Still haunted by the sudden return to the walking world, Batgirl gets caught up with a new villain named Gretel. The mystery behind her and the numbers 338, with whom those she posses, seem to be obsessed with take Barbara on a hunt to save Bruce Wayne!
Previously in Batgirl: Leaving her wheel chair behind, Barbara Gordon is back in action as Batgirl! Her secrets have been catching up with her as well as the deadly Mirror. After fighting off both, she’s launched right back into action with this issue.
I haven’t closely followed the new relaunch of Batgirl, I have however been greatly intrigued by the return of Barbra Gordon as Batgirl. So this week I decided to give the series a try, and I wasn’t disappointed. I think the storyline has great potential to go in a good direction, bringing Barbra back gives a lot to explore. This issue in particular, vaguely touches on her dealing with being back in the game; I would have liked to read more of that. Instead, Gail Simone is more focused on the new villain, a woman called Gretel, who is causing men to mysteriously become hypnotized and then made to kill. I love the mystery of what the numbers mean and how we are right there with Barbara figuring it out. The fight scene between the two was beautifully done by Vicente Cifuentes and Adrian Syaf, it felt like a good match between the two – no ‘one hit’ knock out, just a good fight. I find myself wanting to know more about this so called Gretel and what her mysterious plan is.
WHO IS WHO HERE?
My biggest problem with this issue is how confusing it gets at moments. I find myself saying “wait, what?” and having to re-read panels. I felt like the people tended to blend together. In the beginning scene it took me a double take to see that it was his sons Mr. Whittaker had killed, not the people in the car he had pulled over, because they just seemed to blend together. This happened again when Barbara was with her mother; I again had to recheck to see who was who. It just made an already mind bending read, a bit more confusing than needed to be.
I actually enjoyed that Bruce Wayne was involved in the ending of this storyline, it made for a great cliff hanger. I know people have complained that it’s just throwing in Batman for sales, but I see it as Gotham is a city with a few different heroes, of course they will overlap. It’s always great to see the two totally different personality types of Batman and Batgirl interact with each other. I mean isn’t that what we love about let’s say the JLA?
BOTTOM LINE: OVERALL, A GOOD READ
Overall this issue wasn’t bad at all; in fact I think it will really set up the story to go in a great direction. I find myself wanting to know more about Barbara and how she will continue to handle her newly restored ability to walk. The villain is also very interesting, who she is, and what is her plan. Gail Simone does a great job of making you want to come back for more. I give Batgirl #5, 3 out of 5 Stars.