I’ve enjoyed the New 52 “Batgirl” so far. Sure, the villains have been downright pathetic but I’ve found the book as a whole to be a colorful, charming, and fun read month after month. I never walked away from an issue of “Batgirl” feeling angry or cheated, but I have seen a lot of the complaints many readers have had about this series and they’re all pretty understandable and I even agree with quite a few of them. Issue #7 felt like an excuse to address all of those criticisms.
Are you annoyed that Simone has yet to say the name of Barbara’s mother? It’s Barbara, the mother of James Jr.
Were you one of the many who were confused and irritated by Syaf’s design of Mrs. Gordon? Fill-in artist of pages 6-13 Alitha Martinez fixed that and telling mother and daughter apart was easy. At least I’m pretty sure it was Martinez, their styles are so similar it’s uncanny.
Do you hate how Barbara never mentioned her time as Oracle? Well, not only is that addressed, but it’s also mentioned that she even acted more mature and self-assured in her Oracle days just like you remember.
Wondering why Mom left? It apparently wasn’t because of Jim’a affair with Sarah Essen and that could really mean that “Batman: Year One” is no longer part of continuity.
Do you hate how immature and sometimes whinny Barbara can be? Black Canary smacks some sense into her. Literally. You see Black Canary slap Batgirl “Moonstruck” style.
And while it was satisfying to see all of these issues rectified there really wasn’t a whole lot of story here, at least not the story I was promised in the DC solicit that said this issue would flashback to Barbara’s perspective of “The Killing Joke”. Instead, that appears to be what will happen in next month’s issue.
“Batgirl” #7 has a cliffhanger that’s great and really has potential to set up a remarkable chapter in Barbara Gordon’s history. This issue on the other hand was pretty boring to me. It’s another pathetic villain (a meta human. A term I gag a little every time I hear it in a bat-title. Yes, I’m one of those annoying Batman fans who likes things to stay fairly grounded.) and there’s a particularly awful self-congratulatory moment in which Batgirl says “I’m Barbara-freaking Gordon. And I’m Clever.” as she blindly shoots a grappling gun into the air as she’s being drowned, getting off a lucky shot at her assailant’s head.
If she was really clever, she would have aimed at his feet, which she could actually see with certainty of a clear shot. OR, even more clever, attach the grapple to the bad guy’s leg, then fire it at wall or something, ripping the villain away from her AND leaving him restrained long enough to bring him down completely. THAT would have been clever. All she did was fire a grappling gun in a moment of panic.
This is followed by the villain, Grotesque, saying some cryptic words about how Batgirl just became fascinating from the shear fact that she knocked off his mask. He then vanishes. Barbara says “he pulled the classic Batman getaway…on me?” but even Batman has never slipped away from Jim Gordon while Jim was starring directly at him.
I thought it was a weak issue. One that manages to clear up a few things and set up a potentially amazing follow-up issue, but a pretty weak issue none the less.