Batgirl #11 Play-by-Play

June 13th, 2010 by | Tags: ,

This week it’s all Batgirls, all the time.  Cut for spoilers.

Barbara wakes up in a sunlit bedroom, wondering what the hell going on.  The last we saw of her, a bunch of possessed people were vomiting silver on her, so, honestly, I think the time to wonder what the hell was going on was then, and that’s why I’m not a superhero.  It’s not just because I’ve gained a few and don’t look good in my tights anymore.  I think they shrank in the wash, anyway.

Dick wanders in shirtless, in very low cut jeans and talks about how they’ve ‘got mouths to feed.’  Next thing we know, Barbara has the use of her legs and is parading a burned turkey around the living room of a suburban house while her dad, Dick, Tim and Damian all make small talk in the background.

Her thought box says, “It’s all . . . perfect.”

No Babs.  No, it is not.  For one thing, Dick put his shirt back on, and for another, you are cooking for Damian Al Ghul.  Just ask Alfred about how ‘perfect’ that is, hm?

The doorbell rings, and Babs runs to the door, only to find a guy in a Hawaiian shirt with a Joker smile and a gun. 

I like this issue, but I think the weak part in every Babs story is the part in which they reference The Killing Joke.  It’s like every story about Little Bruce Wayne ending with his parents talking about wanting to go to the mooooooooovies.  Of course, in this story there’s an excuse, because we’re trapped in Barbara’s mind while Calculator gloats over her.  He was going to kill her, he says, but instead he’s going to synch their brainwaves, find out about her allies and crush them all.  All of them!  Mua ha ha ha ha!

Stephanie, meanwhile, is getting her ass kicked by a possessed Catwoman.  Her voice-over?

“I’m screwed.  I mean, I’m sure someone famous said that.  When they were screwed.  Like I am right now.”

All right.  That was fantastic.

She fights off Catwoman, and Huntress (Three Batgirls in one book!  We’re getting closer to all of them!  Keep it on course!), only to be distracted when Wendy, stuck in Oracle’s basement, uses the communicator.

Stephanie:  “This is Batgirl.  Some jackass named Calculator just kidnapped Oracle and threw a Romero movie my way to stop me.”

Haaaaaaaaaa!  Oh, Stephanie.  You are on fire tonight!  Hopefully not literally.

Wendy helps Stephanie get out of the fight with Huntress.

Stephanie’s parting line?  “At least zombies don’t complain about me not being right for the job.”  I love it.

Wendy tracks down the signal that Calculator sent out.  It’s from ‘an abandoned military base in Slaughter Swamp.’  Jesus Christ, Gotham Planning Commission!  Crime Alley?  Slaughter Swamp?  Were you trying to drive down property prices to cash in on some post-renaming land rush?  Where do you live?  On Brutally Gunned Down Avenue?  Gang Violence Parkway?  Just knock it off and name all the streets after presidents, okay?

Stephanie meets Man-Bat in the sewers.  Ew.  I bet that fur holds fluid really well, too.

Barbara is now in what looks like a gigantic library with Calculator.  It seems that he is frustrated because he is looking around her library brain for secrets and because of her mental blocks, all of the ‘books’ are blank.  He explains they’re mentally connected, she pushes him out of her brain and into his, and I can’t completely concentrate on that because Babs, what are you wearing? 

You look like you’re about to go see the premiere of Barbarella with some guy who swears he once shared a squat with Ringo Starr.  Oh, Babs.  I know Mad Men set a trend, but – really?

Meanwhile, Stephanie has used some rope make a kind of bridle and is riding the flying Man-Bat, calling him Kirk while she does it.  Don’t let Francine see you doing that, Stephanie.  They head towards an airport.  Steph’s a little worried about where to land, when Wendy comes along in the Batpodcycle (or whatever it is) and Stephanie throws herself off Kirk and lands on it.

Wendy and Stephanie steal an airplane, fly to – sigh – Slaughter Swamp, and Stephanie jumps out, determined to rescue Babs.  Go for it, Steph!

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12 comments to “Batgirl #11 Play-by-Play”

  1. Is Slaughter Swamp actually a swamp? Do urban American cities often have proper swamps in them?

  2. @VersasoVantare: I think it may be *just* outside of Gotham, since at least one of the cyber-zombies walked from Gotham to Calculator’s lair in less than a day.

  3. Slaughter Swamp is the place where Solomon Grundy was born, too.

    And I can’t think of a single major city that’s in or near a swamp. Gotham has swamps, thick forests, verdant plains, international harbors, and an intricate network of subway tunnels and underground caves.

  4. @david brothers: New Orleans?

  5. Also Washington D.C.

  6. Oh, God… this just seems to me like one of those issues of a rebooted series where they try to prove how good the new character is by having her battle every other previous iteration of her that she should by no rights be able to even contend with and come out on top. If she encounters Cassie and manages to win, I’m just… well, I’m going to like her even less. Nyeh.
    By way of legitimate contribution, I’m going to direct attention to a Mr. Arsenault, who pointed out certain logistical problems with having The Calculator zombify 12,000,000 people.

  7. hmm, I’m a little disappointed that Gotham’s swamps are somewhere just outside of town. I liked the idea that you could just be driving down a main street, take a turn and find yourself in a swamp in a minute or two, or have kids in massive tower blocks lob their rubbish out the window and hit an alligator or something.

    “Gotham has swamps, thick forests, verdant plains, international harbors, and an intricate network of subway tunnels and underground caves.”

    Y’know, I’m starting to suspect that during his travels through time, Bruce Wayne helped set up all of those places so that he’d have a cool city playpen to have varied adventures in, in his own time.

  8. You have to love those areas that get a new name placed on them. It’s like a disphemism. Where I live, Crystal Pond now gets called Dead Hooker Pond.

  9. I actually think the more I try to like this book, the less I actually do. I’m the complete opposite from Esther about the cutesy, Buffy-esque dialogue: it really grates on me after a while, especially when it’s like [insert pop culture reference #357]. It’s good that there’s a genuinely lighthearted book out there, but I think Miller’s strategy of just having Steph fight the usual Bat-foes (which doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon judging by solicits) shows a lack of imagination and ambition. It’s a decent enough book, but the more I read of it, the more I think it’s just kind of dry “hero fights a villain while quipping wittily” stuff. I know a lot of people have really wanted a book that’s nothing more than that, but it’s not for me.

    Well, at least there are rumors of a new Cassandra series, or at least appearances elsewhere, so I can get my Batgirl-but-not-really fix there (in theory).

  10. Cassandra rumours? As what? Not leader of the League of Assassins or anything, I hope?

  11. Also, in that outfit Barbara reminds me very strongly of how she’d look in the her own, original Batgirl series back in the sixties. Hardly a coincidence, of course…

  12. @LaterComments: There was a rumor on BleedingCool that Billy Tucci is working on a new Cassandra book, and on Gail Simone’s forum, she posted “I believe that Cassandra’s story will change. Can’t say more yet.”

    So maybe at least something is going on with the character.