Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Batgirl #8 Review and **SPOILERS**

What’s App, Doc?

Script: Hope Larson 
Pencils & Cover: Chris Wildgoose 
Inks: Jon Lam 
Colors: Mat Lopes 
Letters: Deron Bennett 
Associate Editor: Rebecca Taylor 
Editor: Mark Doyle 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: February 22, 2017 


Here’s a Ramones song that I like:

And here’s a review of Batgirl #8!

Explain It!

Ethan Cobblepot and Barbara Gordon are on their first date, when a hologram of Two-Face appears on the bus they’re riding to inform them that a bomb is aboard. Wait a minute…isn’t Ethan Cobblepot rich? And isn’t Barbara Gordon also rich from her energy company? Why are they taking a bus? Well, it turns out that this is a simulation, an “escape room” which I’ll assume is all the rage in the twisted hipster nightmare that is Burnside. Babs asks Ethan about his secret origin, and Ethan tells her that his mom was a waitress at the Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge that he knocked up. As a reward for mothering his child, she was fired and moved to Virginia, though Oswald did provide child support. He even sent Ethan a big fat check to attend Yale University, explaining that it concluded his responsibility. Ethan came to Gotham to return the check, but the Penguin told him to fuck right off, so instead the kid started up a company called Vicform that made him beaucoup dollars. Upon being reminded that he’s wealthy, Barbara plants a kiss on his smackers, because, well I’m not saying she’s a goldigger, but…is she still rich? Can anyone answer that question? Hello?
The next day, Barbara has to head over to South Burnside Elementary School to tell a bunch of kids that she’s studying to be a librarian. She’s also an “ethical hacker,” as she explains to children, which seems like an oxymoron* to me. One of the girls in the class, Esme, is an expert computer coder so Babs hangs out with her exclusively which I’m sure makes the other students feel great. Nice teaching, Barbara! Upon leaving, she has a pithy conversation with her host teacher, Daniel Arroyo which is more or less to establish that we will be seeing more of him in some capacity. But Barbara can’t get that danged Ethan off her mind! So she does what anyone would do: dresses up in her Batgirl costume and stalks Cobblepot from a roof across the street. She’s about to pool in her yellow Doc Maarten’s when she gets a text from Frankie reminding her to show up at some bar or something? Why is Barbara Gordon making evening plans when she knows she’ll have to Batgirl?
While at this bar, Barbara sees some other woman get harassed by a drunk dude, so she calls for a Walkhome—an app that sends someone to walk you home if you feel unsafe or threatened. Well-named! The drunk dude thinks the woman sent from Walkhome is just another object of his derision, until she grabs him by the face and flings him across the street—into the waiting arms of Batgirl, luckily for him! It would be hysterical if he then immediately began harassing Barbara. Batgirl confronts the person from Walkhome, who she recognizes as the villain Magpie, someone I haven’t seen since the late 1980s Superman! She has a pixie cut and rocks a lot more kung-fu now, and seems more interested in Walkhome ratings than stealing shiny objects. Batgirl knocks her out handily (and pretty anticlimactically) but I expect we’ll be seeing her in the future. As an epilogue, there’s the creator of night safety apps Walkhome and Safestreets, Ethan Cobblepot—who sees Batgirl as an obstruction to his business! Which, strictly speaking, she is. 
So this issue didn’t suck. The big Magpie reveal teased on the cover turned out to be a fart, and the scene in the elementary school seemed superfluous, but I assume that bit will pan out later and a little Magpie goes a long way. I really liked the art in this issue, a lot. Everything was energetic and well-rendered, but still maintaining that cartoonishness that has been the hallmark of Batgirl since Babs Tarr redesigned the costume. I dare say I enjoyed this issue. I’m recalcitrant to crow too much, but I gotta call ‘em like I see ‘em.

*Thanks for the correction, reader!

Bits and Pieces:

The budding love between Ethan Cobblepot and Barbara Gordon blossoms...into a stink rose...or some crummy metaphor like that. This was a well-paced, terrifically-drawn issue that clicked a few story lines forward one notch, which is always appreciated. More like this, please.