Written by Hope Larsen
Pencils by Chris Wildgoose
Inks by Jose Marzan Jr.
Colors by Mat Lopes
Batgirl and Nightwing continue to investigate a mystery that connects to an old case. Will romantic complications get in the way?
What you need to know:
Last issue Batgirl and Nightwing are led into combat by two mysterious women who end up jumping off a roof and kill themselves. They are reminded of an old case that had to do with the Mad Hatter. The women also reminded them of a friend of Barbara’s named Ainsley. They find out the Mad Hatter could not be behind the new mischief. He has been put into the hospital by a new villain: The Red Queen.
What you will find out:
As Batgirl and Nightwing are asking the Hatter about the Red Queen, he starts having seizures. They also hear a commotion from outside. Batgirl leaves Nightwing to help the Hatter, while she investigates the disturbance. Batgirl finds a doctor named Carly Knight going berserk and attacking the staff. She is wearing red scrubs. Batgirl enters combat with Doctor Knight and the good doctor has better moves than any normal person should. She also refers to herself as Red Knight. She easily flips over Batgirl. Nightwing joins in on the fight after stabilizing the Hatter. During the fight, Babs realizes that Red Knight is not feeling any pain. She uses her cape to blind and tie her up. Then the two heroes throw her into an empty room and lock it. Red Knight starts slamming her head against the door. Batgirl says they need to sedate her and Nightwing mentions they need an MRI machine.
The story then cuts into a flashback of Batgirl and Robin staking out a party. Robin says that they should have a closer look and go into the party. Batgirl says that they would have to reveal their identities to each other. Robin says he already knows Babs’s identity. He reveals his face and tells her his name. They comment on how old-fashioned their names are. They notice that there is no alcohol at the party. They wonder if it could possibly be drugs as they see the partygoers act weird and space out. One of them has what can only be called a “bad trip” and runs from the party. Batgirl and Robin catch up with him and take him to the hospital. The results on him say that he was clean of drugs. Robins says he is going to do further analysis at the Batcave.
Back in the present, Nightwing deduces that Red Knight is being controlled by nanobots and puts her into an MRI machine. He figures the MRI machine will deactivate the nanobots. A nurse turns the machine on and it goes out of control. Red Knight is vaporized. After some analysis, Batgirl finds out that their opponent was composed of mostly nanobots. Nightwing feels awful about accidentally causing her death. Batgirl reaches out to him and kisses him. After a long kiss, Nightwing tells her that he can’t do this right now. She thinks that Red Knight must also be connected to Ainsley somehow. After some research, they realize that her maiden name was Philbert
Another flashback reveals that Ainsley was working on nanorobotics. She was involved with a project that lets people see sounds as colors. But there was a glitch that was causing hallucinations in those it was tested on. Ainsley then got a call from a Dr. Philbert and then she asked Babs to cover for her at work until she could get there. Babs agreed to help her out. Ainsley finally arrived at work, but Barbara could see that she was hiding from some men in her section. Ainsley then ran away. Barbara uses the information off one of the men’s credit cards to find an address. She and Robin then stakeout the PuroTech building where the men work. Batgirl watched them through a window and, for some reason, they have a picture of Ainsley hanging up and it had darts in it.
What just happened:
This story is the second installment of the “Summer of Lies” arc. The story is very good at slowly giving the reader pieces of the puzzle to what happened in the past. So far, the pieces include an old friend of Barbara’s, the Mad Hatter, and nanotechnology. Just from the story so far, I figure the Red Queen is Ainsley, but that could easily be a mislead. I love how the story tells about Barbara and Dick’s relationship in the present and past. We get to see them work together for the first time and we get to see them as veteran heroes. This story is some of the best out of the current volume. Hope Larsen is doing a good job with the script and I enjoy Wildgoose’s art.
Honestly, this series has been a bit hit and miss. This arc is much better than the stand-alone issues that preceded it.