Comic Book Review: Batgirl #2

I enjoyed the first issue of the new Batgirl series enough to come back for the second. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Stephanie becoming the new Batgirl, but I’m learning to like it.

Creative Team:
Writer: Brian Miller
Artist: Lee Garbett, Trevor Scott, and Sandra Hope

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We start with Batgirl narrating. She introduces herself says she likes to break promises and that she kinda knows kung fu. We see Batgirl avoiding nails that are being shot at her from a nail gun a crook is using in a parking garage.

Batgirl says that she should be home sleeping and dreaming, but instead she is out doing what she believes is right even though that doesn’t sit well with everyone. She throws a batarang and punctures the nitro oxide tank that is running the nail gun. She makes it out just as the tank explodes.

We go to the Brown residence earlier that day when Oracle and Stephanie are eating breakfast at the kitchen table. Stephanie is surprised that Oracle hasn’t hit her with the waffle iron yet. Oracle reminds her that she already died once in the line of duty, and Stephanie comes back with the smart comment of I got better.

Then Stephanie asks if Oracle is going to eat her waffle. Stephanie says she is just trying to help. Oracle reminds her the last time she just tried to help she accidentally brought the entire city to its knees. Oracle says that Stephanie is such a bad example that she used Stephanie’s autopsy photos to stop the last girl who wanted to be Batgirl.

Oracle asks why Stephanie is even being Batgirl.  Oracle says its almost like she has some kind of death wish. Stephanie tells her its none of her business. Oracle whips a batarang and sticks it in Stephanie’s bedroom door.

While Stephanie is attempting to pull it out Oracle continues to lecture her. She tells Stephanie that the bat symbol may scare some smaller thugs that it will attract attention from the dangerous criminals. Stephanie says that she can handle herself.  Oracle says that Stephanie is a mark for anyone trying to make theirs. Oracle tells Stephanie to keep that in mind next time she plays pretend.

During that conversation it cuts in and out between Stephanie and Oracle talking and Batgirl taking out some thugs. Stephanie says that when choices become limited we either fight or flight.

We cut to Gotham University where Stephanie is sitting in class. The professor was talking about Thunderdome and asks why criminals stay there. A student a few seats down from Stephanie makes a smart comment of its either keep running or go back and go to jail. Stephanie stand up to the student with her own comment and then turns around and make a little joke about criminals staying in Thunderdome for the schools.

We shift to Stephanie walking down the front stairs of the school when the girl from class knocks her papers and books out of her hands and keeps going. The girl’s boyfriend stops and apologizes for the girl and asks Stephanie to hang out with them later if she’s free. Stephanie decides that college is the same as high school.

Oracle is back at her apartment thinking and of course on the computer. She is then talking to a coroner who had just run some tests on a teenage boy that died. The kid had trace amounts of a hallucinogen in his system and his adrenaline levels were off the charts.

Stephanie is still at Gotham U. on Frat Row for the Harvest Festival. She is standing in the street wondering what does Gotham Harvest. Crime? The girl from class comes up and is very messed up. She seems very hyped up and angry.

Stephanie asks if somebody spiked the punch, so the girl actually spikes the punch bowl on the street. Then Stephanie says she guesses that answers her question. The girl then collapses on the street and Stephanie screams for somebody to call 911.

Some guys take off running in the opposite direction of the party screaming “GO GO GO.” Stephanie opens her backpack and you can see the Batgirl suit in the pack. She says fight or flight and she choses to fight.

The guys are in the alley and one says to the leader, Steve, that that wasn’t how the boss wanted things to do. Steve hits the guy and says let him worry about the boss. By then Stephanie has showed up and asks who will worry about her. The guys pull out knives and Stephanie says she can practically hear Oracle saying she told her so.

A loud high pitched noise goes off in the suit right before the fight begins. Oracle comes over the radio in the suit and says I told you so. She reminds Stephanie that she is wearing what is left of a hand me down and Oracle was the one who installed all of Casandra’s tech in the suit. Stephanie is fighting and doing a good job at it. Oracle is giving her tips and where to watch for thugs.

Stephanie continues to fight when a van almost hits her and the thugs hop in the back while Stephanie gets back up. Oracle tells Stephanie to stay where she is for a minute. Smoke rolls out of a computer and Oracle needs better hardware to get an ID on the drug dealers Stephanie fought.

Alfred and the Outsiders are up in space when Oracle contacts them. She asks Alfred if they still kept the spare key under the mat. Alfred says he believes they moved it to a hollowed out rock in the garden.

Oracle and Stephanie are in the Batcave looking at cell phone pictures taken at the party trying to get an ID on the drug dealers. Stephanie quickly picks out Steve. Oracle gets to work with the computer trying to locate him while Stephanie looks around the cave. She goes up to Barbara’s Batgirl costume and says she must be honored to have it in the case.

Barbara says it isn’t something to aspire towards. You either have to be murdered, or become someone else, or be shot. Oracle says that one of the drug dealers was stupid because he went to the hospital after a fight with someone pretending to be Batgirl. Those words seem to hit Stephanie hard.

Oracle says that Steve is being taken downtown for questioning. Oracle takes off in her car leaving Stephanie at the Batcave. She tells Stephanie that she knows where the exit is.

Steve is in the back of a cop car. The officer says that he hopes he has a lawyer. Steve says that he doesn’t need a lawyer because his boys will hook him up. Just as he says that a capsule falls on the cop car and sets off some kind of gas. Steve tells the officers they had better hold their breath.

Gordon and more officers get to the scene. One officer appears to be dead in the passenger seat of the car. The officer that was driving charges towards Gordon and the other officers when a batarang hits him in the back and delivers a shock.

Steve is laying on the floor talking to his boss. He said he knew he would save him. His boss says welcome back Steve, then you see who his boss is. Scarecrow is standing in front of Steve asking are we having fun yet?

The Good: I really like the fact that Barbara is becoming Stephanie’s mentor. I enjoyed Stephanie as batgirl in this issue. The way Miller is developing Stephanie into her roll. Bringing Scarecrow in as the villain should prove to be interesting in the issues to come.

The Bad: Although I enjoy Barbara’s roll in the new Batgirl series I would like to see some other members of the Bat family in the series as well.