Purple Boring Girl

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Batgirl (Volume 5) #9
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Chris Wildgoose

Ugh she does not deserve to call herself Batgirl! She is no Dark Knight like Cassandra was. She walks around in a purple costume in broad daylight. Call her something else or make her Oracle. Why does DC insist Barbara Gordon has to be Batgirl? This issue just annoyed me. Barbara is still dating Ethan Cobblepot and in the end runs into the Penguin. Woot. Boring.

Babs Gordon Rebirth 1 – 8

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Batgirl (Volume 5) #1
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Ugh. I hate that here I am reading another series titled Batgirl not starring the one and only Batgirl named Cassandra Cain. Instead we had these purpley Batgirls Stephanie Brown last time and now we are back to Barbara Gordon. Don’t get me wrong I love Barbara Gordon…as Oracle…where she made sense. Why do we need a purpley Batgirl who has a costume that could not scare a fly. In this issue, Barbara Gordon heads on a trip to Japan to meet a former hero named Fruit Bat and I guess the old lady can still fight. She also meets an old friend from Chicago while in Japan. It was well-written and everything but I miss Cassandra as Batgirl so much. This was too bright and happy and purpley for a Bat story. Also, with so many Golden Age heroes around….why did Larson make one up for this story. Come on if you are a writer in the DC Universe sandbox…utilize it’s many toys!

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Batgirl (Volume 5) #2
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Okay so Barbara keeps mentioning Burnside and it has been mentioned in other books. What is it? A town or a neighborhood in Gotham? A quick google search made me realize it is a Hipster neighborhood in Gotham. Ha, like Logan Square or Wicker Park in Chicago. Babs’s new boyfriend Kai is a hunk! She should not be so worried about being with him.

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Birds Undercover

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #8
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

Nightwing guest stars in this issue as the Birds team up with him to fight Gemini who tells them about a metahuman doctor named Black Bird. Once again, I have to point out how great the editors are at keeping continuity in he DCU these days. Nightwing’s relationship developing in his solo series is mentioned here as are his past relationships with Babs and Helena, both of whom he also had a thing for Pre-Flashpoint. This series continues to be in the top 5 Rebirth books for me. This Blackbird seems like an interesting foe for the Birds of Prey (I love how the Bensons have consistently had Bird motif villains so far in this book.) as she is able to steal metahuman powers. Meanwhile, Black Canary goes undercover working for Roulette reminding me of one of my favorite Justice League Unlimited Episodes.

Oracle and the Birds of Prey 1 – 7

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Claire Roe

As much as I HATE the idea of Barbara Gordon being Batgirl instead of the great Cassandra Cain, and I think Babs’s current costume is ugly, and she works much better as Oracle…this comic book was a ton of fun. A new person going by the name Oracle is working for Gotham’s mobsters so Barbara Gordon recruits her old team mate Black Canary to figure it all out when they run into the Huntress. Babs and Dinah don’t seem to know Helena anymore (Memories being erased by Dr. Manhattan I suppose) so this basically allows for them to redevelop their team again and Huntress will probably go through the same growing pains she went through in Gail Simone’s run on Birds of Prey but hey at least she has a much better costume this time. I mean now that her abdomen is not exposed…God Hush ruine so much. Anyways, I love that Rebirth has returned Barbara’s time as Oracle to continuity and is bringing our Birds of Prey back together, in the Gotham Clocktower where they belong too! It is a shame that this means that really only Chuck Dixon’s run on Birds is the only one really in continuity….well unless it turns out the rest of their history has just been erased from their memory. But I gotta say the Bensons write some charming dialogue here with these characters and they are complicated on some amazing art by Claire Roe. If this series remains as good as this first issue, it might be the best of Rebirth outside of Detective Comics!

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Claire Roe

Okay the second issue did not disappoint! More happens in this comic than in six issues of the Justice League of America book. The dialogue is funny and witty just like during Simone’s run. I still hate Barabara as Batgirl instead of Oracle and I probably always will…especially with that costume. How can you be the Dark Knight Damsel running around in purple and yellow? The answer is you can’t because only Cassandra Cain is a real bat. I am so not used to Barbara looking and acting so young it is kind of jarring for me but I am liking this book a ton.

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Bane, Venom, and Good Art

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Batman (Volume 3) #18
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

It occurred to me for the first time while reading this comic that Bane using venom was completely absent from Dark Knight Rises. That is a pretty important part of his character…it’s almost like Batman without the batmobile. How did I not notice this till now? Maybe because Bane was off venom for a long time in the comics before that movie came out. He never used it during his time on the Secret Six that I can remember. I have to say that what made this comic book from merely okay to being very good was David Finch’s incredible art. Until I read this issue I never really thought about how awesome Bane’s original costume is. Finch even mimics Frank Miller and other artists from Batman’s history as we do flashback to the history of both Batman and Bane. (I wish there was Cassandra Cain though!) I was a little bit confused by the ending, Batman seems left for dead but then it seems like Batman and Catwoman have a plan for Bane after all? We shall see next issue I guess.

