. This hasn't left particularly psyched on the "Batgirl: Wanted" story, but I'm curious nonetheless of how you continue a book called Batgirl when Batgirl refuses to be Batgirl.


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