Batgirl #15 Play-by-play

November 11th, 2010 by | Tags: , ,

I’m back, and I’m still recapping.  Join me for spoilers below the cut.

So this week’s Batgirl starts out with a little recap of its own.  It follows Bat continuity through a series of funny little sketches.  You may have seen the preview up at The Source.  All who see it will find it adorable, but I’ve also found a way to show that I’m a bitter shell of a human being by nitpicking it.

1.  No Cassandra.

2.  The Dick Grayson panel in which he walks away saying, “I’m an acrobat,” is incorrect.  He should be saying, “I’m an aerialist.”  So nyah.  Nyah, I said.

On the other hand, the Damian panel is wonderful, and he should be required to say exactly that on every appearance.  That would solve David’s problem with people other than Grant Morrison writing his dialogue.

After that informative little break, we zoom over to Gotham U, where Stephanie is in a study group with (sigh) Jordanna and Francisco.  Oh, man.  I thought we were done with these guys!  These guys suck!  And Jordanna is sucking right now by complaining that Stephanie forgot to bring the study packet and will fail everyone in the group and brings nothing to the table and Stephanie, I know you got used to this kind of abuse from Bruce, but just leave. 

She does, but only because a guy is running for his life through the library, screaming “Help,” all the way.  There are two things that are worrying about this. 

1.  No one, except Stephanie, gets up to help him.

2.  The guy just keeps going, through a lighted building with security and a phones, and stops when he gets to a shadowy area outside.  How did he get to college age without running into traffic if this is the kind of judgment he displays?

Once he’s in a sufficiently dark and isolated area, perfect for murder and the disposal of bodies, the guy stops.  His name is Newton, but that doesn’t matter much, since he’s about to be as dead as a frozen bee.  (I believe those can pop back to life when unfrozen, and since it’s the DCU, and even Barry Allen is back, that’s as dead as anyone gets.)  Some people with robes gather around him and start saying crazy cult things like ‘Pay the toll,’ and ‘Join or die.’

Stephanie swings in and starts knocking out cult members while deducing their majors by what they say – ‘Join or die,’ is a history major.  She’s handling things fine when there’s suddenly a ‘BOOM’ and one of the cult members crumbles.  Stephanie turns and –

Sees a guy in a thirties-looking uniform with a shotgun. 

“The Grey Ghost is your guardian angel.”

Man, Bruce is going to get killed again just so he can get put in a grave and spin in it. 

Oracle runs a voice check and finds out that The Grey Ghost is none other than our old friend, Johnny C.

The Grey Ghost assures her that the bullets were rubber, then spits out his catch phrase and disappears in a flash of light which allows the cult members to get away. 

Stephanie:  “Be honest, O.  Is this why everyone hated Spoiler?”

Stephanie, I hate to break it to you, but everyone loves Johnny C.  He practically got a 4thletter fan club on his first appearance.

Meanwhile, Newton has run to an even more shadowy and isolated location.  The cult members show up, ask him to join them, and then when he refuses steal a flash drive from him and kill him, and I don’t feel even the least bit of sympathy.

The next day, Detective Nick Gage is looking over the body.  He notes the stolen flash drive and decides that he disagrees with the official story of suicide.  In the middle of the Gotham night.  On a public street.  By apparently painful drugs.  After he spent the night running past a library full of witnesses screaming ‘help.’  Yeah, that’s some bang-up forensic work, GCPD.

Barbara shows up and lets Gage know about the people with robes chasing Newton.  He goes all quiet and walks away from her.  Yeah, clearly he’s never heard of them before.  Another cop calls him over, and shows him a bloody batarang.  That they didn’t find until a second ago.  And they found it on a corpse.  Which hadn’t been cut up. 

If they honestly thing that that points to a bat-killing, that is so stupid I can’t even tell you.  It distracts me enough that I skip over the scene in which Steph lies to her mom about college being great in order to stay in Gotham and keep being Batgirl, and the scene in which Wendy is swinging a wooden stick at that floating ball from Star Wars, and right to the part where Stephanie swings up to the police station in response to the Batsignal and gets a face full of guns for her trouble.

“Stephanie Brown, you are under arrest for the murder of Newton Flitwik.”

Come on, GCPD, make an effort here.  I hope that that is a ruse intended to put the cult member off guard, because otherwise I can only assume you’ve been drinking lead paint or something.


Random Irrelevant Detail:  Stephanie and her mom were discussing college while eating waffles.  Stephanie brought donuts to the study meeting.  Have we ever seen Stephanie eat anything other than fried dough coated in sugar?  I think I might have seen her eating popcorn with Tim once.

Suckiness Advisory Warning:  Jordanna and Francisco.  Come on.  They suck.  That’s all they do.  They come into a story and suck it up.

Overall Awesomeness Level:  Well, with Johnny C back in town, and Barbara back at the controls, and the adorable bat-history at the beginning, it can be nothing other than high.  (And if anyone has a picture of Johnny C in grey ghost costume, send it on over.  I’m looking for one.)  (And I have received it!  Thank you, alert reader Michael S!)

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8 comments to “Batgirl #15 Play-by-play”

  1. It’s probably worth noting that the opening was very similar to Comics Alliance’s own “Comics Everybody.”

    Essentially, I want Esther’s Batgirl play-by-plays to come to rival Uzumeri’s Bat-annotations.

  2. […] more here: Batgirl #15 Play-by-play Check our brother […]

  3. “Stephanie, I hate to break it to you, but everyone loves Johnny C. He practically got a 4thletter fan club on his first appearance.”

    It’s true. He’s the reason I started purchasing Batgirl in the first place. (The highly enjoyable quality of the comic is what kept me around, however.)

    Are you looking for an image of Grey Ghost from the comic, or something else entirely?

  4. @Esther – Yeah, but did you like the issue?

  5. To be fair, people (sadly, including me) are pretty jaded. The other day, the alarm for the office next to mine went off, and I just assumed some fool triggered it by accident (and I was right). It almost never is a robbery or an assault, thus I didn’t rush in to help or anything.

    Yeah, I suck.

  6. @CasinoGrande: Someday. Someday.

    @Space Jawa: Yes, I am. You’re looking at probably the only person on earth who can’t figure out how to download comics illegaly, so I have trouble getting images.

    @Two-Bit Specialist: I did like the issue. Although the police work left much to be desired, it started off fun and the Johnny C as Grey Ghost idea is a good twist right now that has the potential to keep being fun for a while.

    @Two-Bit Specialist: It’s true. Crowds don’t offer much help. But at least he could have tripped a fire alarm or called the police with a phone.

  7. I love Nguyen’s Lil’ Gotham art, loved the opening so much :c00lbert:

  8. Just on your nitpicks, Esther: The first, totally valid, actually moreso for the reason the second isn’t. Dick definitely would call himself an aerialist. Dick’s not the one telling the story, though, Stephanie is, and I don’t think she’d make the distinction. OTOH, she should make mention of Cassandra, and while I can buy not wanting to dwell on comparisons, the two characters are tightly linked, and Cass is appearing in the Bat-titles again, so mentioning Barbara as Batgirl and not Cass is a misstep in an otherwise adorable sequence.