The Terrible Trio has struck twice. Will Batgirl survive a third? Your Major Spoilers review of Batgirl #36 awaits!
Writer: Mairghread Scott
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 3, 2019
Previously in Batgirl: Batgirl escapes the madness of Fox’s Den only to discover Vulture is hot on her tail and itching for revenge. Does she stand a chance against this bird of prey? Meanwhile, the fight for Gordon Clean Energy rages on as the workers discover the greatest threat to their employment future is Batgirl herself!
AT THE END OF HER BAT-ROPE
Trapped in a burning building, surrounded by criminals who have been part of the Terrible Trio’s latest schemes, Batgirl tries desperately to escape, only to have the very people she’s been trying to save try to murder her. Things get even more complicated when The Vulture literally stabs her in the back and declares that she’s washing her hands of the entire Trio idea, leaving not only her clientele but her partners to die. Batgirl tries to open the locked gates as the building burns down, but keeps getting tagged by the vicious Vulture, who ends up with the upper hand…
…until The Fox bashes Vulture over the head with a bat? Having heard that he is expendable, The Fox bet all his chips on Batgirl, even telling her outright that he knows she’ll help him because she’s a good person. Once the gates are open, everyone escapes, save for the gravely wounded Shark, leaving Batgirl to turn back to once again save her enemies from certain doom.
“NOT GONNA LIE… PUNCHING PEOPLE HELPS.”
This story ends really badly for nearly everyone, with The Shark seemingly dead after pushing Batgirl out of the way of flaming wreckage, Barbara’s business stolen out from under her and her stuff thrown out of her apartment, as she has been evicted. Somehow, though, Batgirl still sees the positives in the situation. I kind of wish I did, because this is a really depressing ending, leaving her in a sleazy apartment in the worst part of Gotham, unemployed and nearly penniless, with two of the villains that brought her here still on the loose. I have to admit, I was surprised by the art in this issue, as Pelletier and Rapmund avoid some of the bulbous muscles and perfectly round faces that I remember from his work in the 1990s, and some really impressive facial expressions throughout the book. What’s especially interesting is the fact that, rather than the traditional masks, Shark, Fox and Vulture have animal faces, each of which is just as well-designed and expressive as the human characters.
BOTTOM LINE: I’M IN FOR THE NEXT ISSUE
I’ve been bothered for a while that Batgirl keeps being completely revamped and reimagined with every new creative team, but this version of Barbara Gordon seems like it has some staying power. Batgirl #36 tears down most of the main character’s life, but still tells us much about who she is and why she does, with art that works more often than not, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. Based on this issue, I’m interested in seeing where Scott and company take Babs in coming issues, which is in itself an achievement.
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It's a dark time for Batgirl, but the issue delivers on action, emotion and some really impressive animal heads...