Will Batgirl be able to unravel the mystery of the City of Statues before she is turned to gold herself? Your Major Spoilers review of Batgirl #46 from DC Comics awaits!
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Carmine di Giandomenico
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Andworld Design
Editor: Jessica Chen
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 24, 2020
Previously in Batgirl: After a catfight with Catwoman last issue, Batgirl thinks Selina is right about these statues… Could they be made from actual living Gothamites? But when her investigation leads her to the KGBeast and he tells how he was involved in Nightwing being shot, all bets are off, and Batgirl is faced with doing the right thing or doing what is right for someone she loves.
THE OLD ‘VILLAIN MONOLOGUE TO BUY’ TIME ROUTINE
We open with Batgirl in the clutches of the KGBeast, being locked into restraints, while his boss, the mysterious Dasha, explains her evil plan. Batgirl even eggs her on, getting the full story of her life in Russia, the strange accident that cost her her family and how it led to her advances in green power and the new generator in the heart of Gotham. Dasha believes that the strange radioactive gold in her experiments (and on her costume) contain the souls of her deceased friends and family. As she explains how she’s been using the homeless of Gotham to power her generator, Batgirl escapes, and awakens Batwoman (who was knocked out by the Beast last ish), leading to a big battle throughout the complex. There’s actually some cute back-and-forth dialogue between the Bats, leading to Dasha prepare to detonate the entire facility in order to save her family, dooming much of Gotham to an explosive and/or gold-covered demise!
WHAT MEASURE AN NPC?
The arguments at the core of Dash’s villainous mystique are very topical to the era in which this book unexpectedly releases, asking whether the deaths of a few for the good of Gotham and their new green energy initiative are acceptable. Barbara’s congresswoman believes so, going forward with the opening of the plant even after Dasha’s murders are revealed, but Batgirl disagrees. Still, she’s willing to move on and try to do the best she can, even taking in the sights with Jason Bard before heading home and declaring she can take care of herself… not realizing the Joker is in her apartment, hiding behind the door as she enters. it’s a shocking moment, and not in the “OHMIGOD WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WAY” but in the “Oh, no, we’re doing this again”, with my fears being fanned more by the tagline “The Joke That Kills.” It’s clearly meant to take us into ‘The Joker War’, but it instead just angers and annoys me. As far as this issue’s art, I’m a little bit torn by it. I really enjoy the figure work in the Batwoman/Beast fight and all the body language during Barbara’s date with Jason, but it’s a little hard to follow the storytelling in the big battle with Dasha, and while the melty faces of the gold-spirits are cool, they’re less so when seen on the faces of characters who aren’t affected.
BOTTOM LINE: I WAS FINE UP UNTIL THAT LAST PAGE
All in all, though, Batgirl #34 is a perfectly fine issue, with a couple of moments that are pretty great in her date with Jason, her interactions with the AOC-like Congresswoman and in her interactions with Kate Kane, brought down a bit by some inconsistencies of art and storytelling continuity, and (for me, at least) seriously marred by the tone-deaf final panel cliffhanger, earning a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. I like this take on Batgirl, I like her romance, I like her ideals… I’m just REALLY bothered by the casual way the creators throw in that bleak Joker moment with a casual reference to the terrible story that Batgirl can’t seem to escape.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.