Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Batgirl #36 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher
Art By: Babs Tarr

Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 12, 2014

Anime and The Hell It Brings

Last issue of Batgirl we saw new art and a new direction for our Gotham Guardian and to tell you the truth, I wasn't fond of either.  Either way, Batgirl moved to a new house with a new roommate and found that her van that she had parked in Black Canary's storage unit set on fire, burning all of Batgirl's things and actually destroying Black Canary's home........ So Barbara has a new roommate staying with her and since these two are on the outs, it's very tense at home.  With all this we add dippy girls, hook up websites, evil DJs, a new Batgirl costume and defeating the enemy with a QR code.  It's a strange time to be a Batgirl fan.  Hopefully things will get better here and I will keep an open mind when reading this, so no accusations of hating for hate's sake please.  Let's check out Batgirl #36.

Explain It!:

We begin this issue with our hero being reminded about how poor she is and how guilty she feels.  That's right, we begin this issue with Barbara sitting around watching her new roommates Frankie and Dinah try on new outfits.  The "poor" is because she's actually poor and can't afford the new clothes and the "guilty" is because of Dinah still holding a grudge against Barbara burning down her home........ Hell she's so pissed that she refuses to help Barbara find out who sent her a text about her being Batgirl.  Where's the superhero comradery?  

So after the clothes shopping Barbara checks in at Burnside College and when I say she checks in, I literally mean she uses the social media "Hooq" to check her location in.  She's there because she needs to talk to her thesis supervisor about her losing her data during last month's issue's techno theft, but it seems he's out for awhile and instead of coming clean about her dilemma to a colleague in the department, she gets all flustered because he's cute and simply follows him to her new office, her thesis supervisor set her up in.  So much for Ricky.  It's not all embarrassing awkward here though, Barbara meets her new research assistant, Nadimah, who's brother just so happens to work in the robotics lab of the college and can easily get her a external drive to try and save her lost data.  College is weird.  Do you know how weird it is?  It's weird enough that when Barbara goes and meets Nadimah's brother Qadir.......... in the robotics lab, she finds out that two of their prototype motorcycles with robotic engines, intelligent chassis and jet boosters had been stolen the night before........ college has changed a lot.  So Barbara gets the external drive and when she's leaving, do you know what she sees?  Why the two stolen motorcycles terrorizing people on campus.  She suits up and tries to fight them but when the police come they drive off.  They drove around on motorcycles and swung swords and Barbara actually remarked on how good they were.........

The next day Barbara realizing that she recognized the motorcycle pair from a anime she used to watch when she was little, goes to a local... anime shop?  This might be a thing and if it is I hope they all burn down because while I might catch hell for this by fans, I am not a fan of anime and the shop in this comic looks like a little girl's imagination threw up in it...... It's possible that this is actually a layer of hell.  So after reacquainting herself with the anime she loved as a child, we find out that the duo are called The Jawbreakers and after finding out that the two motorcyclists shop there, she goes back to the college to look for clues on how the two entered the secured lab.  Once there she somehow picks up on footsteps left behind at the scene and tells Qadir to check the bikes GPS which is miraculously turned back on............ IT'S A TRAP!  Oh and he can magically........ Sciency make her a new grappling gun right away.

Once at the location, Batgirl realizes that she was led into a trap and now must fight the motorcycle anime team from hell.  Now I know that you don't really need much to become a costumed bad guy in Gotham, but a duo based off of a motorbike Team Rocket?  Batgirl deserves better villains.  Well after retreating into her mind to relive how her hero Atomina from the anime she used to watch dealt with The Jawbreakers.......... That's right folks she knocks them off their bikes........ That's our Batgirl now, deduction through cartoons.  Come on!  Knocking them off their bikes is the first day of vigilante 101!  Now I'm not kidding here, instead of Batgirl taking the duo down now that they are off their bikes of terror, she actually goes to get on one of the bikes so they can have a joust off and then she finishes them.

In the end Batgirl finds out that the duo were hired to go after Batgirl by who they believed was Bagirl.  They were transferred money and told that no matter what they should try and kill Batgirl.  So the interwebs doppelganger continues and it looks like she's upped the stakes a bit........ Even if they were only college girls on stolen motorbikes playing anime.  So the day is saved and we're left with Barbara having a meeting with her research assistant Nadimah, and the hot guy in her department Jeremy when Qadir bursts in and asks Barbara if she could recover her data......... If you remember she was keeping it a secret from Jeremy......... OH QADIR!  Then Frankie, Barbara's roommate comes in and simply asks if Jeremy's the hot guy she was talking about........ OH FRANKIE!

That's it for this month's Batgirl and while I still don't like it, I think that I'm over the initial shock that I felt when I opened last month's issue.  But it's still so goddamn annoying!  Last issue cellphones and social media saved the day and this issue anime saved the day.  Something isn't right here.  I'd like to tell you more about how I felt about this issue but I really can't, it was just awful.  Now I will give a pass to Babs Tarr for her style because it's her style and there's nothing wrong with it, I just think that it doesn't belong in this book.  Now I was given shit last month because I said it had a Riverdale style and I was just commenting on it's cartoony look, so for anyone who wants to know the style reminds me of Elf Quest: New Blood.  See you next week as we continue Barbara down this path of..........whatever it is.

Bits and Pieces:

While I came into this book with an open mind and tried to put away my hate for last month's issue, this comic just wouldn't let me.  Everything I hated about the last issue was present here and I really can't recommend this book to anyone.  I'll lay off on the art because it's Babs Tarr's style and as her style, it's fine but it just doesn't work in Batgirl.  Barbara Gordon has been turned from a strong female character to one that is just embarrassing.  RIP Batgirl.


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