Batgirl #6

After the sparkly greatness that was Lauren Faust’s Super Best Friends Forever, it’s tough to follow it up with my continuing disappointment with the Batgirl title. But it is my sworn duty as this blog’s batsketeer (not really, but you know what I mean.)

As I expressed last time, while I usually love Simone the new series so far has failed to live up to my (probably unrealistically gargantuan) expectations and that continued in this issue.

Batgirl vs Bruce Wayne? Snore, because of course Bruce is faking it all along. Barbara’s mom making muffins when she returns home? Double-snore-mom-stereotype. And Gretel’s “fall” in the finale also fails to impress; I still don’t completely understand her backstory and I never felt a sense of danger, or a real threat, from her.

I think Simone has an incredible opportunity in this title, one that’s being missed–giving Batgirl her own villain. From what I know, Babs always fought in Batman’s shadow, and then usually was matched up against second-rate Gotham rogues. This changes a little bit with Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown fighting their respective villainous fathers, but Barbara Gordon doesn’t have her own Joker or Lex Luthor.

And we know Simone can write a great villain, including Junior (Secret Six) and Alkyone (Wonder Woman) ; but the Mirror and Gretel? They’re one-shot, third tier, never-to-be-heard-from again baddies. Why not give someone who challenges Babs a little? Someone who hurts her, who haunts her, who really forces her to stretch to her limit. Simone can make a wonderfully twisted story that puts her characters through hell but brings them through on the other side changed, grown up, and better. She can do that with Babs, if only matched with the right villain, either old or new.

And I’m not sure if it’s DC telling Gail to take it slow, to ease everyone into this new title, or something else. It’s not like we’re being introduced to a new world or a whole slew of new characters…and lots of other titles, not just DC-related (gasp!) are competing for our attention.

When it comes to the DC pile, I’m reading Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Flash, and Batgirl is at the bottom.* That’s really painful to say. I’ll keep going only out of love for our heroine but something needs to be shaken up, and fast.

*If you’re curious, I’m also reading Morning Glories, Saga and Wolverine and the X-Men; and catching up on Fables, Sandman and Atomic Robo.

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