Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SPOILERS: Batgirl #25

A storm is coming, and Gotham has gone crazy, which is pretty clear to Barbara, as your average law-abiding citizen is sticking a gun in her face for the bread and gasoline she had just purchased, while the rest of the gas station falls into chaos. Babs manages to get back to her house, but is nonetheless startled at how people have started to act. Not long after she gets home, her father is called off to duty, and tells her to keep the house, and her brother safe. But, because that'd be a boring comic, soon after Gordon leaves, another policeman shows up to to the door and informs Babs that the house is in an extended flood zone, and they need to evacuate with the rest of the neighborhood.

Inside a makeshift shelter, Babs and her brother set up next to a man named Henry, who is kind enough to offer the space next to him. Through the nigh, Babs and Henry speak a little, but James Jr. starts to notice water coming into the building. Babs thinks it's just the leaky windows, but James points out water coming up from the foundation, and, WHOOPS, sinkhole opens up.

In the flood, Babs manages to get her and James to a pipe to climb up onto, but also helps some people grab on, and deliver them to safety. This of course put her in all sorts of danger, and she even slips off the pipe, but is caught by Henry, and they all make it to the roof. Being out in the open, Babs gets a good look at the overall chaos, and the island in the harbor which Henry resided on is completely in flames. Yep, things are bad.

Knowing the roof won't hold all the people and large amounts of water, the group tries to cross over onto another building, as Henry lays down a latter and makes it across, though the ladder broke in the process. Henry tells the group they'll have to jump across, but to throw them their bags first, as they'll be lighter. They agree, but then Henry, makes a turn, and can tell there are valuables in the bags, so he decides to take them in an effort to help support a new life he'll have to make, then attempts to abandon the group.

This doesn't sit well with Babs who leaps across the gap, and begins to fight with Henry. At this point, Babs is barely trained, so the fight doesn't go too well, but at the sacrifice of some of her personal belongings from home, she manages to beat Henry, who falls into the water below, but manages to survive.

Shortly after that, some meager aid arrives to the roof, but the full storm has yet to even hit. Despite knowing things are about to get worth, Babs thinks to herself that she's determined to survive.


The Good: 

At this point, I think I've read everything Marguerite Bennett has professionally written, and I think it's safe to say she's pretty good at this writing thing. Say what you will about the decision to change Lobo, but objectively, I think everything she's written at DC so far, this issue included, has been pretty solid. The story we were presented here was simple enough, but it was well told, and to be honest, not that far out of the realm of possibility, so it was a very human story in a way. Also, the regular art team did the full 28 pages, so despite it being a different reader, it helped create a sense of cohesion with the volume itself.

The Bad:

The only thing here that I could knock is that nothing really felt uniquely Barbara Gordon to me. Aside from her father and brother being in the book, if you changed Babs' hair style and color, this could have been anyone. It just felt a little generic in a way, like it's what any young woman who is destined to become a hero would do in this situation. 

The Bottom Line:

Overall, I think this issue was a pretty good effort that was well told by an up and coming writer. What was missing was that one element that really said "Barbara Gordon." Other Zero Year issues, like Green Lantern Corps really used the main character to the fullest, and illustrated who they are and what they'd do in this disastrous situation. Is this what I'd expect Babs to do in big bad storm? Yeah, but the general heroics are one thing, I just missed that one spark needed to really mold this to Babs' character. That said, all and all, it was still a solid, enjoyable issue.



  1. Is the fire on the island the same fire we see in Batman #25? Because if so, that's a pretty huge tie-in to the main story, considering Batman hasn't even addressed it.

    1. Still like six issues for them to address it.

    2. I'm not saying that its a mistake on Scott Snyder's part but I was really surprised to see something barely fleshed out yet featured prominently in a tie-in, in a good way. And thats the only reason I would give this issue more than 3/5.