Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Batgirl #34 Review and **SPOILERS**


Mind Your Own Business

Writer: Mairghread Scott
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Andworld Design
Cover: Francis Manapul
Variant Cover: Joshua Middleton
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: April 24, 2019


After last issue, which was really just a tie-in to The Batman Who Laughs, it’s time to get back into the groove of…whatever Barbara Gordon’s life is now. As I recall, she’s a nearly-fired social media intern for Congresswoman Alejo’s campaign? And how did that all wind up, anyway? I guess one way to find out is to read Batgirl #34 yourselves. The other way is to read my review, which is right here!

Explain It!

So after Cormorant died on live television after revealing that he was hired by a concern to keep Blackgate Prison open, that concern is…well, concerned. They are the Terrible Trio, a group of preppies that wear masks of predators and scavengers, though in this version it looks as though their actual heads are that of a fox, a vulture, and a shark. What can be done with prosthetics these days is remarkable. They decide that they’ve got to get Batgirl…actually, the vulture-headed lady just wants her kept at bay, but the shark and the fox pretty much agree to take Batgirl out. And just where is Batgirl, anyway? Flitting high above the rooftops of Gotham, late to her internship at newly-elected Congresswoman Alejo’s headquarters…wait, does she still have a job? And not just because Barbara hasn’t shown up in weeks, but because the election is over, they’ve won…no need to spread internet awareness about the thing, at least not for today.
Really, Barbara had to show up to work so she could be stalked by Jason Bard and to see a package containing a severed hand delivered to Alejo’s office. And I don’t mean it was a severed, hand-delivered to the office, but a bloodied hand in Styrofoam peanuts, packed with a well-designed threatening note to Batgirl that seems just too fancy for those Terrible Trio mugs. Barbara heads over to GCPD, where (after having a bitch-off with her dad for a few panels) she accesses the old Oracle/Birds of Prey clocktower computer, and finds some leads on the severed hand. All the while, she ignores more and more pressing calls from Alysia, until finally Alysia uses the emergency line to say something’s wrong at Gordon Clean Energy, there’s a hostile takeover or something and Barbara’s assets are frozen! Which means she probably can’t afford to be a no-show intern anymore!
Busy with current tasks, Barbara must leave things to Alysia while she Batgirls over to the opening of a social club known as “The Den,” where she finds Fox-head—with Shark-head right behind! While she is held in captivity to be gawked at by a throng of masked, well-to-do criminals in attendance that evening, Jason Bard shows up to find that Barbara Gordon has been evicted from her apartment—her rent check bounced! See? Sometimes stalking isn’t such a bad thing!
Wait, I mean stalking is horrible and no one should ever be flattered by it. As for Barbara getting evicted after one bad check, Gotham City must have some tough lease restrictions. I know a guy who lived for three years without paying rent, and his landlord wound up paying him for damages! This story is decent, with some intrigue and cool detective work by Barbara. I liked that she was able to surreptitiously get evidence from the severed hand and use it at the Bat-Computer, but the middle of this book felt a little clunky, while she followed up leads and generally farted around until she came upon “The Den.” I know, detective work is what I claim I want to see, and then when I get it I complain some more. So sue me for damages, why don’t you?

Bits and Pieces:

A decent story, mindful of recent events, that drags a little bit in the third act. It’s very cool to see one member of the Bat-Family doing detective work, and not just stumbling around like a clod. The issue ends on a good cliffhanger, so I’m hoping the next issue is more explosive.


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