Birds of Prey 11-15

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Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #11
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Pere Perez

If Catman is suppose to be so hot, why does Pere Perez draw his abs so strange in this issue. That is my only complaint about this beautiful book. In this issue, the Huntress and Catman work together and Helena is debating whether to fall for him or not…ultimately Catman purposely shows her he is not worth her time. It was a sweet story. I love the continuity of Catman mentioning how he used to be fat.

 

rco001_1468987111Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #12
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Jesus Saiz

Gail Simone begins a new arc bringing in the Question to the Birds of Prey team and a scary villain in Ragdoll’s daughter. Did she appear in this book or Secret Six? I can’t remember but I remember thinking this villain was freaky before. And this whole issue was very unsettling but exciting. I usually enjoy Jesus Saiz but I found his art lacking a bit in parts of this issue.

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Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #13
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Diego Olmos

This was an action packed edge-of-your seat issue as the Huntress and the Question try to get to the basement of the building where Black Canary and Dove are fighting Junior who nearly murders Dove. Oracle calls Catman for some advice who tells her Junior hates being seen. It works, but the Birds decide in the end they need to go back in and go after Junior. It was a lot of fun to read but why does this book keep changing its artist?

 

rco001_1469152306Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #14
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Billy Tucci and Adriana Melo

So the last issue ended on a sort of cliffhanger and now we get an issue that is completely unrelated and not written by Gail Simone? In this issue the Birds of Prey go to a veteran’s benefit. A woman tells her Black Canary’s mom, the original Black Canary, was an inspiration during the War….I think Black Canary debuted in 1947…after World War 2. I guess she means a different war or Andreyko did not do his research. Also why would this woman know it was her mom…is Black Canary’s secret identity not so secret? Anyways the art in this was clearly rushed because it is not very good and very inconsistent. And this isn’t event a one and done issue. Gail Simone just abruptly left this book?!

rco001_1469152248Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #15
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Billy Tucci and Adriana Melo

Ugh this is the final issue before DC made the dumb mistake of making Barbara Gordon Batgirl again. Andreyko is not a bad writer by any means but this was a rush job and very disappointing. As far as I am concerned this is the last issue of the real Birds of Prey ever (the whole point of the Birds is Oracle) so this is a sad sad ending.

 

Stephanie Brown 20-24

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #20
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Ramon Bachs

Reviewing this series always made me a little queazy because I wish it was the real Batgirl Cassandra Cain and not Stephanie Brown who really should be the Spoiler but here we go…this issue was decent. The art was good and fit the title well. I am a tad but confused by the ending although it could be because I did not go back and re-read the last issue. I hated the annoying talk between Oracle and Steph confirming once again that Stephanie is Batgirl now. Gross.

batgirl_vol_3_21Batgirl (Volume 3) #21
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Batgirl fights Harmony in this issue, another operative of the Order of the Scythe. It was rather uninteresting. The side story of Wendy Harris deciding to go to Nanda Parbat was interesting though. I wonder if this ever gets resolved or if Wendy is just MIA after this. I have to note that the cover of this issue has the wrong artist on it. Come on DC.

 

 

Batgirl (Volume 3) #22batgirl_vol_3_22
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

In this issue Stephanie travels to London on Batman Inc orders and fights a a villain with the Squire. The whole thing was okay I guess as Stephanie realizes unlike the squire, she really is not a sidekick. Whatever. I miss Cassandra Cain as Batgirl and this issue would have been so much more fun to read if she teamed up with the Squire. Anyways, this issue ends with a cliffhanger said to be continued in Batman Inc #9…which never came out. DC clearly had no idea they were going to do the New 52 till the last second and it was horrible decision.

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #23
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

Stephanie goes into the middle of a riot at Blackgate in order to find out who is behind the Order of the Scythe if I understood this issue correctly. She is helped out by Miss Martian, Bombshell, Supergirl, and Stargirl because she is not Cassandra Cain the real Batgirl and therefore could not pull this off herself. The cliffhanger was something I did not expect – the mystery is revealed to be Steph’s Dad, the Cluemaster!

 

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #24
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

This is the final issue of this Stephanie Brown Batgirl series. I can’t say I am sorry to see it go because this is the series that broke my heart and gave the mantle of Batgirl to someone other than DC’s greatest character, Cassandra Cain (who doesn’t even make it on this cover!). Cassandra actually does appear in costume as Batgirl in a one panel where she is shown as part of Stephanie Black Mercy effected hallucination where all the Batgirls are working with the Blackhawks. It is such a shame we never go to see her team up with the Black Bat since they used to be best friends. Anyways, this was a decent issue.