Last month’s Batgirl heavily promoted the Death of the Family Bat-crossover, but had precious little to do with the return of the Joker. Is Batgirl #14 an essential piece of the Joker puzzle? Read this Major Spoilers review to find out.

Writer: Gail Simone
Art: Ed Benes & Daniel Sampere
Inks: Vicente Cifuentes, Mark Irwin
Colors: Ulises Arreola and Kyle Ritter
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Ed Benes and Ulises Arreola
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Previously, in Batgirl: The Joker is back, and he’s targeting members of the Batfamily… and the Batfamily’s actual families, as the Crown Prince of Crime has kidnapped Batgirl’s mother.


The last issue of Batgirl mightily hawked the “Death of the Family” crossover, only to pull a bait and switch, with only the last few pages being relevant to the wider story. Rest assured, the Joker pops up in these pages, and he is every bit as creepy as he is in Scott Snyder’s Batman. Gail Simone proved masterful at writing the deranged in the much-missed pre-New 52 Secret Six title, and you can really feel her bite into the story in the Joker scenes. The last page reveal made the entire issue worth it. Simone also does a good job of giving Barbara Gordon’s drama its proper heft. The Killing Joke is heavily referenced in these pages, with Simone making rage an important theme. Batgirl has been tortured by the Joker in the past, and how he is wielding emotion as a weapon ties together neatly with the overarching narrative of the crossover.


As you can probably tell from the credits, the art in this issue is a mixed bag, as it is the product of many (too many) hands. I do not know what lead to the art duties being split up, but it’s a distracting disservice to the book. I hope future issues fix the consistency problem – having artists change mid-scene does not make for a pleasurable reading experience.


Batgirl #14 is a worthy component of the “Death of the Family” crossover. If the art could be stabilized, it would rate even higher. I’m not going to read every issue of “Death of the Family” because my wallet just can’t handle it, but Batgirl might be making the cut.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Reader Rating



About Author

George Chimples comes from the far future, where comics are outlawed and only outlaws read comics. In an effort to prevent that horrible dystopia from ever coming into being, he has bravely traveled to the past in an attempt to change the future by ensuring that comics are good. Please do not talk to him about grandfather paradoxes. He likes his comics to be witty, trashy fun with slightly less pulp than a freshly squeezed glass of OJ. George’s favorite comic writers are Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison, while his preferred artists are Guy Davis and Chris Bachalo, He loves superheroes, but also enjoys horror, science fiction, and war comics. You can follow him @TheChimples on Twitter for his ramblings regarding comics, Cleveland sports, and nonsense.

1 Comment

  1. I liked how I hadn’t read an issue of Batgirl before and was able to pick up just about everything that was going on by the first couple of pages. I don’t know if I would read the title on its own, put I did like the progression it served for the death of the family story.

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