Saturday, May 9, 2015

Convergence: Batgirl #2 Review

Written by: Alisa Kwinty
Art by: Rick Leonardi, Mark Pennington and Steve Buccellato
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 5, 2015

Back in Time

I was not a huge fan of Alisa Kwinty's first Convergence: Batgirl issue.  It wasn't that the writing itself was bad, it was the disjointed, out-of sequence storytelling.  It really threw off the pacing of the issue, made parts unnecessarily confusing and left the reader with a dud of a cliffhanger.  That said, I did like the idea of Stephanie Brown as reluctant champion and will never get tired of seeing Gorilla Grod in anything.  So, I went into this issue hoping we'd get more of the good and a lot less of the bad.  Did we?  Let's find out...

The issue begins with a continuation of what should have been last issue's cliffhanger...Grodd kicking the snot out of Cassandra Cain.  It's a pretty good page with all the major characters present, but unfortunately, it is ONE page.  Kwinty quickly sends us back in time for a little more backstory setup.  It's a frustrating way to start a book.

I'm not going to say all is lost, however.  While the scene with Steph, Cassandra and Tim is nothing new, I do like the dialogue between our three heroes.  Actually, it's mainly Stephanie and Tim, but I liked the nervous chatter of Stephanie as she tries to psych herself up (and out) for the upcoming battle, while Tim tries to calm her down and get her head on straight.

Then we get another jarring transition back to the present.  While Grodd continues to maul Cassandra, Steph and Catman use their words instead of their fists and we get Catman and Grodd's backstory for the Event.  It's the typical "why I was in (insert City) when the Dome trapped me" affair, but I laughed at what Catman did with Grodd when he lost his powers.  While all this is going on, I could only sit and laugh, imaging Cassandra getting pissed that while she's dodging huge gorilla punches, everyone else is having a nice, little chat.  I guess it took Grodd about to throw Cassandra off a cliff for them to finally take notice, but when everyone gets involved, everyone (but Grodd) is about to die.  Cue another jarring transition.

This time, we see the Convergence earthquake that every tie-in has to have and get a bunch of pages of Stephanie and Tim arguing about their relationship...past, present and maybe even future.  It's hard for me to dump on this part because getting Tim and Stephanie together is what I was hoping for the most from this tie-in, I just didn't like how it was done.  I did like seeing Stephanie punch Tim right in the face before we head back to ...the present.

Did I tell you I like Grodd in anything?  Well, he shows how awesome he is by taking on everyone and doing a fine job of it.  That's when Stephanie comes up with a plan...if Catman surrenders, him and Grodd will be teleported away.  Hmmm...I'm hoping that when Catman agrees, he also knows that he will be teleported to his awful death.  I've seen what happens to these cities that lose and it ain't pretty.  You gonna die, Catman!

I guess he doesn't know or doesn't care because he agrees and everyone gets caught up in those silvery balls that aren't in any other tie-in and are sent back to their cities.  The issue ends with Cassandra recovery from the wounds she got while everyone else was chatting and Tim and Steph make things right.  It was a long and winding road, but at least we got a happy ending...just not for Catman.  He's probably dead.

I have the same major problem with this issue as the last.  The transitions back and forth is time did nothing for the story except ruin the pacing and making things confusing.  While I liked Kwinty's characterizations of all the characters, the actual situations they were put in were a bit over the top and even ridiculous.  I will not fault anyone by saying that there was hardly a Convergence ending to be found, because after reading this first round of  #2 issues, that seems to be the norm.  This series was all about getting Tim and Stephanie to kiss and because of that, we at least end on a high note.

I can't say I was a fan of Rick Leonardi's art, but I was more upset with Steve Buccellato's colors.  I know that a bunch of heroes fighting it out in the desert may not give you a huge palette to work with, but this issue just looked drab.

Bits and Pieces:

Convergence: Batgirl #2 is an issue with strong characterizations that was unfortunately brought down by awful pacing and some ridiculous situations.  There was not a whole lot here to like as the art was uninspiring and the story was forgettable.  It did end on a high note that I was hoping for from the start, but the journey there was long and tiresome.



  1. Both Batgirl issues, but this one in particular, seemed lifeless to me. I wish they'd gotten Bryan Q. Miller, who wrote the original Stephanie Brown Batgirl series, to write these. He works on the Smallville digital series so I know he's in the mix. Oh well. If you ever see the trade collections of that Batgirl, check them out. They're out of print but it's likely copies languish on the shelves of comic shops everywhere.

    1. I will...I loved Bryan Q. Miller's Smallville and even though they are still releasing the print issues, the series was canceled a while back. It's a shame because it was so damn good. Since then , Miller hasn't been doing much at all for DC and maybe not having him on this book shows that there was a falling out.