Graphic Novel Reviews: Batgirl 013

The Story

Batgirl manages to defeat Knightfall, despite being stabbed in the gut, and saves both Ricky and Trevor, the man who murdered Knightfall’s family. We learn the true story behind the death of Knightfall’s family, and why she went mad. After the case is resolved, Barbara is attacked by three Joker goons in her apartment.

The Review
While I find the end to the Knightfall arc satisfying, I have to say that part of me feels these big event stories are getting in the way of the stories individual books are trying to tell. This is less of an issue with Batgirl since out of all the bat family she has the deepest connection with the Joker. With her it’s a matter of personal vendetta rather than a matter of duty.

It’s a chance for us to examine the full effect Joker had on Barbara’s life. Unfortunately I am not well enough versed in the DC universe to know how often this came up during Barbara’s days as Oracle, but for a newcomer like myself this issue starts off a promising storyline.

The foreshadowing of all three previous villains coming back into the story is fairly promising as well. I look forward to see what Simone does with them after Death of the Family. Though thanks to the difference of style among the artists of the DC stable I have no idea who the three people talking to the villains at the end are supposed to be.

Still, while the conflict between Joker and Barbara has promise, this issue feels a bit too much like the series will be taking a break from our regularly scheduled programing to bring us this next story. I think it’s more a limitation of the medium than the skill of the writers that makes these crossovers feel a bit too awkward for my tastes. But that’s a  matter aside from this book, and at the moment it isn’t jarring enough to really concern me.

As a parting note, I found the underwear panel Barbara had this issue a bit odd. On the one hand, yes, Barbara is very attractive, as most women in comic books tend to be, but on the other hand she doesn’t tend to be objectified nearly as much as other characters. This might have something to do with Simone being the writer for this series. And while there is a reason for her to be standing around in her underwear (no All Star Batman and Robin cheesecake here), it still stands out compared to how relatively chaste the rest of the series has been.

The Grade

4/5

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