This was a big week for comic books, and while the penultimate ‘Batgirl’ issue starring Stephanie Brown is not the most Earth-shattering book from my pull-list, it is the one I was the most interested in reading.
After last month’s jaunt across the pond to jolly old England, where our favorite snarky heroine saved time and space as we know it, Stephanie Brown returns to Gotham City to find her sidekick/stalker the Grey Ghost has been murdered by those pesky Reapers, no less.
And just what are those dang Reapers up to in this issue? Attacking Gotham’s Finest to get back the power suits, which just so happens to give them meta-human like powers. These wannabe super-villains sure did a lot of damage, killing a couple of the GCPD and wounding many more; all for the chance to get some sweet payback at the “client” who hired them, but didn’t have quite enough money in his checking account to cover all their villainy. Basically, in their eyes, he had to die.
We then get 5 supped up angry and unpaid villains tearing apart Blackgate Penitentiary looking for the man who has wronged them. A that point, it’s Batgirl to the rescue, and leap before you look all of a sudden becomes a viable superhero-ing strategy.
Before I get to the drop down, drag out prison brawl, I’d like to take a step back. There are several pages in this book that show why Bryan Q. Miller is one of the best writers in comics and why it is a shame he doesn’t have have a book in the DCnU Relaunch (and yet a goober like Judd Winick has two books… I have to type that again, Judd Winick has TWO books in the DCnU Relaunch. WTF?!?). Basically, every page with Stephanie and Detective Nick are heartbreaking, inspirational and chock full of badassary all at the same time. This is the relationship I will miss most from this book when it is gone after next month.
Ok, back to Blackgate; Stephanie Brown has never been accused to being much of a planner. So it is without surprise she free falls from a GCPD helicopter into the middle of a full bore prison riot. Once on the ground, it is 5-on-1 meta-suited baddies vs. Batgirl and it doesn’t take long for the Reapers to have Batgirl in a compromised position, relieved of her utility belt and matching garter. It is here Miller once again shows why he should be on every comic book fan’s must read list; one simple word is spoken by Steph and the tide of the battle is forever changed: SHAZAM!
I know what you’re thinking, wait a second, Batgirl doesn’t have powers and isn’t a member of the Marvel family… how would that work. It was all a ruse to confuse the Reapers, much like you were just confused, to welcome in the all-girl super-heroine team-up to end all superheroine team-ups! Stargirl, Bombshell, Miss Martian and Supergirl all appear just in time to keep Batgirl’s head attached to her neck and shoulders. The battle that ensues is short and the outcome obvious, but DC Comics should take note of this team-up.
They claim they want to diverse, they claim they want to attract new readers, they even claim they want to attract more female readers. Well Dan Didio, here is your book to just that; 5 super powered kick butt and take name heroines saving the day. Instead of 5 Bat-books, 5 Super-books and 5 Green Lantern books, how about you make one all girl Teen Titans, where they actually work well as a team and do what the women in the DCU do best; Save. The. Day.
This book ends with a bit of a twist, that isn’t a huge surprise, but still is very cool. Make sure to come back next month as Bryan Q. Miller’s run on ‘Batgirl’ comes to an end, and say goodbye to one of the more interesting books and incarnations of ‘Batgirl’ the comic book world has seen in quite some time.