Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Batgirl #38 Review and **SPOILERS**

“Who’s Oracle?” She Said, and Tried to Look the Other Way

Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Carmine Digiandomenico
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Andworld Design
Cover: Carmine Digiandomenico & Ivan Plascencia
Variant Cover: Joshua Middleton
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 28, 2019


You all know the drill by now: ol’ Reggie was incapacitated for a few months and didn’t read  any current DC Comics books during that time! This puts me about four issues out on Batgirl…can I keep up with the breakneck pace of this series and hop right back on? What do you think?

Explain It!

Last I left this series, Batgirl was caught by the Terrible Trio after she uncovered something they did that was…terrible. Well, she got out of that trap, but her dalliance with the Trio aren’t over since they’re behind the resurrection of Oracle in this issue!  She’s one of the “Dark Gifts” that holographic Lex Luthor has posthumously bestowed on the criminal underworld, probably the most dangerous piece of software in existence sincen she almost destroyed humanity, last time she was sprung. I mean, the recurrence of Oracle in this series feels like a slap in the face because I loved that character, and Oracle’s continued use in this series feels like a cheap ploy to get fans of handicapped Barbara Gordon on board. You can’t have it both ways, DC Comics; if you see fit to reboot your universe every few years, I suppose that’s your wont, but you can’t keep one toe in previous continuity and expect everyone to go along with it. The handling of this feels sloppy and ignorant of how important Oracle is to fans, or how powerful the character was in her time. And then to hand her off to the Terrible Trio?!
Barbara is sidelined through this hand-off of Oracle because she’s getting over having been the victim of a royal beat down by Killer Moth. Her internal commentary implies that it’s a rookie maneuver to be beaten by Killer Moth, but what she should be considering is changing her perception of this villain. While Batgirl regroups and accepts some cash from a passer-by, Oracle connects to every database in order to find out who she is, and what is her purpose. She’s got a physical component now, which is really nothing new, which she uses to bully the crap out of the Terrible Trio, who are desperate for her friendship, since she is beaucoup powerful. At the end of the book, Batgirl kicks the crap out of Killer Moth because that’s how this issue was going to conclude, no matter what else happened.
This is a well-told but ineffectual story. I was able to pick up the threads to this story despite not having read it for three months. Everything was plainly told and well-paced, and I think the art is terrific. I also liked Batgirl’s new. More sensible costume. But, like many “Year of the Villain” tie-ins, the titular character’s story suffers at the expense of some grandiose exposition by holographic Lex Luthor. The Batgirl content of this issue is that Barbara recuperates from getting housed by Killer Moth, then gives him a beat down, Not very interesting. The development of a separate Oracle AI is somewhat interesting, but it has been done before—recentky, in fact, in this volume of Batgirl—and it as a flop for the most part, So I’m cautious.

Bits and Pieces:

Barbara recovers from getting beaten dowm by Killer Moth and prepares for revenge. Elsewhere, Oracle is back as an independent entity and she’s already downloading mainframes or whatever. A middling issue of sowing seeds that will pay off later.


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