Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Minkyu Jung, Otto Schmidt
As the third in a series of one-shots leading up to the wedding, Tim Seeley and Minkyu Jung attempt an exciting match-up between Batgirl and Riddler.
The biggest flaw of the comic is how routine it all is. The main plot is that the Riddler kidnapped a bunch of people and strings Batgirl along with a bunch of riddles to find the victims. This is a pretty standard Riddler scheme. The only thing that makes it unique is the Riddler’s motives and the clever explanation for the cassette player. The issues is barely related to the Bat-wedding. It does not fulfill any plot points related to the wedding, like how the Robin vs. Ra’s al Ghul does. It is not even a clever match-up of characters like how Nightwing vs. Hush was.
This comic is one of those times when the solicitation promises something better than what readers really get. The solicitation implies that the Batgirl battle with the Riddler would be a war of wits with her Oracle skills being utilized. Unfortunately, what we get is more of an-all issue action sequence. Yeah, Batgirl’s smarts are showcased, but not in any unique way. What would have been more exciting is seeing her as Oracle go head-to-head with the Riddler to see who is the intellectual equals. Otherwise, the action all feels routine.
The other odd aspect of the issue is the Riddler’s motivation for targeting Batgirl. It is tangentially related to the Bat-wedding. But his reasoning is sort of puzzling and random. Not to mention it paints Riddler in a creepier way than I think Seeley intended. Seeley’s Riddler is an emotionally stunted genius. That is a good characterization. But his dialogue-not to mention his new unbuttoned shirt look- just sounds grosser when one thinks about it.
Not to say that this issue does not have any good things. On a technical level, the plot is good. The riddles are clever and the action staging is interesting. Batgirl comes out looking hyper-competent as a fighter and a thinker. For continuity-obsessed fans, Riddler’s hench women, Query and Echo make a brief reappearance.
Furthermore, the art was great. Minkyu Jung draws Babs with great expressions. Her body language is also really fun to see. One can notice Batgirl looking progressively tired as the issue goes on. Furthermore, the detailing of the cityscape looks nice.
Batgirl vs. The Riddler seemed to have some promise, but turned out to be an unremarkable adventure. The comic is competently created by Seeley and Jung, but it does not rise above mediocre.