Now and Then (Batgirl #14 Comic Review)

Batgirl #14

 

Written by Hope Larson

Pencils by Chris Wildgoose

Inks by Jose Marzan Jr.

Colors by Mat Lopes

Batgirl and Nightwing work together to solve an old case that has come back to haunt them. Can the two heroes figure out what’s going and resolve their personal issues with each other at the same time?

What you need to know:

Batgirl and Nightwing both respond to a text message that leads them into a trap. They fight two costumed females that look like someone they knew in the past. They say, “Her blood is on your hands and soon you will be punished”. Then both leap to their deaths. Babs and Dick talk afterwards and they both thought they looked like a woman they knew named Ainsley.

What you will find out:

The comic then goes into a flashback of Babs when she was at Gotham High. This is where she met Ainsley. Ainsley was the substitute for her computer class. Later, in her Batgirl, identity, she runs into Dick Grayson in his Robin identity. Robin is investigating a drug problem at the school Robin and Batgirl do not get along well in this encounter.

Flash forward to the present and Batgirl and Nightwing are fighting some of the Mad Hatter’s henchmen while looking for them. As the two talk while fighting, it becomes clear that Nightwing is being overprotective. Batgirl tells him that she is not his girlfriend and he does not have to look out for her. Nightwing admits that he is newly single. The two decide to concentrate on the case instead of their romantic lives. After Batgirl raids some files they discover that the Hatter is in a hospital.

Another flashback reveals Barbara getting a summer job and she finds that Ainsley works there too. After a fight with her dad, she goes patrolling and runs into Robin again. The two have a heart to heart and Batgirl thinks that maybe she misjudged Robin. The issue ends in the present with Batgirl and Nightwing finding out that the Mad Hatter was attacked and that is why he was in the hospital. He starts babbling about the color red. The heroes ask him who hurt him and he says that it was the Red Queen. The last panel reveals a woman in a red costume watching them.

What just happened:

This story sets up a new villain, the Red Queen, and delves into the relationship of Barbara and Dick. I loved the scene where Batgirl calls Robin a dick before she learns his identity. In this version, Robin had already deduced Batgirl’s identity. This was a good opening to the story and the script and writing was good. The reader can see how complicated their relationship has been over the years. Chris Wildgoose returns after a few issues of being gone and his art fits the tone of the book.

Rating: 8/10

Final Thoughts:

The book is back on track with the new story arc after the last couple of one and done issues. I am definitely curious to see where this story is going.

 

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Charlie Wylie
Comics and geekery, yes please.