As Batgirl’s next journey starts up, Gail Simone proposes two interesting questions: the first being whether or not superheroes are only just further punishing the lower classes for acting out the roles that the upper class has set for them, and the second whether or not Bruce Wayne’s way of helping Gotham is actually working. The first question plays out as Batgirl foils a car robbery, which leads to the unfortunate circumstance of a young boy losing his leg. Even though that was caused by another group of vigilantes/criminals, it is understandable why Batgirl would feel guilty (though with her track record on this book, she should be happy he’s not dead). Interesting as the question might be, when it comes down to it, most of the lowly criminals in Gotham aren’t going after the rich, they’re attacking other people that aren’t in the upper classes, so no, Batgirl and her kind aren’t really beating down on the beaten, they’re protecting the innocent. In terms of Bruce Wayne, however, Simone presents a more compelling argument with Bruce having been born and raised into an affluent environment, and now reshaping Gotham from that point of view. Overall it was a good issue, with minor faults. My only concern is that the readers are being bombarded with new villains almost every other issue, and as a result they don’t leave a major impact. 4/5
In a world full of spoilers, previews, and leaked information, it is always nice when a surprise remains unspoiled. That was never more evident than during the big reveal in this issue. With the Night of the Owls over, and most of the assassination attempts foiled, Batman was given a brief moment to regroup and go on the offensive. His hunt brings him to an abandoned house, though not a random one, only to find the bulk of Gotham’s Court dead. This being Gotham, nothing is ever that simple. The rest of the issue follows Bruce on a wild journey, uncovering hidden truths from Wayne history. What is remarkable about the reveal that (*Spoiler*) Lincoln March is Bruce’s long lost brother, is that from the very first issue Snyder, and especially Capullo, have almost been daring the reader to connect the dots. The similarities between the two men, philanthropically, socially, and even with respect to their appearance, in hindsight, end up being a hidden taunt from the creative team, and the best part about it is that it’s fantastically executed. The issue progresses at a steady pace, slowly increasing to the ultimate showdown between March and Wayne. Considering how extremely well written Snyder’s story has been, it is a major testament to the art team of Capullo, Glapion, and FCO that the art isn’t overshadowed by the story. People often forgive terrible art for an exciting story, but this issue is the perfect example of how a great comic book is the synthesis of excellent writing and art. 5/5
The last couple of issues, Peter Tomasi has been on fire. Midway through, the Nobody story line developed into a great story, with a lot of action, great dialog, and an excellent plot. What that did, however, is mask how terribly Tomasi writes Damian. From his inception, the new Boy Wonder has been consistently portrayed as overconfident, annoying, abrasive, and often borderline psychotic. However, as time passed, the likes of Morrison and Dini were able to transition him into a well rounded child, whose time with the original Boy Wonder had actually made a positive impact. Tomasi’s version of the kid shows no indication that there’s been any growth whatsoever between him leaving the al Ghul family and joining the Wayne family. The plot here is decent at best, as Damian has taken it upon himself to prove his worth to the rest of the Bat-family (including Jason Todd, who I’m pretty sure doesn’t care even the slightest about Damian). His purpose in this issue was to prove to Tim that the two of them are more similar than Tim wants to admit, based on his actions during The Culling. Unfortunately, Tim’s actions do a better job of proving how dissimilar the two are. Damian killed, Tim didn’t. He didn’t let his emotions cloud his judgment and he backed off. Tomasi/Damian tried to make a point, but in doing so actually made the opposite point. 2.5/5
After major events, crossovers, and really any large story, it’s almost guaranteed the following issue will be some form of a filler issue. The question then becomes, is it still interesting? In recent years, the Superboy/Wonder Girl (Conner/Cassie) relationship has amassed a large fan base, that’s really only rivaled by fans of a Superboy/Red Robin relationship. For whatever reason, towards the end of the previous Teen Titans run, the two split. Based on this issue, it would seem that whoever made that decision has backed off. Even though this is the Superboy series, it is still functioning as a supporting story to the Teen Titans book. As such, this entire issue was devoted to Superboy and Wonder Girl, though she still hates the name. The two bicker and argue in a way that gives every indication that a reunion of the Super/Wonder families is imminent. Not much happens in this issue, other than missing teammates, a strange island, and a huge T-Rex, but all in all it was a nice read. 4/5
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