Writer: Mairghread Scott
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Barbara Gordon is a fascinating character whether she’s suiting up as Batgirl or helping allies as Oracle. Either way, her greatest asset is her mind, and in the latest issue, it’s thrown into question whether she’ll have that much longer.
After her last fight with Grotesque, Batgirl’s implant to let her walk is damaged. She may not have control of her legs much longer, but that’s not what she’s worried about. While she ordinarily has a photographic memory, she finds herself struggling to remember basic information. She pushes herself physically and mentally in this storyline, and it could all come at a great cost.
The issue really drives home the fact Barbara can take or leave her body. Just when she thinks she has this mystery all tied up in a bow, her mind betrays her once again. She has no choice but to leave the scene and rest it off in a dumpster. When she returns, Grotesque is gone, and the cops think she’s responsible for a grisly murder.
There has been a lot of discussion over Barbara Gordon’s portrayal in recent years in the comics. Her disability made for great representation, showing she could still be a compelling character even without donning a moniker with “Bat” in the name. When she regained use of her legs, one could almost interpret it as a betrayal of that representation. This issue ends with a cliffhanger, and it will be interesting to see how the creative team handles this delicate balance.
Perhaps we’ll see the return of Oracle. Through all this, maybe Barbara will learn that she does not have to push herself physically to be an asset to Gotham and Burnside. She is just as capable in a wheelchair. As long as she has her mind, she is just as powerful as Batman.
Overall Score: 8/10