Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SPOILERS: Batgirl #26

Knightfall's gang of metahumans are ready to start torturing and killing James Gordon, but you're reading Batgirl, so of course she comes in to save the day, with a flying motorcycle through the window. With the element of surprise, Babs manages to fend off the likes of Mirror, Bonebreaker, and everyone else off temporarily, while she and her father retreat deeper into the house to regroup.

Things are obviously tense between the two, as Babs offers her father an extra utility belt she brought for extra ammo, but he wouldn't know what to do with half the stuff on it, so they come up with a plan to get to the basement where some of his old gear is.

Bonebreaker calls Knightfall to let her know Batgirl arrived, then asking what to do. Knightfall suggests that Batgirl's appearance is a blessing, she's already wanted for murder, so they can pin Gordon's death on her. When that call is over, Knightfall calls Bleak Michael, who is still outside, and tells him if her other agents fail, to burn the whole place down, everyone inside included.

Babs and her father continue their uneasy teamup as she storms the hall, using the fact that there's four crazy killers with powers in a narrow hall against her enemies, while Gordon sneaks out back with his gun from his beat cop days.

With shit going bad, Knightfall gives Michael the order to torch the place, but Gordon has a nice nightstick to the face for him, all while Babs is doing pretty well for herself on the inside. Gordon sets up a makeshift Batsignal, asking Michael if he wants to be here when cops and all sorts of Bats show up. Knightfall, still on the line, hears this all, and orders a retreat, to everyone's surprise, especially Babs... and that's that.

Until Gordon puts a gun to Batgirl's head again, trying to arrest her for the murder of his son... again. Babs asks her father if he remembers the night James Jr. "died." Gordon recounts the batarang to the head, cracking of the back, and the fall, but Babs brings up everything that lead to it, the dead cops, the fact that Jr. wasn't bluffing about killing his mother. So Babs asks Gordon to pull the trigger if he truly believes she didn't do everything she could to save his wife, saying they both know he can, referring to Ricky.

Gordon backs off at that, clearly regretting his actions. Barbara then tries to regain her father's trust, starting to take off her cowl, but Gordon refuses to look, telling her he doesn't want to know, and to leave, which Babs does, tearfully.

Elsewhere, James Jr. shows up and talks to Knightfall, I guess to let everyone know he's still alive, if they already didn't. Then Babs monologues a bit about her regaining hope as she gets a call from Ricky's mother telling her he's come out of his coma.


The Good:

This addresses a lot of the problems I had with this arc, basically the "REALLY?!" towards Gordon's motivations throughout. The "Really!? Your son is a fucking psychopath serial killer who was going to slit your wife's throat, you were there, and yet you don't listen to the victim and tell them they don't know what they saw, and you ignore the fact that there's this thing called justifiable homicide, but nope, MURDER!" yeah, that all gets addressed in Babs' talk with him. Then you got Daniel Sampere's art, which I think is better than what we've been getting recently, which I find a bit underwhelming to be honest. Overall, the arc wrapped up on a stronger note, sort of putting all the melodrama, that I thought was somewhat obnoxious, away. 

The Bad:

I really hope the "reveal identity to Gordon" scene was an intentional nod to No Man's Land... because it's pretty much the same thing, beat for beat. That, and I think the ending to the fight is really unsatisfying... Babs was winning! And one villain literally goes "Okay stop... WE OUT!" and Gordon is all "Yeah, we got lucky!" ...NO! Especially when Gordon was after Babs for so much less. Like... you have EVERYTHING to bring down Knightfall there. Thugs, who are on her call, that Gordon heard, trying to murder him? Yep. Pretty rock solid case right there.... But nah, those guys are cool, better try and arrest Batgirl again.


The Bottom Line:

"Get it over with" was pretty much my tune through this whole arc, I thought the first two issues were just too melodramatic, couldn't buy into it knowing the dead son wasn't dead, and the characterizations were just all over the place... Well, this issue did get it over with, and in a pretty positive way. On top of being a really fun, action packed issue, the conclusion to Batgirl: Wanted didn't leave much room for any lingering melodrama that I wasn't a fan of. Add the fact that I thought it was also a visually stronger issue than we've received lately, and overall, it was a pretty strong issue, despite not being a fan of the story in general.


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