New 52 – Batgirl #14 review

The first of the real Death of the Family tie-ins is a good one. Better, I believe, than any of the Night of Owls tie-ins. There’s actually something at stake here for Barbara, an emotional weight to the scenes. What happens matters not only for Barbara but for the entire Death of the Family event and that’s what a good crossover should do. It doesn’t feel like a cash grab, it feels like good storytelling. I think we can all agree that Barbara’s role in Death of the Family is one we were all looking forward to with great anticipation. After the numerous flashbacks and references to The Killing Joke over the past year, seeing a mended Barbara confront the Joker should be a must read and I’m happy to report that this is definitely a must-read.

There are couple of negative points that I can think to make about this comic, but even those small flaws are far outweighed by how much I enjoyed reading what happens here. There are so many twisted and unexpected things going on that I don’t see how you could read it and not get excited about what’s to come next month for Batgirl. SHOW SPOILER ▼

My non-spoiler complaint would have to be that the book has a fill-in artist. Unless a comic squeezes in a flashback or dream sequence or something, the transition to a fill-in artist is always a jarring one. Sampere and Benes are quite different and the Joker here just doesn’t look very good in my opinion. Capullo seems to have that new leatherface look down, but seeing other artists attempt it just makes it even clearer how this design shouldn’t be a permanent one.

Besides those minor troubles I had a great time reading this. Couldn’t put it down. And the ending? It’s going to have everyone talking. Simone did a fantastic job with the Joker and he reads almost exactly like he does in Snyder’s Batman. I’m just curious about when this fits in with the events of today’s Batman issue and how Joker’s actions in Batgirl #14 fit with his greater scheme. It’s intriguing stuff that sparks fun speculation.

Batgirl #14 is a must-read for any fan of Barbara’s and a great tie-in to the Death of the Family event. But perhaps best of all, it’s new reader friendly. If you’re at all familiar with Jim Gordon’s family and what took place in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke you can jump on board right now with issue #14. Everyone should check this out, you won’t believe what Joker does on that final page.

SCORE: 8/10

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