I think there might be something wrong with Gail Simone. When I write, I can come up with depressing and dark stuff. But Gail Simone has done it for so long, and done it so well… let’s just say I’m glad I don’t live in her neighborhood!
This book picks up with the new Ventriloquist, and my goodness, she’s a sicko. She’s a sociopath who started murdering as a child and hasn’t really slowed down. She kills famous people in an attempt for fame, but she also kills lots of random folks just to do it. This is about as new 52-y as you could hope for, if you are into bloody violence and murder!
I must absolutely point out that Batgirl always responds to the death and violence in a heroic, appropriate manner. This isn’t the darkening of a hero; this is a hero trying to maintain a light in the darkness, which is much easier to take.
I’m not saying it isn’t well done; it absolutely is, but man! Simone continues to have a wonderful voice for Batgirl/Barbara Gordon. Babs is experiencing some major doubt after seemingly killing her murderous brother in the last arc. Jim Gordon witnessed the whole thing, and now Batgirl is public enemy #1 as the commissioner unknowingly targets his daughter.
Simone does a nice job balancing the interpersonal drama here, including some new love interests for Babs. I really like the idea of Barbara dating a guy who is a bit damaged, so the romance has a nice star-crossed lovers feel to it. The warmth of the guy’s family does a lot to make the whole interaction sweeter too.
The art from Fernando Pasarin and Daniel Sampere is so effective in its use of the DC House style that I’m not sure I can really even comment on it! All those buckles, cowls, and strange detail lines are ever present on Batgirl and the villains are dark, spooky, and blood spattered. You sort of know what you are getting here!
This is an OK Batgirl story. I didn’t love it, didn't hate it. But I’m happy that there is a book featuring a competent, heroic hero in the new 52!