In the second installment of the revamped and newly reappointed Batgirl, we delve further into the Mirror and the back story of Barbara’s stunning return to heroism.
After my uncertainty heading into issue 1, I feel a bit more at ease when it comes to lending credence to the good work I know Gail Simone can do on this title. That said, I did thoroughly enjoy reading this issue, even if it did make me question some points of old.
Picking up where we left off – Mirror has just killed a cop due to Barbara’s inability to continue in the face of the gun pointed her way. It was all too much, too much of a flashback to the horror the Joker put her through and she simply froze. Her failure in that split second cost a life. She only allows herself to wallow for a moment before pursuing the attacker out the window, through the streets, and into the only downtown cemetery left in Gotham.
This is important in many ways but it leads to her research on the guy and the unraveling of his tragic story. I think the highlight of this issue is when she seeks out his well-equipped and supposedly highly secure hide-out. It is then that we find out that Mirror, A.K.A Jonathan Mills, watched his family die and there was nothing he could do about it. The man has a death wish but the pure emotion lying behind that scene struck a chord in me. For a man who loved his family to have to watch them die, I can only imagine what sorts of things must run through his head. It is certainly no justification for his behaviour but it does lend a little bit of understanding to his situation.
His agenda seems twisted but after learning his history, it sort of makes sense. All this tied together with Barbara’s need to question the inexplicable miracle that is her ability to walk made for a really solid issue. There were only a few things that stuck out as odd to me. Ok, really only one. I understand that she’s a little rusty after having been paralyzed/confined to a wheel chair for three years but come on now. Wouldn’t she be a little more confident in her abilities? Though I appreciate her internal dialogue about the fact that she jumped back into crime fighting just a tad bit too soon, I want to believe that it’s a lot like riding a bike. Plus, she was trained by Batman himself, correct? Her skills run deep, my friends. It’s not something you can forget.
I was slightly jarred by her date with her therapist, Gregor, though I understand the purpose of branching out and developing other characters. I suppose maybe the placement was off. However, as an overall statement about the main character, I have to commend Simone and DC for keeping Batgirl in-tact and not going the way of, say, Starfire where the heroine is made of curves and very little fabric and not a strong fighter. We don’t need to mislead any more young men that women are all like that, you know?
So hats off to Simone and her artistic team who, I feel, did a great job upholding the integrity of Batgirl. The cover wasn’t jump-out-at-you exciting but it gave you a sense of the feeling of this issue and in that respect, I appreciated it. I look forward to seeing more of this story unveil itself in issue #3.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Solid story and respect for the character||Slightly jumpy, some parts hard to buy|
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