Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SPOILERS: Batgirl #30

Because Gotham can't be normal for once in it's seemingly cursed existence, when kids get drunk and play spooky games at night, they can't just settle for Bloody Mary, and use their own urban legend, "The Midnight Man." So of course... these innocent teenagers end up actually summoning some evil shapeshifting black goo monster. Fun!

Enter Batgirl, who is just sort of hanging out in Gotham, thinking about Dick Grayson and how he's as dead as Damian Wayne... if we're to believe this book (which we shouldn't), and then thinking about Dick Grayson some more. Just keeps thinking about that Dick... anywaaaays, Babs EMF detector goes off, and if you don't know what an EMF detector is... what an episode or two of Ghost Adventures and try not to laugh. It's a big spike on the EMF, especially for Gotham, so naturally Babs has to investigate.

Things go as you'd expect. Batgirl enters house, everyone wakes up, scary monster, run away. It all ends up with Babs and the kids sneaking through the large vents into the kitchen to get some sage, which apparently works well against the paranormal. Sage acquired, set on fire, sends Midnight Man back to wherever. Babs scolds kids for summoning ancient evil, leaves, still thinking about Dick Grayson... Robins... something like that.

OH NO! Midnight Man is somehow in some paint that Gotham works crews are using for street lines and it's forming his ritualistic doorway!


The Good:

Robert Gill drew this issue, and you might remember him from the Gothtopia issue recently. I enjoyed his work quite a bit more this time around, mostly due to the Midnight Man himself, who was pretty big and creepy. 

The Bad:

The fact that this was an inventory issue shows. The story just doesn't accomplish much, and even with low expectations, I came away wanting a bit more. I'm not even sure what this issue is trying to do, as Babs spends a lot of time talking about Dick Grayson and how he's apparently dead (although, given the last couple of months of this title, Babs isn't a reliable source on other character's and their vitality) how she was never a Robin, how their lives differed, and so on. It almost feels like it's supposed to be a requiem style issue for Grayson, but what she's saying just has absolutely no relation to what's happening on the page. 

Finally, in what is becoming an unfortunate trend, there's seemingly always something I just generally dislike about Bennett's use of inner monologue, and this time around it's "I'm saying one thing (now I'm saying something in related in parentheses)" This is either used to expand on something Babs literally just said or tell herself not to think about what she just said. It could be scaled back, or omitted entirely, as I gave a second read through of the caption boxes, skipping anything in parentheses, and it read a lot smoother than the first time. I mean... "Dick used to tease the hell out of me (was there any other way Dick could tease?)" What does that even mean?!

The Bottom Line:

This was an inventory issue, take that for what you will. To expect a lot out of an issue like this would probably be foolish, but even then, Batgirl #30 really fails to accomplish anything and just doesn't seem worthwhile.



  1. It's quite possible Dick's in hiding from even other members of that Bat-family besides Batman. Maybe if that is him in Eternal he won't actually even be in Gotham for a chunk of it.

    1. Yeah, the easy play would be for Dick to pretend to be dead after his ID was revealed.

    2. It'd be a pretty interesting challenge for the character, considering how much of a social butterfly he generally is. Having to leave behind everyone he knows would be tougher for him than it would be for Batman. Come to think of it, what happened to Alfred in Forever Evil?

  2. The issue definitely lacked cohesion. The narration reminded me of the Batman Beyond cartoon, hinting about characters without really telling us anything. While this makes sense for the characters in the story it gets frustrating from a reader/viewer perspective after a while.

    1. Yeah, and part of that isn't this issue's fault due to the other delays, but I just don't think it was good regardless, thanks to the disconnect between what was happening on page and what was being said.

    2. True, they should have just focused on one "storyline" or the other.