Batgirl #4 Cover Adam HughesAfter a slightly confusing dream sequence, Barbara Gordon wakes up and chats with her roommate Alysia, in front of their Christmas tree.  But when Alysia touches a nerve, Babs flees… into the night as Batgirl.  She saves a couple from muggers before a light bulb goes off and she realizes how to turn the tables on Mirror, who has been tormenting her since the first issue of this series.  She leaves a note at the grave site of Mirror’s dead wife and daughters and taunts him to find her at one of the roughly 27 abandoned carnivals in Gotham City.  There, it comes down to luck, planning and psychological warfare for Batgirl to finally take down the super strong villain.  Finally, Babs receives a Christmas Day visit from someone she never expected to see again!

Overall, I really wish I liked this book more, but I don’t.  The dialogue is kind of terrible.  The opening dream sequence was really weird, not in a good way.  It made me realize how much I dislike dream sequences in general.  While sometimes they can be done well, this one just felt lazy.

I did like how Batgirl finally conquered Mirror… and the simple fact that she did defeat him, which wraps up this first storyline.  Too many books are taking their sweet time telling stories, I’m glad to see this one over with and a new one beginning.  I also liked that Batgirl is starting to get more comfortable in her role and becoming more confident.  I felt like in the first couple of issues, she came across as an emotional “China doll” that had no business being a super hero in the first place.  Sadly, she’s still just a little bit of a mess, as shown when she freaks out and leaves after her conversation with Alysia.

While I was sort of joking about the abandoned carnival thing… I sort of wasn’t.  Are there any abandoned carnivals where you live?  Where you’ve ever lived in your life?  Why do comic book creators insist on chocking their fictional cities full of abandoned carnivals and toy factories… that are still filled with working machinery and inventory?  Okay, I get it, Mirror, House of Mirrors.  I can’t muster the strength to call it clever, but I get it, as cliched as it was.  But even so, another sign of lazy story telling, to me.

The art is another reason I don’t care for this book.  It’s just too 90s!  Some of the angles and poses are just awkward and weird to me!  I don’t loathe Babs’ costume, but I dislike how her gloves go over her elbows and her boots above her knees.  It’s just a matter of style and tastes really.  There’s nothing wrong with the art, but it just isn’t my cup of tea.

I’ll probably stick with this book for one more issue, but if I don’t like that one, I’m done with this series.  I’m going to be generous, though.  Tis the season and all…

Verdict: Borrow

BATGIRL #4
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Adian Syaf
Cover by Adam Hughes