Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Batgirl #32 Review and **SPOILERS**

Hostage Negrossiations

Writer: Mairghread Scott
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Andworld Design
Main Cover Artists: Emanuela Lupacchino & Dave McCaig
Variant Cover Artist: Derrick Chew
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: February 27, 2019


Do mine eyes deceive me? Does the title banner for this issue read “Old Enemies: Finale?” Finale?? That’s two three-issue arcs in a row! I could leap from my seat and kiss Batgirl’s creative team for that alone, if they were in my living room. And if I had any intention of leaping from my seat. I do have a lap full of Doritos,™ after all. Instead, let me carefully and thoughtfully review the latest issue, #32…which is the conclusion of a THREE-ISSUE STORY ARC! Squee!

Explain It!

The time has come for Congressional hopeful Luciana Alejo to appear on television, and/or be assassinated by the Cormorant. Head of Security Jason Bard and his detail are in position—but where is Barbara Gordon? She’s all Batgirled up, skulking through air ducts and letting a computer script do her job. Which, frankly, puts her job in perspective. I know she’s an unpaid volunteer, but perhaps she’d be utilized better elsewhere. She could join Jason’s team, for instance, which she does (sort of) in costumed form. She forms a tenuous peace with Jason in exchange for him alerting his guards that Batgirl’s in the house. Upon doing so, unfortunately, she also alerts Cormorant.
The jig being up, Cormorant decides to shed his pilfered janitor’s duds and…go after Batgirl? I can see why he’d want her out of the picture, but one would think that accelerating his assassination timetable would be the thing to do. Or, if clearing his path to Alejo was his plan, Cormorant would have eliminated Jason and his people as well. Taking Batgirl out proves to be easy, anyway: while she is distracted by her cell phone, Cormorant sneaks up and shoots her in the back.
Luciana Alejo is on stage, prepared to be interviewed, when Cormorant reveals himself to the cameras. This draws out Jason Bard immediately, and…then things get complicated.
Jason shoots him in the chest, but Cormorant’s body armor absorbs it and he knocks Bard to the floor. Batgirl shows up—which wasn’t too much of a shock, one might have figured she wasn’t unceremoniously murdered in the middle of an issue—but it’s because her body armor absorbed Cormorant’s shot, and I could swear he aimed for the back of her head. Anyway, it all winds up with Cormorant holding Alejo hostage, Batgirl trying to talk him down, and Jason shooting Cormorant in the head. Batgirl is pissed off at him, but what can she do? He essentially did his job. And of course, Alejo loves him now, having proved his allegiance…or has he?
The answer to that is: probably. As for this story, it has some problems. For one thing, the scene where Batgirl gets shot in the back is a little bait-and-switch. For another thing, I’m just not buying this “Jason Bard gets a second chance” story, it’s been a long time since Batman Eternal and he isn’t reading as a villain. Which, as mentioned, might be the point. But we’re supposed to believe that Batgirl and, until now, Alejo didn’t trust him, and I’m not feeling it. All that being said, this is a good story: lots of interesting characters, compelling intrigue, and some cool moments that stick with you after reading. And, did I mention, this is the second three-part arc in Scott and Pelletier’s run? That, alone, drives more enthusiasm from me for this title. This Batgirl is worming her way into my heart, and if she’ll take out some cholesterol along the way, I’m inclined to let her stay.

Bits and Pieces:

Batgirl almost saves the day! If you knew how close she came, you'd be very proud. Why not pick up the issue and check it out? Comics could certainly come a lot worse than this one--and they do!


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