Batgirl has a showdown with Mirror and then gets an unexpected surprise.
Claire Smith, our usual reviewer, got a bit busy this week, and graciously allowed me to do this review for her. Check back next month for her usual coverage of this title.
The Nu Adventures of Batgirl continue in “An End to Dreams,” by the incomparable Gail Simone. After a truly odd nightmare, Babs gets up and talks with her new roomie, and we finally learn a bit about how Babs is walking again– apparently Jim Gordon found a clinic in South Africa that was trying some new treatment, and Barbara went and became a “medical tourist” as the term goes. Her complicated post-Crisis parentage seems to have been done away with, as well, and Jim is her father again, which is at least one good thing to come of the DCNU.
After fighting some random street crime, Batgirl gets a flash of insight, and leaves a note for her foe, Mirror, on the graves of his family. She lures him into a trap and fights with both brains and fists, eventually beating him with some clever psychological warfare. The issue ends with Babs making a veiled reference to her brother (about who we also know nothing in the DCNU), an exchange of gifts with her roommate, and then Gail does something I don’t think has ever been done in a Batgirl story in all her decades-long history: her mother shows up. Now THERE’S a cliffhanger.
This was a decent story, and shows Babs is still somewhere between her self described “really rusty,” and her former expertise. She handles the street thugs with ease, and has a much harder time with Mirror, who apparently has all manner of special training. I’m also very intrigued by the appearance of Barbara’s mother, and look forward to seeing what Gail does with her.
What I liked and what I didn’t:
As ever, Gail writes great characters. We finally have a bit of a clue about Barbara’s recovery, and got to see her very sharp intellect in action as she devised her way to beat Mirror. The new roommate is growing on me, and as I said above, I’m really curious to see what happens with Mama Gordon suddenly showing up. I can’t wait to see what Gail makes of that.
The art is gorgeous, but still flawed in a few places. Not that things are drawn badly, but they are done in such a way as to not make a lot of sense. One scene has Batgirl breaking into the abandoned amusement park where her trap is set, cutting the chain on the fence with huge bolt cutters. Batgirl is certainly good enough to get in without destroying the chain, and where would she keep such a large tool? It’s shown as one of the large style about as long her arms. There’s also a scene in the fight with Batgirl leaping down from something above Mirror, getting ready for an elbow strike as she descends behind him, yet somehow the blow hits him dead center in the chest.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|good twists, smart fighting, Mom||odd art choices|
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