Batgirl 14
Gail Simone, Ed Benes

Death of the Family Crossover

Spoiler alert!  You have been warned!

Batgirl 14 has great pacing, I’ll give it that.  It also has a good fight sequences, a good midway shock moment with Barbara’s roommate returning home at a super inconvenient time, and the second call from the Joker is a nice touch.  Half way through this month’s book and Simone has finally won me over.

What Joker Should Be

But those are just things that comics should do.  That’s why people buy them.  What Simone and artist Ed Benes do with the last half of the issue are what make it great.  James Gordon Jr. is revealed as the second caller, not the Joker, which is awesome for a number of reasons.  The first being that he has essentially become the new Oracle, only he is doing it for much more evil reasons than Babs ever did.  He wants Barbara to confront him.  And I believe that he wants her to kill him.  After all, if the Joker’s around, James Jr. isn’t really all that scary.  But will Batgirl cross that line?  I’m just going to throw it out there:  No.  But will the Joker and James Jr. get to fight it out?  I sure hope so.  And although I would love to see Scott Snyder return to James Jr. (the character that made him famous before DC’s reboot), I think Simone has shown over the years that she’s got good villain chops.

My one gripe is about the art inconsistency concerning Joker’s should-be terrifying face.  It’s not that creepy.  I mean, it was ripped off, tacked to a wall, and reattached quite barbarically over a year later.  Why is it not scary?  But beyond that, there is a lot of good to point out.  Absurdly creepy proposal by the Joker after he’s done talking more about everyone in the Bat family holding Batman back.  And of course, this rant is after all skate at the roller rink he just killed a bunch of random innocent people at.  And the threat to kill the former Mrs. Gordon, making that not one, but two wives that Joker has taken away from the not-so-pumped-about-his-return Commissioner of Gotham City.  But again, this is still just the tease.  I want the actual confrontation, which most assuredly is coming next month.  Don’t fail me now, Gail Simone.  You’ve finally got me hooked.

My Rating: 4.5/5