Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Batgirl #31 Review and **SPOILERS**

Cornball Cormorant

Writer: Mairghread Scott
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Main Cover Artists: Emanuela Lupacchino & Dave McCaig
Variant Cover Artist: Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: January 30, 2019


Boy, ever since Barbara Gordon’s gotten back to Gotham City, it’s been one thing after another! There was that thing with Grotesque that led to a tearful moment with her dad, then Babs volunteering for a politician that’s caused a little friction with her dad…come to think of it, most of her problems have had to do with being in proximity to her father. This is why we move away from home, kids! To avoid the drama! You can embrace the drama by reading my review of Batgirl #31, right here!

Explain It!

The (main) cover implies that, in this issue, the Cormorant zeroes in on Batgirl, but it’s actually quite the reverse: Barbara figures out who the Cormorant is, and she’s sympathetic to his single-dad-of-a-sick-lil-girl plight! Hum-tee-dumm…oh, did I just encapsulate the gist of this issue in one sentence? My apologies, that happens sometimes. But there are a few other tidbits in this issue, things that I enjoyed seeing or found interesting for one reason or another, as follows:
Jason Bard appears earnest about working for future congresswoman Luciana Alejo, at least in front of Barbara. He acknowledges that he was part of the opposition-led group to mess up Alejo’s rally last issue, but claims it was in order to gain intel for Alejo’s security team. To prove his good intentions, he asks her out to some gala affair—going above the head of Izzy, who manages the interns, to do so—but she ends up ghosting him because she’s got to do reconnaissance, Batgirl style! And incidentally, Izzy gets all pissy about Jason Bard circumventing her, but she should get over herself. You’re managing the interns for a grassroots political campaign, girl! The only way you could have less power would be to take a job as a Wal-Mart greeter.
So the Cormorant shows up at this affair and is ready to take out Luciana Alejo, but Batgirl…fires a gun at him? It’s a gun firing wimpy Bat-discs, but I still found it incongruous. I know the Bat-Family fires projectiles from time to time—heck, I remember when the gas-powered grappling hook from 1989’s Batman was controversial for the character—but I don’t like it. I’d rather a Batarang. Regardless of what I’d prefer, Batgirl and Cormorant scuffle. He gets away, revealing that “his boss said not to kill her,” but in the fracas he dropped some blood—and now she has a sample!
Which is how she discovers that he’s Edward Wells. This also left me with a weird feeling…it counts, checking DNA records is certainly forensic detective work through and through. But there’s something so…unsatisfying about it. I like better to see a trail of dusty footprints or some stray strands of hair observed through a magnifying glass, but I suppose that is living in the past. So now that she has the identity, Batgirl sort of swings around Gotham City until she finds Cormorant again—she didn’t even need to know his identity, since he can be seen through a storefront window pummeling Luciana’s political rival, Branson Moore!
Batgirl doesn’t know why Cormorant would pummel the guy that hired her, but she’s sort of honor-bound to help people in this situation, so she smashes into the place and gets Cormorant to scurry off. Babs interrogates Moore, to get a tacit admission that he did hire thugs to screw with Luciana’s rally, but he didn’t hire Cormorant—he’s been after Moore since he signed a bipartisan deal with Luciana Alejo to close Blackgate Prison and move it upstate! Being threatened by Cormorant, Moore is planning to back out of the deal, but Alejo is full-speed ahead on this, meaning she is still a target for the Cormorant!
Which is, to be fair, pretty interesting. We’re more or less in the same place we were at the end of the last issue, except with some more intrigue surrounding Jason Bard, some character development for Izzy…not bad world-building, all told. There’s still something still about the artwork, it’s never been as good as it was in the first issue since the new creative team took over. But I’d be hard-pressed to call it bad. This was a pretty wordy issue, but it turned out to be compelling, and certainly worth your hard-earned four bucks. If you ended up stealing thast four dollars or earning it illicitly, then Babs doesn’t want your dirty money.

Bits and Pieces:

A slow, but methodically-paced issue that seems to be building around the story, instead of towards an immediate conclusion. I can't complain about that; if we must have six-issue story arcs to satisfy trade collecting, then let's make the padding palatable. Despite some other personal grievances, I think this is a solid issue and worth your time.


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