Batgirl #20 Play-by-Play

April 13th, 2011 by | Tags: ,

Spoiled, spoiled, all is spoiled.

We start with flashbacks from the life of the speedster weapon of the cult-like Reapers.  Long story short?  He’s an entitled little jerk who decides that everyone owes him.  The flashbacks end with Xane – the speedster named Slipstream – not at all happy that the Reapers built a kill switch into his armor that stops any activity that isn’t what their ‘client’ wants.  They basically tell him, “This is how we do it.  Neener.” 

Over at the BatgirlCave Stephanie looks over her toys  from Batman Inc.  Electro-gooperangs, Flaming Icerangs, and The Compact – which has to be the world’s least cool crime-fighter vehicle name.  Wendy recaps that Slipstream sprayed money at several banks with tracking spray, and is going to steal the money (and presumably more?) when those banks transfer the cash.

The next day, Stephanie is in class with Xane Swift sitting next to her.  He keeps mumbling something, and she gets annoyed.  Suddenly, he gets a call and runs out.  The next second, Proxy alerts Stephanie that the transfer is happening.  Stephanie puts two and two together.  I wonder if, at some point, crime fighters in comics will institute a ‘guilty name search’ policy.  The Joker hid out under the name Joseph Kerr.  I believe Doc Ock was named Octavius, or something.  Ras Al Ghul is a name that’s nothing but wrong.  And now a Speedster named Swift.  It seems like a few searches could cut down a lot of guess work.

Stephanie speeds to the armored cars, chases them into a tunnel, gets around them in her tiny little compact, and cuts them off, bringing the whole line of cars to a stop.  She gets out and identifies herself as Batgirl.  They open fire.

Stephanie:  “”Maybe I should have said that I wasn’t trying to rob you first.  I’ll own that.”

I have to admit, I didn’t think of that, but it does sound like the smarter way to go.  In comes Slipstream.  He threatens.  She threatens.  He runs.  She ducks. . . . and he gets zapped and explodes into goop courtesy of her electromagnagooperangs.  I want a gooperang.  It just seems like such a great weapon to have at one’s disposal.  Not really violent, but effective and embarrassing.

At last, Nick comes into the picture, asking incredulously,  “And then you did a touchdown dance?”

Nick.  I do a dance whenever I manage to find a clean shirt in the morning.  If I took out a supervillain, I’d do a ballet recital.  Stephanie explains that Slipstream’s problem was he could only run in straight lines.  He was mumbling the route to the heist, trying to memorize it.  Although his armor boosted him physically to speedster velocity, his brain only worked at regular human speed and he couldn’t process information fast enough to just look where he was going as he ran.  All she needed to do was duck out of the way.

Nick and Stephanie contemplate the other Reapers, who Xane says are coming.  Stephanie wonders why Xane threw his life away, saying that he was just a college student and hadn’t even declared a major.  Nick speculates that “The Reapers made Mr. Swift an offer he couldn’t refuse.”

Stephanie:  “Why do you  think that?”

Nick:  “Because I used to be one.”

Stephanie:  ” . . . You mean a ‘college student’, right?”

dun Dun DUN!


Random Irrelevant Detail:  It’s scary how much the flashbacks of Xane look like Damian.  I seriously thought there was a cameo happening.

Suckiness Advisory Warning:  Stephanie’s been nursing a crush on Nick for about ten issues now.  She kissed the Witch Boy in one, and she didn’t even like him.  Smooch or get off the pot!

Overall Awesomeness Level:  Moderate, but respectable.  It wasn’t the nutball antics of the Witchboy issue, but it was fun, and Stephanie did a good job.  She’s transitioning out of ‘screw up’ mode and into a hero in her own right.  Nice!

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2 comments to “Batgirl #20 Play-by-Play”

  1. So what are the odds that The Reapers have something to do with the death of Nick’s former wife?

  2. @Space Jawa: I think they came to him after his wife died, actually.