Batgirl #12 Play-by-Play

August 12th, 2010 by | Tags: ,

I’m back, baby.  Shrugging off what I have to say was the hurtful realization that 4thletter had its best month ever when I wasn’t blogging for it (I can only assume that you all kept coming because I was still in the podcasts), I am back, and a month behind in my Batgirl recaps.  Let’s start catching up right now.

When last we saw them, Wendy was stuck in the Oracle Cave, Oracle was stuck in some frozen cyber-vomit-cement, Stephanie was sticking herself into Calculator’s lair, and Calculator was getting stuck into his own mind.

Stephanie gets guided through the lair by Wendy while Wendy complains about her father.  Complain after you vanquish, Wendy.  Not before.  That’s what makes you a hero.

In Calculator’s brain, Oracle finds a cage in which a little boy is locked.  With bloody hands he works on a rubik’s cube while he tells his mother that he’s almost done.  Wow.  I didn’t think that anything could make rubik’s cubes less fun. 

Barbara:  “I hatehatehate feeling sorry for the bad guys.”

So do I!  Not every villain has to have a terrible childhood.  I like a bit of depth, but can’t it just be into the modern villain’s mind, and not some new horror perpetrated against kids?  Well, I feel a little bit better when a slightly older version of Calculator sneaks up behind Barbara and slams her with a folding chair, wrestlemania-style.

Stephanie fights her way to the center of the lair only to realize there’s nothing she can do.  Then she sets off an alarm.  For her big year-end issue, she’s not making a strong showing. 

Oracle, after wandering through more sick parts of Calculator’s mind, finds him at the center, determined to ‘pull the plug’ on both of them.  Hm.  I understand the dramatic device of making killing you in your mind into something that can kill you in the real world, but I’ve had dreams in which I was killed.  Most of the time, I woke up immediately, which makes me think deliberately getting killed might be the best way to wake up.  Those times that I didn’t start awake right away, eventually the killing went on long enought that I got so bored with it I woke up.  I’d like to read a book like that, just for a change.

Stephanie keeps looking through the lair, and eventually finds a big antenna that’s being used to mind-control the cyber-zombies in Gotham.  She takes it out, and finds a cyber . . . I don’t even know what.  It looks like a mix between the Joker and the thing that was created that time Oracle got infected by Brainiac.  Whatever it is, it’s not friendly.  Fortunately it gets taken out when Wendy crashes her plane into the lair.

Wendy finds Calculator and uses the computer to put him into ‘standby mode’.  Which puts him back in that cage.  Which, in my opinion, is a little cold, even for a supervillain.  If you’re going to do that, you might as well just kill him.  It seems more secure and more merciful.

The next day, Barbara pretty much officially transfers her power over to Wendy.  Wendy’s new superhero title is “Proxy.”  Not bad.  Sounds a little like a zit cream, though.  Still better than the next villain that Steph faces off against – the Blimp-Master.  Awww, and he’s got a little sash!  I love him!  My first thought was, ‘He and Johnny C should have a team-up.”  And sure enough, the last page has Johnny C, obsessing over Batgirl while curled up in his cell.  See you soon, C!


Suckiness advisory warning:  I think Wendy’s okay, but I don’t see why Oracle couldn’t manage the Birds and Batgirl.  Come on, Batman’s in about six books, and he’s dead.  We’re not concerned with realism in this medium!

Interesting Irrelevant Detail:  Not only does the Blimp-Master have a sash, he has one of those swim-cap-looking hats and a little twirly mustache.  I tell you, this man is a breath of fresh helium.

Overall Awesomeness Level:  Moderate.  This issue strayed into really dark and gruesome territory.  I like my heroes lighter and wackier.  And I like my villains when I don’t have to feel sorry for them.

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

  1. I am so glad you’ve found the time to get back to this. Especially considering it got me to start buying the series in the first place (Johnny C helped).

    On which note, I was glad to see he hasn’t been forgotten as the one-note character he sadly could have been.

  2. Wendy’s new superhero title is “Proxy.”

    Wow. I mean, like, “Who’s the gal who comes to call when the others can’t be arsed at all?” PRAH-CHSAY *skreeauu*

    “When the villains end
    your third-best friend,
    Who’s the gal
    the Heroes send?



    “When The Joker give you boot,
    And the Batman’s still en route,
    hum-ti-tum-ti-tum ti-tum,
    The Heroes’ Substitute!


    It’s not a very good name, it what I’m getting at.


  3. It was slightly weird not having you around, Esther. I seem to recall seeing a few things crop up in comics that I thought you’d comment on, like Wonder Woman’s new outfit, or Cassandra Cain’s cameo in that reason issue of Wonder Woman(or was it an annual?)

  4. @Space Jawa: Thanks! I kind of want to see a comic that’s “Batgirl vs Johnny C and the Alphabet Crew.”

    @Matthew Craig: That? Is beautiful. But now I have the Shaft theme in my head.

    @versasovantare: For what it’s worth, I like the Wonder Outfit, although I think it’s less iconic and that’s a shame. And Cassandra Cain was completely out of character, so I didn’t really see her as Cassandra.