I was planning on making this next month but because of the abominable news that we got today i will post this now
think what you think of this run if you have to define it by one single word that word would be controversial, there are people who like it and there are people who hate it, Personally I’m in the second group of people.
The following blog post here is not a review, it is my experience and perspective in the entire storyline, if you like this book and feel that what im say as an insult(cause I meet a lot of people like that commenting in my reviews) please stop reading now and don’t bother in commenting, however if you still read it anyways I would lke to know your perspective about the issue, I have talk with many people and I encounter pure differences in opinion, for example for me one of the worst aspects in the book is the inner dialog of Barbara Gordon, I just cannot stand it and in many chps I have just continued reading ignoring them entirely and had a better experience in the read, others think that is one of the best aspects of the book, that it makes her human and funny and who knows whatelse, but I have also find people of like the book and share my same complains and just ignore them cause those aren’t just important to them.
First of all
Oracle, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, I think there is a strong misconception about people who dislike Gail’s Batgirl, that it all boils down to this 3 aspects and just say, “oh you don’t like it cause you miss *one of those 3*”, there is truth in that argument but there is also the opposite argument, there exist people who Love Gail Simone’s Batgirl for the simple fact that Barbara Gordon now has functional legs, and hated those same 3 aspects so if we are going to be defined by just 2 arbitrary camps of people like “pro-legs” and “con-legs” then there is no point in making any possible discussion, so for that fact I will say this: I am a fan of Oracle and I thought Cass Cain was the best Batgirl but I also thought that Stephanie Brown and Barbara are great too, Batgirl year one is still one of the best comicbook origins ever created in my opinion and I just do not see a single aspect of Batgirl Year One on this comic, nor anything like Stephanie Brown, Cass Cain or Oracle, so because nothing like that is in this book, at least in my opinion, so I wont consider any of those things as a negative for this book, I will try to qualify it just for what it is and nothing else.
However regarding Oracle/Cass/Steph, some people like them some people don’t, if that is a factor for people liking/disliking the book so be it, but this is not what I want to explore here
Chapters 1-4 The Mirror Arc
When DC announced the return of Barbara my main concern was “Why?”
Which is what I was looking for in the first issues of this arc, what is the drive of the story, what is “good enough” to do this entire change and from that aspect this arcwas very disappointing to me, it wasn’t that I didn’t like the direction this was going, but I honestly couldn’t see it, for me I thought this was meant to be a transition arc, a joint to articulate the Oracle era with the NuBatgirl era and from that aspect it failed to me, little did I know that I wasn’t seeing what was in front of me cause what this 4 issues do in synthesis is what the entire run tries to do again and again, I just couldn’t accept that there would be a comic that had a direction like this.
The entire arc has 3 points, Barbara is trying return to being Batgirl, a villain name the Mirror is killing survivors of accidents for a twisted sense of guilt and in order to face the mirror she needs to do this entire thing alone.
So practically “defeating the mirror” was going to become that victory that will let her know that she is ready to be batgirl again.
I had 2 problems with this
1-Is that the metaphor is incredibly explicit and constantly in your face so you have to be an idiot to not notice it
2- I hate the Mirror
The first issue is that is just not very creative, it is too simple to be taken seriously, the whole idea that she “faces herself” will guide her through this problem has been done time and time again but is soo explicit here that it feels lazy to me.
The second problem is that the Mirror just Sucks, I just do not understand this character, he sees his entire family die in a car accident, which gives him a suicide desire due survivors guilt, but also makes him think that all survivors were MEANT to die, so he needs to kill them BUT with that same logic he should kill himself cause he survived the accident.
I just feel like we got only half of the story from him, we get why he wants to die, but not why he wants to live and kill, it makes no sense, and if that wasn’t enough the story also tries to portray him as a victim, is trying to be emotional and its kind of manipulating instead and that something that will repeat a lot
But overall it wasn’t a horrible arc and in fact I think that it could had been a good arc if it had a better written villain, but I still had hope that it might pick itself up.
The final page of issue 4 is a great hook, on it we see Barbara Gordon Sr coming to talk to her daughter, I thought it was GREAT, and I still think that, and the reason why I was hype for this is cause this was NEW.
I couldn’t care less about seeing Barb recovering her mantle cause I had already seen how she was before, but Barb Sr is a character that we knew practically nothing about, she just has great potential.
First of all I need to talk about Jim Gordon, with the New 52, Jim Gordon was now retconned to be the biological father of Barbara, for any practical purpose between the old and new Universe, this means absolutely nothing.
