Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ardian Syaf, Alitha Martinez,
Inker: Vicente, Cifuentes, Alitha Martinez
Colorist: Ulises Arreola
Release Date: April 11th
The title of Batgirl #8 is called No Darker Shadows, which references to Barbara’s dark cloud of insecurity and self doubt as Batgirl. Both her insecurity and self doubt has been looming over her like shadows causing Barbara to make mistakes throughout The New 52‘s storyline. Most of this stems from Barbara’s shooting, which has crippled her physically, emotionally, and mentally. In Issue #7, she recognizes one of Joker’s men and tracks him down in the sewer tunnels. The audience was left in a state of anxious to find what she would do to him. Her vengeance seeping through her body washing her reason and discipline. In this review, the following will be discussed: Barbara’s vengeance and self-control, and the Gordon Family issues.
SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!
“You. IT’S YOU,” Barbara exclaimed out as she straddles one of Joker’s men who attacked her the night of her shooting. Her anger fuels her igniting the flame of vengeance through her. The man she is straddling is named Danny “The Weasel” Weaver. As the memories of her shooting replay, she focuses on Danny with his menacing grin as the Joker takes pictures of her crumbling demise leaving Barbara for dead. While Barbara is replaying the memory, another henchman working for Grotesque is behind her trying to take her out. Barbara swiftly side chops his face, goes for the solar plexus, and left hooks him. The left hook sends the henchman flying across and before his head hits the pavement, Barbara catches him mid-air saving him from possible head injury. This scene was total self-control on Barbara’s part. It shows how well she is able to channel her anger and discipline in the heat of the moment. What this also shows is that her anger is just surfacing as she lets Danny escape. Barbara asks herself why she allowed him to escape, in that she plans to find out more about him before she takes him to jail.
This is where her vengeance and self-control come into play. Barbara’s vengeance tells her to get Danny later without the police so she can exact her anger towards him. While her self-control channels her discipline in bringing him to justice. Both sides show Barbara on the edge of rationality and anger. Both fueling her simultaneously and most of the time we do not get to see this part of Barbara. The part of Barbara we are seeing is her losing herself to anger. Especially, when the situation is so personal for her. Barbara really questions herself. She has not experienced something so anxiously personal and it is not even Danny who fires the gun. He was a just one of Joker’s henchman, so it really asks why him of all people does Barbara want to exact her pain towards? Not even Barbara really understands this on a rational level. She is trying to make sense of her actions, but apparently her instinct is leading the way.
Later in the issue, Barbara finally catches up with Danny only to be trapped by Grotesque. As Grotesque is about to electrocute her in the rain, Danny shoots at him telling to stop. In which, Grotesque electrocutes Danny and Barbara uses this distraction to take down Grotesque. This is when she really loses her self-discipline. She starts pulverizing Grotesque while going into a rant of exclaiming that Gotham is the reason for making villains like him. The fact that most of these villains what to bring about pain and destruction for their own self needs; Barbara sees Gotham as a petri dish of evil that just makes villains like a virus.
Barbara really loses herself in the moment from all the pent-up frustration and anger. Barbara wonders how Bruce is able to detach himself from getting too personal. While she is beating Grotesque, she realizes is not that she should be detached but must be detached. For her character to show this part of her, it makes Barbara more of a defined Batman character. It really takes away her level headed cocky righteous and replaces it with damaged goods like self-doubt, anger, frustration, and vengeance. Really, it is her character falling from self preserved grace.
Before Danny dies, he does realize that Batgirl is Barbara and tells her that he never meant to kill her. After the Joker shot her, he called the police to find Barbara. At this point, she does not understand why he did that for her. Danny does not even know why either, he believes that there is something wrong with him for doing that act of kindness. This issue shows an exchange of roles where Barbara becomes blinded with fury losing her disciplined self-control and Danny shows how less of a bad guy he is.
The Gordon Family secret is the introduction of James Gordon Jr. who is just a demonic sociopath who was released from Arkham Asylum. Barbara’s mother tells the story about Barbara’s brother, who at a young age was experimenting with sadistic manipulating acts against Barbara’s mother. He even went as far as threatening Barbara’s life, which pushed the mother to leave the family due to James’ manipulation. This leaves Barbara in a state of confusion and frustration about her family. What she does not know is that James is lurking around Barbara’s roommate, Alysia. It seems that James will be showing up around his sister because he has some vendetta or unexplained sadistic motives. James is really the Michael Myers of the Gordon Family. This should be exciting.
For Barbara’s sake, her character has shown some defining moments in this issue. Her brother, James’ arrival will test her willingness to be detached and look beyond blood relation and see a villain instead. Until then, the Night of the Owls will take place in Issue #9. The crossover will begin!
What did you think of Batgirl #8? Has Batgirl come a long way to becoming a more defining character? Our Michael Myers, James Gordon Jr. is back in the mix what do you think he is bring to the table? Leave your comments down below or on DKN Facebook. For more pictures that were not on this post go to DKN Facebook Batgirl album.
Source-DC Comics (comic book publisher)