the_mighty_monarch's Batgirl #15 - Collision Part Two: Engagement review

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Couple's Skate

This cover is utterly brilliant, the combination of a wedding invitation and a playing card, Batgirl gussied up in a veil with flowers, and Joker in his suit and tie; though the hat makes him look a bit like Michael Jackson.

Wait.... why is this 'Collision: Part 2'? What happened to Part 1? I'm assuming the previous issue is meant to be considered 'Collision: Part 1' but it's still not, so what the heck? Minor quibble, I know, but it's still annoying to me, when I'm writing I put a lot of thought and care into issue titles and such. Plus this is indicative of poor forethought.

Daniel Sampere's artwork is a little too cartoony, a lot of faces are too round, and the colors are just really uncanny, and not in a good way. It's not 'bad' it just isn't my style and doesn't really fit the tone of the story. Plus it's continuing a big lack of consistency in art on this series through the most recent issues.

Gail Simone writes a really good Joker here, his odd glee as he glides around the roller rink in his pink skates, doing twirls and circles around a woman who's tied to a chair above a nail bomb with her ring finger cut off is just so very classic Joker. He's got a surprising lack of malice in his tone, face, and actions; and it just makes his actions even more unnerving. We also get a nice deep look into his head with some flashbacks to an old therapy session spliced into the narrative. The times it transitions are a little erratic and damper the pacing a bit, and though the end kind of ties into the theme, but the connection is still a bit tenuous.

Batgirl just doesn't seem nearly as smart here. Perhaps she's overcome by rage, but she seriously didn't notice all the people in the skating ring are already dead? She's not expressed concern for them once, and yet when Joker sends her out to the chapel, she suddenly says she can't leave the people behind, and is surprised to find out they're all dead. And on top of that, I have absolutely no idea what her overall plan was when yelling about the nail bomb and tackling the Joker to the ground. It just made no sense and made her look like an idiot.

In Conclusion: 3.5/5

Batgirl is really an inconsistent series, in terms of artists and overall quality. The relaunch has excessively complicated Barbara's history and personality, it's hard for even Gail Simone to write her right, consistently. Sometimes she's clearly outgrown the role, other times she seems more like an inexperienced teenager. But Simone wrote The Joker well, so there's that. And I love the weird angle he's taking to his plot against Batgirl.

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