I am so glad to see Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl.  It was a long time coming, but I knew that eventually Babs would be back in the cape and cowl.  She may be Oracle to some, but she will always be Batgirl to me.

This month’s issue starts where last month left off; Batgirl squaring off against Mirror in a Gotham hospital.  Mirror has already killed two people, one of them while Batgirl watched motionless.  Now a Gotham City Police detective is calling for her arrest as she pursues Mirror across the rooftops.

She’s cursing herself for freezing up when Mirror turned a gun on her.  The past nightmare of her shoot by Joker has come back to haunt her at the worst possible moment.  A police officer is dead and she blames herself.  She doubts whether she was ready to return to her life as Batgirl.

When she first catches up to Mirror, things don’t go as well as she hoped for.  He is much bigger and stronger than first realized.  Her unpreparedness might just get her killed if she isn’t able to take Mirror down quickly.  He loses her temporarily but she catches up with him again, this time in a Gotham cemetery.

As they fight, Batgirl is able to lift a list of names from Mirror’s costume.  On that list she finds that not only is Barbara Gordon’s name, but also Batgirl’s.  She tries to overcome Mirror’s size and strength advantage by trying to outsmart him.  Her tactic is not entirely successful and he flees when the noise of police sirens coming close are heard.

Barbara awakens the next morning in her apartment and confronted by her angry and concerned roommate Alysia.  She mended her wounds while she was unconscious and is demanding to know what happened.  Reluctant to give up her secret, Barbara assures Alysia that she’s okay.

Now her days of being Oracle pay off as she researches clues to Mirror’s identity.  Piecing together clues from her encounter, she discovers that Mirror is an ex federal agent and soldier who tragically lost his family in a car fire.

Batgirl tracks down Mirror to his apartment.  But once inside, it becomes apparent that Mirror was expecting her.  Her suspicions of a trap turn out to be far worse.  Mirror has planted a bomb on a subway train and Batgirl must now watch in horror as hundreds of innocent lives are violently lost.

“I don’t know how I got back to my van.  The bike’s probably in G.C.P.D. impound by now.  Don’t even remember changing my clothes.  Couldn’t go to a hospital and I couldn’t go home to Dad’s house.  Not banged up like this.  So, back to my new apartment.  And then I went bye-bye for a while.  But my conscience woke me up.”

I’ve read a few other reviews of this book already today.  Other reviewers are complaining about the inner dialogue throughout the book.  For some reason I have a difficult time agreeing with the other reviews I read.  This is a theme that is all too familiar in comic books for years and years.  Would it have made more sense if she was saying all that out loud?  That would have really been ridiculous.

The more I read of Gail Simone’s work, the more I like it.  She just has a knack with writing these characters.  I love the relationship developing between Barbara and her roommate.  I have a hunch that she will have to reveal herself as Batgirl to her in some future issue.  I’m curious just how many secrets Barbara will divulge to her new roomie.

Another great feature about this new Batgirl is this monstrous new villain, Mirror.  A man who’s witnessed his family die in a horrible accident.  But instead of dealing with his loss, he takes his pain and anguish out on others, simply because they survived their brush with death.  In Gotham City, his twisted dance card will become full quickly.  I am hoping this is a villain we’ll get to see more of in the future.

Story by Gail Simone; Art by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes; Cover by Adam Hughes.

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