REVIEW: BATGIRL #16

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I’ve been saying that one of my problems with this “Death of the Family” crossover is that it’s running a bit long. As much as I usually like Gail Simone’s writing, I think that’s true even of her Batgirl tie-ins. This issue has Joker going ahead with the forced wedding to Batgirl. Most of the issue is psychological posturing by the Joker, and then a whole lot of fighting. James Gordon Jr shows up and tells Batgirl that he has freed Mrs. Gordon, which allows her to go on a very brutal rampage through the henchmen. This is the most vicious I’ve ever seen Barbara portrayed, which makes sense given what’s going on.

The fight is ended a bit unexpectedly. Batgirl finally gets to Joker, but is ambushed by James Jr knocking her out. bg_cv16_02James tells the Joker that either Joker lets Mrs. Gordon go (he lied about freeing her) or James will kill Batgirl before Joker can get to her, and ruin whatever elaborate plan Joker has. James sets off a grenade, and we come back from fading to black with Joker still having Batgirl. He taunts her with some platter covered by a silver serving dome, which has shown up in a few other issues of this mess.

As I’ve said with other pieces of this crossover, I really think it could be shorter. I was really hoping James Jr would do something more central to the plot. I knew it wouldn’t happen, but I actually was really hoping he’d kill the Joker. All we really got was a lot of Batgirl being uncharacteristically, if understandably, violent. I’m mildly curious to see what Joker has under this dome, but overall, I’m just kinda waiting for this event to end. Not because I really want to see what happens, I’m just kinda sick of hearing about it. I really don’t think anything will happen that will really shake up the status quo. Maybe some of the Bats will end up not talking to each other for a while, but I don’t see anything much more serious than that happening. Maybe I’m wrong; I’d be happy to be wrong. But somehow, I don’t I will be.

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Wayland Smith

WAYLAND SMITH is the pen name for a native Texan who has lived in Massachusetts, New York, Washington DC, and presently makes his home in Virginia.His rather unlikely list of jobs includes private investigator, comic book shop owner, ring crew for a circus (then he ran away from the circus and joined home), deputy sheriff, and freelance stagehand.Wayland is a four time participant in, and survivor of, NaNoWriMo, having made the 50,000 word goal each time.A black belt in shao lin kung fu, he is also a fan of comic books, reading, writing, and various computer games (I”ll shut Civ down in one more turn.Really).He lives with a beautiful woman who was crazy enough to marry him, and the memory of a much loved, if somewhat goofy, dog named Jamie.

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