Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Batgirl #13 Review and **SPOILERS**


The Worst Babysitter in the World

Script: Hope Larson 
Artist: Inaki Miranda 
Colors: Eva De La Cruz 
Letters: Deron Bennett 
Cover: Dan Mora 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: July 26, 2017


Hey look, the Catwoman’s here! Do you think she’ll ask Batgirl to be one of her bridesmaids in the wedding to Batman? And if so, will she be able to wear her cowl with the bridesmaids’ dress? Lord, I hope so. In fact, I can’t wait to find out: check out my review of Batgirl #13, right here!

Explain It!

This is a story about a little girl that lost a dog, and the terrible, horrible, awful babysitter that almost got her killed trying to find it. Seems that one of the students, named Esme, in Barbara Gordon’s “Komputer Koding for Kids” class (soon to be renamed due to legal issues) is missing a dog, Rookie, and she’s taken to the mean streets of Gotham City to find it. She confronts a tough street gang pulled right out of a Troma film, who even go so far as to threaten this nine year-old, but Batgirl intervenes and scares everyone away with her, uh, purple jacket? Batgirl asks Esme what’s her damage, and Esme explains that she’s looking for Rookie, an internet-famous firehouse dog on the DCU’s version of Instagram. He’s gone missing, and Esme figured she should tape a flashlight to a helmet and go find the mutt. Batgirl tells Esme that she should go back to her home, in South Burnside, and Esme calls her out for profiling. That’s when Batgirl concocts this ludicrous excuse about knowing Barbara Gordon and having been told about Esme already, which Esme swallows because she’s nine years-old. She won’t be nine forever, though, and will put two and two together soon enough!
Just before they’re about to go home, Batgirl and Esme spy Catwoman skulking around, so Batgirl puts Esme on her back and tells her to keep a lid on it while Babs investigates the scene, because she is the worst babysitter in the world. Did I wake up in another dimension or something? When the hell is something like this appropriate for a superhero? This sort of scene has happened in comic books plenty of times before, and what normally happens is that the hero gets the victim to safety first—no matter what—and as a recourse misses trailing the Joker or stopping Black Manta or whatever. Here, Batgirl sticks a kid on her back like some kind of Yoda and wades right into conflict. I just can’t get over this. It’s so wrong, it’s hilarious. Batgirl and Esme spy Catwoman convening with some cats, which aggravate Esme’s allergies. The jig being up, Batgirl immediately lunges at Catwoman, but before much can happen Catwoman says she’s looking for her missing cat, Isis—also an Instagram celebrity—and was just chatting with the local cats about it because of their superior sense of smell. Now, I don’t know that Batgirl immediately attacking Catwoman for hanging out with a bunch of stray cats is expected behavior, either. But after endangering a child by taking her along on her nightly rounds, I’m willing to accept anything.
Anyway, there’s this whole thing about how these Instagram animals shill produces, or something, and by linking up with this pet perfume they can track down Rookie and Isis. The pets are being kept in a caged menagerie along with other Instagram celebrity animals by Velvet Tiger, a pretty weird DCU villain. She wants all the famous animals because she’s crazy, I guess? The place looks like a palace but it must smell like the back of a barn. There’s a very Batman ’66 tussle with some leopard-print thugs, Batgirl and Catwoman prevail and the purloined pets take down Velvet Tiger with a puppy pile. Oh, and ESME IS THERE THE ENTIRE TIME. Catwoman takes off, and Batgirl takes Esme home to South Burnside, where we learn she has a shitty single-parent home situation, so the book ends on a high note.
So there’s a strong streak of Batman ’66 running through Batgirl lately, with the convenient conclusions and silly costumed fighting. But there’s a stronger streak of Barbara Gordon being a dumbass, and I just don’t enjoy reading about this clueless Batgirl. She’s still smarter than I am, but that’s no bar to set. I liked her interactions with Catwoman, and if it weren’t being handled by a completely different creative team I’d say it bodes well for the near future of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Batgirl hauling Esme around on a criminal case was the height of ridiculousness, and should never have happened in the way that it did. On the other side of the table (as Chris says), I really liked the artwork. I think I clued into Inaki Miranda when she did a variant cover a few weeks ago, and seeing her work in this issue is a delight. Pretty much the only delight, except for the laughter—directed at, and not with this comic book.

Bits and Pieces:

This comic book is just silly. The story is contrived, the situations unbelievable, and the main character is a simpleton. But the artwork is really something to see in this issue. So if you've got an inclination towards the visuals, or if you like laughing at silly comics, then maybe you could give it a peek.



  1. So no bridesmaid?

  2. Ok, i dont think i like hope larson's take on batgirl. Liked gail simone's run far better during the start of the new 52.