Why? Because he raise her, he was always a father figure for her and the matter of him being his biological father or not just doesn’t matter one bit and has never matter, that relation is still the same as it has always been and probably will always be.
But her mother, That is new, whatever it brings to the story, it will be new
so for the first time since the beginning of the book I had real expectations for this, which were meet with a real disappointment.
The issue brings up a new villain name grethel but like I said the real focus for me was in the mother.
They meet to eat Lunch, they barely talk for 3 pages and we establish that Barb hates her mother because she left them, not cause she left to Chicago with James Jr like we saw in Black Mirror, but because she just suddenly disappeared when she was a kid.
This was a huge problem to me, Scott Snyder’s Black Mirror is one of the best comics I have ever read, it is one of the best Batman comics ever made, it is just a master piece of a story and I knew going in the new 52 that some things were going to be the same but others wont, and just by looking at the fact of Barbara Sr in issue 4 I knew there were some huge changes in the event, but I never expected a change in the backstory of James Jr.
You just do not go to the same places that another writer set a mark on just to delete it, not this fast, and this was important to me cause I loved Black Mirror, and that story makes no sense if Jim raised Jr., it just moots that theme of the separation between the father and the son.
But Why the hell am I talking about Black Mirror? Because I honestly cant remember anything else from chp 5.
I know Grethel appears she does something because of some buildings and targets Bruce Wayne, but I really didn’t cared, I didn’t thought that those were bad or good I just didn’t care, it is just those 3 pages with the mother, were very little is said and practically nothing happen, just Barb have lunch with her mother and they don’t eat their lunch(seriously check it out, they order and do not eat it), and then the Story of Black Mirror is just ruined in those 3 pages, which depressed me incredibly cause I was expecting some kind of sequel in a future and I know now that will never happen
Continuing with the Grethel storyline, it is bad chp 6 is just bad, and once again the main reason is the villain.
but First let look at this
This right here is the single worst line of dialog that Gail Simone has written in her entire career, an accomplishment considering how terrible is the dialog on batgirl, this is like the white girl comment of Mr Terrific
Lets ignore the metatextual theme here that kind of implies that Oracle and no other Batgirl can ever compete with Barbara.
It just doesn’t sound like Bruce Wayne at all, what is that even suppose to mean? She was always meant to be Batgirl? So she wasn’t meant to be what else exactly? And I don’t mean by being Oracle or whatever, I mean instead of being a psychiatrist? , or...
I know this is not it actually means, but it can be interpreted that way, it can be interpreted in a lot of .
But anyways the real issue is Grethel, once again her backstory is just silly, she had a sob sad life, then she gets shot in the head by a gangster and gains superpowers…
At the end Batgirl just convinces her that her ways are wrong but that theme that is suppose to make an emotional connection just never click because her origin is ridiculous, it is just more funny than tragic
Then chp 7, this issue is yet another issue which is kind of There, I kind of nor bad nor good, just very little things happen.
Barbara starts doubting herself AGAIN, and Black Canary just beats her up to make her react, and then Grotheque, he is just a very boring villain, this is probably the least interesting villain in the entire run cause he doesn’t seem to have any sense of personality or motivation, he is just the black hat of the week.
But the ending is the thing that most people remember, just the final page and nothing else
Chapter 8 THE 2nd WORST Single comic of the new 52
Deathstroke chp 0 written and drawn by rob liefeld is without a doubt the worst thing produced by DC since the new 52 started, it is just abominable from any possible stand point
This is the second worst comic of the new 52.
I just cant be objective with this issue, I hate every single page, every single panel, every single line of dialog, this was for me the point of no return, this is where I decided that Gail’s run was just not going to work for me. And the dangerous part about this issue is how hype it was, I still remember the solicits said something like “we cant believe that we didn’t thought of this before”
3 things happen on this comic
1- Barb discovers the secret of why her mother left her family
2- Barb defeats Grotesque but not before he kills Danny
3- Danny confesses that he saved her life during TKJ
Well, I hate each of these 3 plots and for completely different reasons
First the secret of Barbara Sr is basically that she was browbeat by a little kid into leaving her family and basically becoming a deadbeat parent.
This is like something someone would expect from south park or family guy, a satire of something very serious.
First of all this scene just completely shatters my image of James Jr, Black Mirror just made him a very creepy villain but the main part of that creepiness is that you didn’t knew for sure if he was or not the bad guy until it was too late, this scene just completely misses the entire point of the character, is just a gigantic failure of comprehension of a character.
