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
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.
MUCH BETTER THAN LAST TIME
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.
ART BY COMMITTEE
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.
WORTH A LOOK
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.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!