WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
‘Batgirl’ issue 15 is dark, twisted and demented…everything a story centered around The Joker should be. Through flashbacks to The Joker’s past prison therapy sessions and his present conversations with Batgirl, we learn more about The Joker’s devious plans to force her to marry him. The scheme is well thought out and planned in advance, but Batgirl is enraged that the man responsible for putting her in a wheelchair is back in her life, has involved her mother and she is resolved not to let him prevail. However, even when he was in prison, The Joker forced others to dance to his tune. Batgirl tries to fight back, but, for now, it seems The Joker is still one step ahead. After winning a physical confrontation, Batgirl is still forced to do as The Joker demands and follow along in the next steps of his plan.
I’ve really enjoyed the characterization of both Batgirl and The Joker, and thus far, it seems true to form. Batgirl remains smart and determined and The Joker is just downright creepy. Calling Batgirl “my special little potato salad” while suggesting they should discuss her dowry seems to foreshadow a special brand of Joker nastiness to come. The artwork in this story arc also continues to be excellent. The differences in The Joker’s face between the past and present are stark and disturbing. The two-page panel in the beginning featuring The Joker flinging himself exuberantly around the skating rink while declaring an “all skate” (still wearing those roller skates with the pink pom-poms), circling Batgirl and her bound and terrified mother just seemed to perfectly exemplify The Joker’s personality and modus operandi.
Batgirl Issue 15 is enjoyable in its own dark way and well worth the read for anyone following DC’s Death Of The Family storyline. I look forward to seeing where the story goes.
Gail Simone – Writer
Daniel Sampere – Pencils
Vincente Cifuentes – Inks