Batgirl Annual #1 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
So yeah, picked up Batgirl Annual #1 today. I was kinda expecting a Halloween oriented story, but I’m actually pleasantly surprised that Gail Simone didn’t go for the obvious and possibly cliché choice for a story in this comic. Instead, this is a pretty engaging one shot that follows up on Batgirl’s part in the Night of Owls and leads into an upcoming story involving the Birds of Prey.
So Batgirl is investigating a series incidents where buildings are burnt down by homeless people being scared into co-operating in some sort of scheme. After saving some people from a burning building, Barbara goes to speak with an ally of sorts, Ricky, who lets her know that the ones responsible are the Court of Owls. Despite suffering from some butterflies at facing the assassins of the court again, Batgirl follows what trail she can find to them.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon is visiting Harrowood State Penitentiary to see one of the newer inmates there: The female Talon that fought Batgirl back in Batgirl #9. This raises a question though: Why in the hell is this Talon here and not Blackgate Prison, where the other Talons where put into cryo-stasis? Well apparently it’s because Gordon wants to try to cut a deal with this Talon, whose parents were murdered in World War II and was badly scarred and rendered mute as a child before being recruited into the Court of Owls. Still, I would have found MUCH better places for her to be kept than here, especially since the guard is a cruel mother fucker that has actually beaten her. Lucky for her, Catwoman is there to break her out.
Eventually, Batgirl finds the source of the building burnings: A man named Parsons who apparently is with the Court. Catwoman arrives with the Talon, and it’s here that we learn that Parsons plans to burn down many, MANY more buildings and tally up a number of fatalities, during which he’ll plant a false paper trail that will lead investigators to Bruce Wayne as the culprit. Selina decides she wants out, but Parsons calls for Talons to attack her. Batgirl saves her, at least for the moment, as the Talons have them badly outnumbered, but Batgirl convinces the female Talon to help them since many more innocent people will burn to death, just as her parents did nearly a century ago.
With the female Talon helping, the odds are evened and it looks like the good guys (good girls is better here, I suppose) are going to come out on top, only for Parsons to pull a gun on the female Talon from behind. However, after receiving a call on his cell, presumably from another member of the Court, he learns that the police are on their way and that he is now a liability to them. Before Batgirl can stop him, he shoots himself through the head as the Talons under his command take their leave in a manner so casual it’s sick to think of.
The police arrive and Catwoman knows they’ll likely try to take the female Talon away, despite the fact that she saved them. Instead, Selina tells Barbara to get the Talon out of there and have her meet back at Selina’s apartment. With that, she runs out to face the police head-on, while Barbara and the Talon making their escape. The comic closes with Batgirl asking the Talon’s name, to which she uses a piece of chalk to write “MY NAME IZ MARY”, the caption telling us that we’ll see her again soon in the Birds of Prey comic.
This comic RULES. It’s a fun ride from the first page to that last that shows Batgirl being an awesome hero to the downtrodden of Gotham, the female Talon making a friend for the first time in her life, and Catwoman being a legitimately good person (which is kind of rare these days). The artwork for this issue is just awesome, the varying viewpoints from Barbara, Selina, and Mary work well, and we even get some decent comedy at times too, though I had to roll my eyes at the bit where they talk about Green Arrow, but whatev. Bottom line is, it’s worth picking up, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Ja né!
Posted on October 31, 2012, in What I Bought Today and tagged Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, Batman, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, Court of Owls, Gail Simone, Halloween, James Gordon, New 52, Talon. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.