Daily Archives: July 10, 2013

Clarifying My Issues With Batgirl #22 – An Opinionated Rant

Okay, had some time to chillax, refocus my thoughts a bit, so now I think I’m ready to talk about Batgirl #22 a bit more, specifically what got me so angry. First off, I should clarify that I don’t hate this issue, and I believe that Batgirl is still one of the better books out there right now, same as Gail Simone is one of the better writers. My problem is directed solely at the current depiction of Commissioner James Gordon within said series, which has pretty much come to a boiling point at the climax of this issue, and as I understand it may only be getting worse in the next few issues, which I may be forced to skip. Secondly, I should note that all of this is strictly opinion based, hence why I noted this is an opinionated rant (please don’t hurt me, SF Debris), and of course everyone is free to have their own opinion. That was actually a mistake I made earlier, criticizing someone who really liked the scene in this book I despise so, and for that, I apologize. With that said, let’s dive in.

Now, first and foremost, let’s go over the scene at the end, which yes, DOES have some good to it. Oddly enough, it’s the depiction of Batman, who is actually in the midst of going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs in Batman and Robin over the death of his own son. Anyway, Jim Gordon hits the Bat Signal to bring out Batman, who tells Gordon that he’s sorry to hear about his son. Jim thinks he isn’t entirely sincere though, and gets straight to the point: He wants Batman to help him find Batgirl. Batman asks if he’s certain he’s thought this through, so Jim takes that as a no, tells Batman to stay out of his way, then punches him while berating him for letting Batgirl follow in his footsteps, as if to say that all of this (the death of his boy, Batgirl becoming who she is, etc.) is Batman’s fault. Batman doesn’t deny this accusation (even though he REALLY should) and tells Gordon, and I quote, “You’ve always been about justice, Commissioner. Never revenge. Be careful what road you walk. For everyone’s sake”. And Batman leaves while Gordon shuts off the Bat Signal, clearly intending to continue down this path…Plus, I know this for a fact because I’ve seen solicits for DC Comics all the way till October, so I know this is the next story arc.

If you didn’t pick out what was wrong with all that…well, let’s just go over the list.

  1. While it’s not as if I’ve never seen someone fly off on a tangent about how Batman ruined someone’s life, usually it’s by one of the villains. Hell, he even looks like a complete psycho when he’s ranting and raving at Batman.
  2. How bad is it that the Dark frigging Knight, who recently lost his son to a minion of said son’s evil mother, is now able to look a man who lost his psychotic murderer son in the eye and say “You’re going too far” and be 100% correct?! O_O
  3. I would just like to point out that Batman never actually said he wouldn’t help Jim Gordon. I’m looking at this scene in the comic right now as I’m typing, and his exact words are “…Jim, are you certain you’ve thought this through?” He never said no, Gordon! Now, would he have said no anyway? Possibly. But the point still stands: You jumped the gun.
  4. Gordon’s kinda got his issues a little mixed, doesn’t he? Does he want to bring down Batgirl, or does he feel bad for her because following Batman’s example led her down a bad path?
  5. While the argument can be made that Batman didn’t try to stop Batgirl from being a heroine, we’ve seen how well that works. Let’s be honest: Barbara Gordon would’ve become a heroine whether Batman ‘let her’ or not.

Now, let’s go beyond this one scene, because as I said before, I’ve already gotten a little bit sick of this. In other words, this has been building for a couple of issues now. What has he done thus far? Well, he shot at Batgirl after he saw what had happened, he refuses to let anyone try to talk him down from his rage, he completely ignores the fact that his son is a psychotic killer, and he overlooks the fact that Batgirl did what she did to save his ex-wife! And there’s no way he couldn’t have known that!

Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look back to Batgirl #19. Jim Gordon gets a call from his son telling him to come meet him at a place where he promises to give his father nightmares for the rest of his life. He gets there, he sees Batgirl with Barbara Sr., both of them crying and upset, and James Jr. having fallen off the pier into the rocks below. He doesn’t ask questions or anything, and based on the artwork, it suggests that he arrived by sea, since he’s approaching from the end of the pier. If he was close enough to see Batgirl get James in the eye with a Batarang, he was close enough to see that his ex-wife was held hostage with a knife. Are we meant to assume he doesn’t care?

Oh, speaking of whom, I’m not letting Barbara Sr. off the hook either. She set the trap for James and tried to kill him, which I guess I understand if nothing else, but then she gets caught again, and when James Jr. is seemingly killed by Batgirl to save her (James isn’t dead, btw, he’s very much alive in Suicide Squad), she never tells Jim the truth! She doesn’t tell him that Babs is Batgirl and that, at the last moment, Babs tried to save James, or to stop hunting Babs because all of it was her own fault! No, she just says she didn’t see anything, packs up, and leaves!

Am I supposed to feel sorry for either of these two people? Because honestly, at this point, I HATE them. And if we’re gonna play it straight, this really IS their fault. Not to make excuses for James Jr., but he DID grow up to be who he is because he felt overshadowed by his sister, something that neither of his parents EVER picked up on or tried to talk to him about. The way they’re handling this current situation screams of negligence and hypocrisy, especially when one of Gordon’s cops had a similar situation with Batgirl early in the series and wisely decided to keep said cop away from her until it was necessary. And now, Gordon’s treating it like Batgirl deliberately murdered his son just because he was a villain, and he never considers the truth behind what happened? And now for at LEAST two issues, he’s gonna be hunting Batgirl, who is contemplating retirement from the role. The only way that ANY of this winds up working is if Jim Gordon becomes a villain, and even then, I’m not so sure I wanna see that.

