Ah, another month, another Batgirl book. And, like, eighty Batman books. We’ll focus on the Batgirl, though.
We open with Stephanie musing about chaos while staring into her waffles. Her mother is leaving through the Gotham Gazette, which reads, “Bank Vault Vanishing Act.” I’m not sure if that’s in reference to Stephanie’s past bank vault vanishing caper or if it’s coming up today, or whether it’s just part of the chaos of Gotham, but it’s there on the front page.
On the next page we go to the vault, so there’s my answer. Nick Gage is looking around, when a paperclip bent into the shape of a bat lands on his shoulder. I have to say, the clip looks good. I certainly wouldn’t have gotten those precise angles. I guess that’s what makes her Batgirl. She and Nick know it was the speedster-suit criminals from last week, but Stephanie is surprised to learn, when she gets inside the vault, that almost all the money is there. The criminals only took a few thousand each time. Stephanie senses that Nick has a history with these guys, but he doesn’t tell her what it is, because seriously, there’s no reason to share information about criminals that you’re trying to hunt down, right? Idiot.
Outside, another idiot, AKA Johnny C (our favorite idiot) is in a Grey Ghost costume, listening in on their conversation. The next two pages are spent with Barbara and Stephanie re-capping the events of The Death of Oracle – which all boil down to Babs being taken out of a bunch of books only to be put in Morrison’s Internet 2.0. Make it worth our while Morrison. Bring out the A game. You are playing with fire, here.
The next page is Stephanie at a lecture with a guy who is asleep at his desk next to her. The teacher tells ‘Mr. Swift’ to wake up.
Barbara Gordon spends a page giving Wendy Harris a metaphorical kick in the pants. (Sometimes, I like to think that all the older DC characters go out for drinks and bond over having names from the forties and fifties. I’d love to see that. “Seriously, ‘Dick’? Who calls their son that!” “And how come two different guys have mothers named ‘Martha’?”)
And now we get to what we want – Johnny C. He’s looking out over the city muttering, “Nary a sign of my black and purple angel. Where are you my beautiful bruise?” Johnny, as creepy as that is – and it really is creepy – I give you full points for poetry. Stephanie sneaks up on him and asks him why he’s been tracking her, but gets contacted by Wendy. It seems the speedster is on the move. Johnny C is holding what looks like an iPhone behind his back and clicks a button only to disappear and reappear at a bank. Holding a gun on the Speedster. Good for you, Johnny. You’ve really stepped up your game. It’s a shame that you’re probably going to die soon, because I relished the idea of Bruce meeting you and you peppering him with questions about Batgirl.
Johnny gets thrown through a window, but nothing worse happens to him before Stephanie arrives. The speedster’s name is ‘Slipstream’ which I have to say is nice. He follows it with “Remember that for your tombstone.”
There are several problems with that. For one thing, they usually don’t put the dead person’s murderer’s name on their tombstone, and Stephanie would know, since it didn’t say, “Black Mask,” or “Leslie Thompkins” or “Bruce Wayne’s Trust Issues” or “Stephanie’s Own Arrogance” or “Editorial Mandate” or whatever the hell it was that killed her the first time around on her tombstone. Secondly, if you’re going to kill her, how is she going to remember the name and carve it on her own tombstone?
Stephanie points out that this is weak banter, but Slipstream goes into fast mode and knocks both her and Johnny C around. Johnny C says that he ‘and Proxy’ have her back. That is not what Stephanie wants to hear, especially the part where he knows the name ‘Proxy’. Just as it looks like they’re dead, Slipstream’s speedster suit is overrided somehow and he storms off. Strange.
Batgirl makes her way to the new Proxy cave - which looks nice and seems to have a Purple hybrid with a canon mounted on it. Okay. That is a way to get pick-ups to not make fun of you. Stephanie lifted a spray can that Slipstream had with him. It turns out that Slipstream was coating the money with a nano-polymer tracking spray. The banks are about to make a massive transfer of money, and when that money is all in one place he will steal it. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t just steal it while it is in one place – or better yet sell his tech to the military and let soldiers shovel money into his house without bothering with any of the theft or murder, but I’m sure it will be clear in time.
The two ladies get ready for round two and the book ends.
Random Irrelevant Detail: Looking at the art, it looks like Raymon Bachs is keeping Stephanie, Wendy and Barbara looking the same, but Nick looks a lot younger. He’s weedy and his hair sticks out. Is this more of a push to make him a plausible hook-up for Stephanie?
Suckiness Advisory Warning: Not much here. People are being decent to each other, and Johnny C lives. I don’t like that Oracle left, and Wendy hasn’t done much to distinguish herself, but – there’s nothing much to criticize.
Overall Awesomeness Level: The purple hybrid helps, as does looking at the letters in the back and seeing that three out of four come from California. My neck of the woods. Yeah! Cali supports Batgirl!