By: Ginger De Los Rios
It’s been too long since the last review because of my internet hiatus. But I’m back with Batgirl issue #6.
Batman makes his first guest appearance!
The cover is hot. I love the way Batgirl and Batman float through snow as if in a ballet. Batgirl’s artwork is consistently good, the colors rich and vibrant, and the features in the faces, clothing, and scenery distinct.
When we last left Batgirl she was ready to fight Bruce Wayne and he’s about to attack her with a metal beam as he repeatedly shouts, 338. Poor Bruce is under influence of the evil Gretel. Or is he? Batgirl reveals a cool secret about her bat-gloves. They have shock plates in them. To no one’s surprise, Bruce Wayne faked his condition and put up appearances for his brave personal assistant. He whispers something to Batgirl that fills her with pride.
“You were always meant to be Batgirl, Barbara.”
In this issue Batman sticks to the sidelines and lets Batgirl shine. She always felt that he was disappointed in her since the Joker’s attack. Batman stayed away for a year. In a hospital flashback, Barbara feared his derision, but he never said a word – he held her hand for a long time. Batgirl realizes that Batman may not let himself get too close, but he loves her like her father, just without saying. And seriously, he doesn’t need to because…he’s Batman.
Meanwhile, Barbara’s mother is at the apartment baking up a storm and still not explaining her sudden re-appearance. Barbara still gives her the cold shoulder.
It turns out that Gretel was an aspiring journalist named Lisly Bonner who desired to be a better reporter than Lois Lane. She hobnobs with the wealthy Boss Whitaker, the gangster whom she hypnotized to kill his own sons in issue #5. Whitaker uncovered her scheme and ordered her shot. A good Samaritan saved Lisly and brought her to a hospital. She naturally has a complete mental breakdown after waking and decides to become a villainess.
In a bit of lazy writing, Lisly gained her power of mind control because of the damage inflicted by the gunshot wound to her head. That explanation doesn’t wash with me. She just wakes up and POOF! I thought she used some electronic device. It’s not like she was bitten by a radioactive spider or something. Sometimes i forget that Batman lives in the world of the JLA, and there are all sorts of super powered beings flying around.
So now Lisly has the ability to control and manipulate, and of course, the power went to her head and she wants full control of Gotham.
In the finale, Bruce Wayne draws Gretel out by making grand speeches about the new Wayne building. All mayhem breaks loose when Gretel uses her mind control on the cops, urging them to shoot at Wayne. On top of that, Detective McKenna comes storming in with her vendetta to arrest Batgirl for her partner’s murder. Batman jumps in to Batgirl’s defense and says she can arrest them after they take down Gretel.
Batgirl shows a lot of empathy for Gretel/Lisly. She likens the demented woman to herself. They are both ambitious, smart, women nearly killed by sadistic men who thought their lives meant absolutely nothing. The only difference was that Batgirl had a support system.
And my guess was right. Bruce Wayne anonymously paid for Barbara’s hospital and treatment bills.
Another villain is put away by Batgirl, but in the next issue it looks like the joke’s on her.
Overall Grade: 7/10