Well this should be interesting…
One of the biggest appeals of the new Batgirl series is seeing Spoiler turned Batgirl Stephanie Brown as she makes her way through her first big crime mystery, while trying to make Oracle happy and avoiding the disapproving frown of Batman. Luckily, for now at least, Tim Drake is out of the picture so that should make things less complicated.
Or so one might think.
The best part of the last issue was seeing Robin and Batgirl bicker and fight amongst themselves, as it lead to some great comedy moments.Â The worst part of the issue was seeing Stephanie Brown get shot in the head while attempting to save Francisco Stefano, a boy sheâ€™s recently become interested in.Â Itâ€™s a reminder that sheâ€™s been nearly killed before, and with the upcoming relaunch of Birds of Prey, it felt like deja vu all over again.
Fortunately, the bullet just grazed Stephanieâ€™s head, but Bryan Miller does reference the Black Mask assault on the heroine in the opening pages, as Stephanie starts to come around.Â Oracle, does an excellent job of tracking Stephanie down and allowing her to make a clean get away without compromising her personal or superhero identity.
Batman makes an appearance as he meets up with Commissioner Gordon to discuss the Francisco kidnapping, but heâ€™s quick to note that Batgirl is near by reading everyoneâ€™s lips.Â If the Batman appearance is nice, having Damien once again pop up to torment our female heroine is the icing on the cake.Â Before formal hellos occur, the two are sparring, once again trading quips.Â I think Stephanie wins this round by asking Oracle if she beats up Damien would it be considered child abuse.Â Batman breaks up the fun just in time, but instead of telling Stephanie and Oracle to back off, he teams Batgirl and Robin together to follow leads.
I canâ€™t think of a better way to get this series into high gear than to pair two people who really hate one another.Â The pairing isnâ€™t lost on Oracle, and the relationship between Dick and Barbara appear to be softening not too long after Dick kicked his former love to the curb.Â I really hope all the other Bat writers are checking in with one another, because the interactions between characters in this issue are superb and those dynamics need to carry over into the other books.Â This really is some of the best writingÂ the Bat titles have seen in recent times.Â Itâ€™s not filled with metatextual messages that are supposed to warp your mind in trying to rethink the superhero genre, nor is it the odd to heroes past, or the girl team atmosphere as troubled psyches try to mend in a group environment. Instead, this is simple storytelling that has a great deal of humor mixed with an interesting story.
And it will all come to a head as the kidnapping is revealed to be a hoax and simply a way to trap Batman in an elaborate Internet gambling plot set up by Roulette in order to make a crap ton of money.Â Instead of the Joker, Penguin, Two-Face or other big league rouges, Roulette is going to pit Dick Grayson against the likes of Roxy Rocket, Riot, and Dr. Phosphorus.
Who will win?
Seriously, youâ€™d be crazy to bet against Batman.
I loved every page of this issue.Â From the stellar writing to the wonderful art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott, each pages has me wanting more, more, more!Â Batgirl is still in the Top 100 comics, so I hope the Batman and Robin guest star isnâ€™t some attempt to boost ratings, and I really hope Batgirl sticks around for a while.Â If the title is cancelled, DC would be wise to make sure Stephanie becomes a core member of BIrds of Prey.Â Until the next issue of Batgirl hits, Iâ€™m giving Batgirl #6, 4.5 out of 5 Stars.