HOWEVER, I will be a little fair, lets consider this person a completely different character and forget about BM, the scene still fails, it just doesn’t justify itself cause no real person, no real parent will ever react the way Barb Sr did, it just makes her look incapable of being a mother like once again A VICTIM, but there is just no possible way that you could ever feel sorry for her
The Second plot I kid of already touched on here, it is just a very manipulative scene to have Danny died in the conditions he died in, it tries to be emotional in a very forced way, and his death just comes empty as the victory over Grotesque cause he never really look like a real menace to begin with, and the whole point of Victimizing Danny just doesn’t make any sense to me
Finally the ending
The Confession of Danny utterly retcons The Killing Joke, so that Barbara was alone at home when Joker appears and then shots her, and then danny in a moment of compassion saves her life
You need to understand something about Gail Simone and is that she HATES the Killing Joke, she has said it interviews, so when I read this my first thought was the one of a fangirl who just don’t like an story and changing it
The moral of this story is that even in the worst moments bad people can make good decisions and I have no idea what is the point of that, the point of TKJ is that the Joker wants to prove that he can break people by just that ONE BAD DAY, and is a theme that is constantly repeated in batgirl by the villains, this are villains that got broken by that one bad day, but the moral of TKJ is that THE JOKER IS WRONG, he tries to break Jim Gordon and he tries to break Barbara, and he fails, but simultaneously Joker has a point cause with him and Batman laughing at the end, Batman was also broken by that one bad day. To me it makes Jim Gordon and Barbara just look better that they can go through hell and back as those same persons
There is no point of this, why a moral like this, you just cant rewrite Alan Moore’s work and expect it to be better but moore than that it just makes no sense with the rest of the comic, it is not like Barb was doubting of humanity or anything, she had selfdoubts because of her capacity
Retcons are nothing new in comics, but they need to have a point, they need to open new paths, not close old paths just because you didn’t like them
I detest this issue and it is and stand point for every single bad thing in the entire run
My interpretation of the plot of Batgirl is this:
the character of Batgirl gets a huge mental trauma that develops over a shot that she received, so after recovering her legs she decided
there is no supporting cast in this comic, its the same problem with the Mr Terrific book, there are some people here and they appear time to time you just dont give a **** about them.
the only 2 main ones are Mckeena and Alysia, and they do nothing really, they arent interesting on anyways nor make a mark.
Mckeena is also a Victim of some poor circumstances but is not interesting and alysia is just a victim to be in the book
as funny as it sounds I dont retain from this characters, from mckenna i just see her as a random black female cop, and Alysia, i think is an activist but if she has a job i dont know what it is, i dont even remember her face i just know she is white and i dont even remember her hair
they are all the same, all characters that based of Batgirl's broken mind, Mirror is her survivors guilt, and Grethel plays with her being a victim and so for
and all of them are either Victims themselves, people who are just not accountable for their own actions cause they are poor victims of the circunstances or had a bad day, get it, is the same idea of The Killing Joke but without any soul on it, its corrupting its own message
one part that really got to me , at the end of knightfall story the disgraced meets with all the villains to make them escape prison for a villain team up and immediately what i thought was: "Spiderman's Sinister Six"
Same concept, but it doesnt work here for 2 reasons, 1 Batgirl is not Spiderman, and 2 all the villians Suck
all of them are uninteresting, uncreative and just repetitive
This is the part that I have more confidence talking about cause the problem with the main character is very simple
BARBARA GORDON DOESNT EXIST IN THIS COMIC
95% of the time is about Batgirl, and yeah there are moments where batgirl is out of costume, but those are not about barbara gordon
Barbara has no friends, she has no family in this book except for her stupid deadbeat mother, she has no job, she has no boyfriend
she has no life, it begins and ends with the costume, and it begins and ends with her PTSD
The Moment that Barbara gets cured from her PTSD she will stop being Batgirl
because she has nothing else, just the costume and the trauma, nothing else
she mentioned that she was dating a guy in issue 1, nothing happen with that, she mentioned that she has some degree in psychology, completely irrelevant after 17 comics
and the worst part is the message that is sending
cause every time she fails, it is because of her PTSD
every time she wins, is because she is getting over the PTSD
and when she gets rid of it, she will have no reason to keep on going
Its a horrible message, because it makes you focus on the problem and not in the solution
It is a serious Real Life problem and Gail Simone is mocking it by using it as an excuse
And at the end of the day it just makes Batgirl look like a mediocre vigilante, cause what does she have? she just has her functional legs and her broken mind to fight not for the sake of the city but for her own personal selfish reasons
thats my perception of her character
A Victim playing that it doesnt hurt.
a sad and sick portray of a very good character