Batwoman attacks, and she and Batgirl fight until Batgirl surrenders. She then explains what is going on, and the three of them attack Knightfall’s hideout. Batgirl fights the three goons until Batwoman and McKenna come in to back her up. When Batgirl goes to Knightfall’s office, she finds Ricky, imprisoned and mutilated. While she is distracted, Knightfall stabs her from behind.
Overall I liked this issue. While I do think that the fight between Batgirl and Batwoman went on for a bit too long, and too much of it was Batgirl being humiliated in her own book, overall I still liked the story.
I particularly enjoyed the reveal that James is working with Knightfall, though I suppose that should have been obvious. His presence in the story has been very disconnected to this point, so it’s nice to see him get involved in the overall plot. I am also looking forward to seeing how Gordon deals with the news that his son has escaped Arkham.
I loved that Knightfall’s goons finally got some backstory. Until now they were just random metahumans in a book that I don’t feel needed them. Now they’re random metahumans that I’m supposed to hate. And even though I don’t entirely feel that the constant presence of metahuman enemies for Batgirl is validated, I at least appreciate that we get some insight to their characters, even if it is only a few panels each.
This would be a perfectly fine issue, if it weren’t for the fact that its main goal seemed to be making Batgirl look bad. Not only does she not stand a chance against Batwoman in the initial confrontation, but she manages to get herself stabbed by Knightfall, who until now has shown no signs of special powers or skills. As much as I want to like Batgirl, and I like her most of the time, Gail Simone does a great job giving her a fun voice, Barbara is just unfortunately the least capable of Batman’s allies. Or at least that’s what it seems like.
One of the things I like about Batgirl (although, if I had to choose, I'd choose Batwoman) is that she isn't a perfect fighter. She's just recently recovered from a broken back. I don't think it makes her weak, I think it makes her stronger because she doesn't give into her problems. Batwoman, on the other hand, has had years of military training.
Still, I see where you're coming from and after a year of this comic, I do think it's time we started seeing her succeed more and regain her place as one of the most capable of Batman's allies.
Overall I think I've been more positive about the series than most other reviewers I've read. But I can't deny, there are a few wrinkles here and there that need to be ironed out for this to be a great series.