…But, when it’s all said and done, I guess I can’t blame Gail Simone. Not really. I think what’s happened is that, while trying to tell a dark and edgy story, she made an error along the way because she was too focused on keeping it dark and edgy. If that approach sounds familiar, it’s only because that’s what a lot of writers are doing nowadays. And, believe it or not, I don’t have a problem with dark stories. I have a problem with said dark and edginess overriding common sense, and it seems to be SPREADING to the point where everybody’s doing it……Speaking of which, I should make a mental note to have a VERY scathing rant regarding Justice League #22 typed up sometime this week. lol

Anyway, I hope I’ve made my point clear by this point. As always, feel free to comment below, leave your own thoughts, agree/disagree with me, whatever. Ja né!

What I Bought Today – Batman #22, Superman Unchained #2, Nightwing #22, Batgirl #22, Fearless Defenders #6 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Well, despite heat and sore feet, I have ventured uptown on this Wednesday and returned to show you all…

What I Bought Today

*Groan* Well, this was the expensive week. Five books, one week. Thank God three of them were among the cheaper ones out nowadays. Let’s begin with the two expensive ones, starting with Batman #22.

Yeah, I’m calling it right now: Red Hood One is The Joker. Maybe it’s someone else and this is a HUGE swerve, but I’m pretty sure it’s him. And if that’s the case, I would just like Scott Snyder to know that I’m fine with that, so long as we learn NOTHING ELSE ABOUT HIM. NOTHING. The whole point of the character is that we’re not supposed to know who he really is. Otherwise, Zero Year has been superb. I have a slight issue with Bruce and Alfred coming to the point where one actually has to hit the other, but considering it’s Alfred having to slap some sense into a younger and rasher Bruce Wayne, I guess it works. The Riddler proves to be an awesome villain hanging out in the shadows, though I HIGHLY doubt he’ll remain there much longer, as he clearly has plans that will require him to step out into the light. Overall, great issue, can’t wait to see what in the hell happens next.

Superman Unchained #2…When I saw the preview pages for this, my reaction was “Ooh, this looks good!” And you know what? That’s the first frakking time I’ve ever had that reaction to a book starring Superman in the New 52. I’m gonna spoil the first 8-10 pages a bit for y’all, so if you don’t wanna know what happens, skip ahead to the next book I talk about now: Superman flies to Dubai, sees thousands of people trapped in the Burj Khalifa after it’s knocked over (which, for those unaware, is the TALLEST MAN-MADE STRUCTURE IN THE WORLD), and manages to save them all at the last frakking second, even with a giant mech suit trying to kill him…Okay, for realsies? This is the best Superman title going right now, but it really says it all that this is the best Superman title simply because it FEELS like a Superman book and doesn’t do anything to screw up the winning formula for him. Hell, we even see Lex Luthor up to his old tricks! Now, of course, there are some moments that feel SLIGHTLY groan worthy, like Superman later having to fight corrupt soldiers, and once again we find Lois Lane in need of being rescued, but I’ll still fuckin’ take it over the Lobdell titles! Oh, and don’t even get me started on Justice League, that’s a rant for another day!…Oh, and Batman was in this. lol

Nightwing #22 was great. Will Conrad’s art is actually really good, and because of the similarity to Brett Booth‘s work (minus the beefcake) and the fact that the book still has Andrew Dalhouse as the colourist, I honestly might not have noticed the difference too much. The stuff with Tony Zucco honestly makes me wonder if Zucco is actually legitimately reformed or not. Prankster very quickly capitalizes on the mistake Nightwing made by not personally ensuring he gets handed over to the authorities, as he holds Chicago ransom and reveals the sins of the Mayor. Overall, continues to be great.

Batgirl #22………Oh boy. Look, I’m gonna skip what I thought of most of this book, because thank God, most of this book actually works REALLY WELL for me. I’m not really a huge fan of the romantic interest in this series, but this issue helps to sell him for me, and I’m grateful for that. Also, the first page was hilarious. However, I have to talk about the ending, because it encompasses the worst of this book nowadays: Jim Gordon is an idiot right now in Batgirl. I don’t know if Gail Simone is intentionally writing him to be an idiot, but frankly I don’t give a damn. IT’S ANNOYING AS FUCK. I’ll talk more about this in a separate rant, but for now I’ll just say that I’m already fed up with this, and if it gets much worse, I might just be dropping Batgirl, at least until this particular story arc is over.

Fearless Defenders #6 was okay. I really feel bad for the fans, though, since a character they really grew to like has died. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say for a friend of mine who made a guess on it, it’s NOT Hippolyta. Unfortunately, I can’t feel too bad since I’m rather unfamiliar with her (in fact, note to self: Buy first 4 issues of this book to get caught up). Kinda ends on a pretty sad and uncomfortable note, but we’re left with the promise that it could get better, so I guess we’ll see. I will once again say that it is AWESOME to see all these super-heroines in the same place at the same time. ^_^

So that’s it for this week. Next week, it’s Catwoman’s turn at bat with Crazy Steve-I mean Batman, and Supergirl has an encounter of the Cyborg kind. Ja né!