So I’ve been a bit quiet lately in my review writing. Not that I don’t have the time right now, just that not much I’ve been reading has really striked me as worth the time to review. First page of Batgirl 5 (pictured above) and more so the first few lines of the second page immediately made me want to write about this issue.
First off: Wow. Just look at that picture and I was shocked. I know Batgirl has always worn tight clothing that hugs the curve of whoever happens to be in the role at the time. I know at least this Babs Batgirl has often been doing spread-leg maneuvers but… Well an image like that – especially being the first page and a full page scene – really just shocked me to see such a sexualized pose.
Second off: The information. We finally get a full fledged answer to what “cured” her of being disabled. And yes, I quoted “cure” for a reason that I won’t get into in this post. Basically it was a “neural implant surgery that” eventually got her walking again. Part of me wonders why a random woman from Gotham would be lucky enough to get this treatment over many others who could use it, but I suppose it wouldn’t be hard for Bruce to have set it up so she’d be part of it – even if Jim or Babs didn’t know.
In terms of the story, well its rather dialogue/inner monologue heavy. Most pages is filled with text, but for the most part Simone makes it work well in this issue. Barbara’s mother made a return in the last issue that is continued here, and I just can’t help but wonder how a woman who hasn’t been in her daughter’s life for many many years knows the name of her daughter’s new roommate (and why did that not seem to set off red flags to Barbara)? Beyond that, other things seemed odd about the mom, but that may be chocked up to the awkwardness of estrangement. Seems almost a theme of Batfamily (with their own books) having their past coming back at them. Bruce with Nobody, Dick with the circus mystery, and now Babs having her mom suddenly back. Not to mention it seems Talia will soon be returning to Damian’s life.
Detective McKenna is coming back, though I feel Jim may be making a mistake with that decision. Another scene with McKenna interests me being when she is looking at some articles with Batgirl. “Who is the girl dressed like Batman?” and “Where did Batgirl go?” being the main two. The first one I’d guess is probably an old article from when she started, due to the title. The second though makes me wonder about Batgirl history. Was there no other Batgirls while Babs was in the chair, has it been a while since Steph (or maybe Cass) stopped being Batgirl before Babs took it back over, or does it tie into someone realizing that this newest Batgirl is probably the original one?
I still feel DC shouldn’t have removed Stephanie or the chair, but Simone’s work seems like it is starting to pick up. Hopefully this new arc will continue on a strong path and won’t dip into Mirror territory.
Word of the Nerd – Recent interview with Simone, and where I got the in-page pic from.