Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SPOILERS: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15

All the men in Gotham are sick, but none of the women... If this was a Marvel book, everyone would be complaining about GIRLS!

The Spoilers:

James "never take a day off" Gordon is sick in the hospital, being attended to by Barbara, when Lois Lane comes in a "social call" that totally doesn't have anything to do with how sick everyone in Gotham is getting. After Ollie comes to town to visit Dinah and Helena gets off school when half the student body didn't show up, the birds deal with a Professor Pyg problem that night, which goes fairly well as he succumbs to illness as well.

Back at the Clocktower, it turns out the Birds find that everyone they know is sick, Gordon, Batman, Nightwing, etc. Ollie isn't sick, but Dinah slaps some water out of his hand just in case. Then they start to realize that all the cases of illness are men. Who also noticed this? Lois Lane, who calls to tell Superman that the city is going on lockdown, and not to risk getting sick himself. Superman agrees, but says he'll send a friend to help.

With most of the men out of commission, the Birds still have to go stop various crimes from happening, and here we have Black Canary preventing Harley Quinn stealing medicine for the Joker... yes, we'll get to that, but she joins up to help too. Huntress finds Catwoman stealing jewels, and they fight briefly, forgetting that they teamed up two issues ago officially, but Catowman joins in the team up fun again when she realizes Bruce is sick... sure. Then they all figure, if this is a targeted attack, it has to be Poison Ivy! You know, you're new teammate that you forgot is your teammate... but Ivy says it wasn't her, and Batgirl is all "Oh, I'm easily swayed, sorry ::sadface::"

Then Amanda Waller flies in, dubs it a terror attack, so the Birds (and makeshift Gotham City Sirens) need more help, and call Batwoman, Orphan, Spoiler and Gotham Girl, none of whom want to work with the likes of the GCS, but Batgirl basically goes "c'mon" and they change their mind. Remember that help Superman said he'd call? Wonder Woman!

The Opinion:

So this issue pains me. The premise of this arc is good, and I'm all for bringing in a whole bunch of characters, shared universe and all that... but the set up to get here is so flimsy in some spots. You've got two characters who are supposed to be on the team, and said team does little to show it, immediately fights or accuesses both of them, and then within two panels everyone's cool again. It's basically "STOP DOING BAD!" "NO!" "BUT THIS!" "OKAY!" or "YOU BAD!" "NO I'M NOT!" "OH, SORRY!"

Then there's Harley. Now look, I get it. Harley is popular. Her two major venues within the monthly comics don't really make sense in terms of continuity, but if there's something they both share it's a general "fuck that guy" attitude towards the Joker... but here we get a third status quo, where Harley is playing doctor for Joker... you know, the guy who was locked up in Batman's basement to kick off some multiversal nutiness... or the guy who was cured before Rebirth! OR the guy who there's apparently three of! Nope... he's just off page sick somewhere, and Harley is caring for him... but it's okay, its totally because she wants to be the one who offs him, not a cough. Uh huh. It's just lazy, and it's one of those moments where you think "Aren't editors supposed to say something about this stuff?" And it could have been so easy to fix that. Just say she was on a secrete mission for a secret team, Deadshot got sick and pooped himself, so she went off to have some fun. Done! Adheres to status quos set by those who write her regularly.

Then we've got Stephanie Brown teaming up with people, because she's totally into that these days.

A lot of this just doesn't add up to make any sense. I'm sure if I ignore the inconsistencies going forward, in practice this could be fun, but the set up just had too many things for me to get annoyed at how wrong they are.


  1. So... Did you read #16 where Stephanie gets upset that the GCPD stop the antagonists from poisoning the city's water?...

    1. Yeeeeeeah, there’s a reason (or two) I skipped it