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Written By: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher Art By: Babs Tarr, Maris Wicks Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: March 18, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
During the last issue of Batgirl and Secret Origins, we saw that the person who has been trying to destroy Barbara was actually Barbara herself........... Well, at least a brainscanned/crime algorithm version of her from when she was paralyzed. Think Lawnmower Man 2 and then instantly forget about that because it was awful. It's a good thing that Barbara patched things up with Black Canary before Frankie went and got herself kidnapped because this just might be more than Batgirl can handle. Let's check this out and see if Batgirl can put her current vanity aside and step up to the plate and unplug her digital doppelganger or if it's game over for our Batgirl of Burnside.
Our issue begins with Barbara coming face to face...... with Barbara. That's right our big bad is actually Batgirl herself and man is this digital doppelganger hellbent on getting what she believes is her life back and to help do so she has also taken control of the first baddie in this Batgirl of Burnside story; Riot Black.......... Good, I was wondering how Frankie went and got kidnapped by someone who lives in the interwebs. Black knocks out our hero and when she awakens she's tied to a chair and hooked up to a machine that will give this interweb Barbara her doorway to the real world........ or less cryptic, she's going to swap her mind into Batgirl's body.
On top of the super villainy plan to take over our hero's body, we find out that this version of Barbara was from when she was at her darkest and most defeated. Add that with the crime algorithm that was created and we have a truly scary Barbara that needs to stop all crime in Gotham by utterly destroying it. I want to keep saying she but I think from this point forward we can't see this as Barbara anymore and I'm just going to go with "it" because it used the algorithm to determine that at some point in the future 326 people including Barbara's friends and coworkers will become criminals and has invited them to Hooq's big party where Black Canary is set to perform and plans on using a military satellite to kill them all............... Thus preventing crime in Gotham.......... Yeah, no Barbara there, total "it". It's a good thing that during it's super villain monologuing Barbara freed herself and quickly dispatches Riot Black and makes her way down to the public below.
In the end, Barbara finally letting her vanity and celebrity seeking side go, takes the stage and saves the day by pointing out to her darker self that if it kills these people, it's killing Gotham and it's sole purpose in doing all this is to save Gotham. The logic paradox works and digital Barbara turns itself off while Frankie disarms the satellite saving the day. As the issue closes Frankie talks about (without saying the name) becoming Oracle with Barbara's restored algorithm and Black Canary hits the rode for a record/touring deal and her own solo book.
That's it for this issue of Batgirl and even though I've been a constant opponent to this new take on the character, I do have to say that I liked this issue a lot and it's because for the most part it really feels like all the silly stuff that Barbara felt was important throughout this first story arc has gone away and we have what feels like a more grounded superhero. While I want to think that the version of Barbara who was trapped in the interwebs was just a corrupted program, it almost came off like the older Batgirl was considered by the writers as an unfit version of the character that they're portraying here and maybe that's just me being a paranoid dummy but If that's the case I don't see Barbara becoming evil because of adversity when we all know that Barbara is the character that overcomes. Besides for that one thing which might not even be the case and a strange cameo by Riot Black, I really enjoyed the feel of this issue and I hope that the tone continues. Again, I hate saying this because it's like a undeserved dig but Babs Tarr's art was spot on for what she does but I just don't think that I'll ever fully get behind it for this series........ That's on me though and doesn't represent poor art.
Bits and Pieces:
Finally the issue I've been waiting for. Batgirl has put her need to take selfies and becoming a internet celebrity behind her as she acts like the hero she's supposed to be and man am I happy about that. A really nice conclusion to this story arc that has had me grinding my teeth at every issue but here it feels like the tone has finally shifted and this version of Batgirl might be something that I can finally get behind.......... Hopefully.