I hope she's interesting as well.
I thought it was a good thing I was doing these blogs because it's been at least a month now since I've read Batgirl #4. So I did a quick refresher and saw that Batgirl #4 ended with Batgirl's mom coming to the door. I'd forgotten all about that! But now that I'm caught up, it won't surprise me when the comic begins with some strange woman speaking with Barbara.
That doesn't look like Barbara Gordon's mom!
But it doesn't immediately matter since Batgirl is flying over one of the bridges leading into Gotham. I don't know what she's swinging from. I don't know why she's in that pose while swinging. I don't know why she's only got one hand on her Batgirlrope! That seems awfully dangerous. But then I'm just a normal person and not a super hero. And I don't know what's causing the traffic problem down below on the bridge.
Well, good thing for my blogs keeping me informed!
Barbara does mention she doesn't believe in ghosts. "As a rule." Why do people make up rules for themselves? It's such a stodgy way to think of things. How about, "Philosophically speaking..." or maybe just drop the "As a rule" line. You can add the 'but' that's coming up with or without it!
I know, I know! Who am I to be giving fucking writing lessons to Gail Simone? I mean, I've never been a hair stylist with a feminist beef steak up my ass! Well, I've never been a hair stylist, anyway! But as a rule, I don't believe in rules.
So Batgirl swings down on this bridge where a crime family (seriously! It's one guy and his three sons!) are stopping vehicles and asking people to give them three dollars and thirty-eight cents. And they're ready to kill if they don't get it. So Batgirl swoops down and knocks out all the boys. But it looks like it's the father who is obsessed with the number 338. And probably the one she should have disarmed first (not that she could have known that).
That's one BLAM per son!
The old guy kills the others after Batgirl has subdued them. He probably should have shot Batgirl as well, the dumb old duffer. The old guy then jumps off the bridge but Batgirl lassos his ankle with her Batgirl-grappling hook. And as she tries to pull him up, Gretel shows up to punch her in the mouth. What a bitch!
What? She isn't worth a full page splash?
Gretel looks a little boring. White body suit. Knife in a back scabbard. Tool belt with one gun holstered on the side. Green hair. And that's it! I just described her full costume!
Gretel ends up being extra strong and resilient. So she beats up on Batgirl a bit and then freezes up to suck down some essence in the air. Perhaps the life force of the guys who were just killed? Who can tell? No time to explain! A man is about to fall to his death and there's only twenty pages of comic!
Holy batshit! How did I not see it before? Batman doesn't give a fuck about justice! Bruce Wayne buys up all the cheap shitty properties in the worst neighborhoods and then Batman cleans out the hoodlums and crazies! Then Bruce Wayne makes millions selling the properties in the newly livable area!
After the big bridge battle where a parent killed his children, the comic reverts to four hours ago where Barbara's parent came to her door.
The meeting doesn't go very well. Barbara's mom abandoned her and Commissioner Gordon when Babs was small. She left Gotham and can't tell Barbara why she had to go. So Barbara gets pissy and walks away. At least nobody started yelling, "338!", and started shooting people in the head. Also, the name of the coffee place they go to is Beantasm. I don't get it.
Oh no, no slant in this local news reporters reporting!
Barbara ends up watching some news and sees this bit. Now, the important part is she notices the building's address is 338. But the annoying part is this news reporter. Let me put my cards on the table if I haven't yet made it clear: I hate reporters. I hate local news. I hate 21st century journalism altogether. There are no heroes in the field. Most are just talking heads giving prepackaged speaking points. Local News is not about getting the opinions of people living across the street from the meth lab. How many times do you have to hear, "I always thought this was a safe neighborhood!" or "Yeah, I'm afraid to live here now." I long for the day a news reporter sticks a live mic in my face and I can just cunt up the motherfucking news.
Um, anyways, to this reporter in the comic book (you know, this fake one that Gail Simone invented!): Of course there are protestors! Stopping crime in an area of town is a good thing. And it should be done no matter what people's opinions of a neighborhood are. Crime doesn't just go away when you kick out all of the poor people paying lower rents to live in shitty apartments so that you can knock the apartments down and build condos. Crime and the poor people forced out just move to another neighborhood that the police don't give a shit about. But when all the new buildings and businesses move into this neighborhood, the cops suddenly care about patrolling and making themselves a presence. So yeah, there are protestors! Because this renovation is going to make a lot of people homeless or, at the very least, displaced to a worse neighborhood. So stop talking about it as 'obligatory' or that Wayne is making a 'symbolic gesture'. Fuck you, you stupid cunt. Look at me! Arguing with a comic book character! I hope mom and dad are proud!
Batgirl is only rated Teen but maybe I should rate this commentary Teen Plus!
On his way to the press event, Bruce Wayne's chauffeur, Tommy, starts blabbing about 338. He crashes the limo into one of Wayne's renovation sites and gets out to bash Bruce in the head with a pipe.
Batgirl beats up Tommy while Gretel looks on doing nothing. Except now she has pink hair. And after Batgirl knocks Tommy out, Gretel doesn't seem perturbed at all. Because Gretel has a back-up plan.
Can Batgirl defeat a brainwashed Bruce Wayne? Probably.
Both the story and the art in this comic are average. I don't feel like I'm really learning much about Batgirl other than the one thing that matters during a the storyline. So with The Mirror, the reader learns she's dealing with a certain amount of survivor's guilt. But it doesn't really affect her in any way. Maybe I (and the Mirror!) projected that on to her! But if she doesn't even have that, then the first story line was just, "Hey look! Batgirl's back!" And in this one, she believes in Bruce Wayne's plan to rebuild Gotham so that everyone in Gotham is happy and, at least, middle class! Also, she has parental issues!
The most interesting person in this comic right now is Barbara's roommate, Alysia!
My favorite Batgirl character!
Batgirl, you received a free pass for too long now because I wanted to like you more. Make the comic a little more fun and I'll really like it. As for now, you drop one rank.