Story by Gail Simone
Art by Ed Benes and Daniel Sampere
Review by Mara Whiteside
You may not want to read this book at night.
That being said, it took me a moment or two to compose myself enough to make intelligible statements. I was left dumbfounded by issue #14. The Joker is definitely the driving force behind Barbara’s recovery. There’s a healthy amount of rage pushing Babs towards becoming better and overcoming her fear of the Joker and his sick acts of terror. Simone capitalizes on Babs’s inner dialogue throughout the book to show us exactly how strong Batgirl is when confronted with the thing her nightmares are made of.
The Joker has Barbara’s mother, and it’s up to her to retrieve her before she dies. With the help of a mysterious voice, Barbara relives moments of her most painful experience.
Barbara is Batgirl for a reason. Babs can pull herself together at a moment’s notice and analyze her situation, maximizing her impact on the Joker’s goons and anything else he throws at her. Babs reminds us that she has grown since that night she was shot. She learned from the horrible experience, learned how to face a madman with a demented plan.
With her mother’s life in the balance, Babs must act quickly to neutralize the Joker before he hurts anyone else. A skating rink full of people harmed by the Joker, a frightened mother strapped to a chair, and the reminder of the heinous acts of his past may just be the nail in Joker’s coffin.
Buy, especially if you have any interest in the Death of the Family arc. Simone concentrates on Barbara’s history in this issue, and we see some great action as Babs begins to recover from the shock of the Joker’s return.