Batgirl #36 is available now where all good comics are sold!
Batgirl escapes the madness of Fox’s Den only to discover Vulture is hot on her tail and itching for revenge. Does she stand a chance against this bird of prey? Meanwhile, the fight for Gordon Clean Energy rages on as the workers discover the greatest threat to their employment future is Batgirl herself!
It’s fare to say I’ve been critical of the Terrible Trio arc in this series. Up until this issue I’ve failed to see the reason for this story as it seemed to be little more than a distraction for the character whilst the world around Barbara Gordon began to close in.
But with this issue Mairghread Scott has been able to pull together the disparate plot threads and turn them in to satisfying conclusion. A conclusion which seems to have slightly more wide reaching consequences for both Barbara and Batgirl.
If we start with the Terrible Trio themselves, we never did learn if those were masks or real faces. In fact their whole reason for being did end up being nothing more than a lesson for Barbara. I want to see the character go up against some real hardcore villains, I want to see her challenged in ways that we know the character will be able to rise up much like Batman.
Instead the writers seems content with throwing romantic entanglements and minor mishaps her way.
Following her escape from the tank in the previous issue Babs takes down the shark man fairly easily as the building around her begins to burn. There are momentary fights with both the bird woman and the fox before things begin to go south.
The trio falls apart fairly easily and end up turning on each other in order to save their own skin. It all feels a bit easy but there’s a lesson coming Super Friends.
Once the fire has overcome the building the battle becomes a life lesson for all involved. Barbara convinces the villains to help save the gathered masses as it was they who fed their evil deeds. It’s at this point that Fox turns sides and tries to help Barbara to save those stuck inside.
In another twist of events Barbara tries to save Shark who is unfortunately killed when he pushes Babs out of the way of falling debris. As she escapes the building we learn the true lesson of this issue. That heroes try their very best to save everyone but it’s not always possible.
Outside of this Barbara then learns that she has lost everything. She lost the Shark, she’s lost her home and her company all in one day. Attempting to juggle her double life has caused everything to fall down around her.
Now forced to move in to a dingy apartment in the Narrows, Barbara is however spurred on to be a better hero having learned her lesson. The closing monologue as she movies in to her new home is one of hope and that’s something which the character has needed for a while.
I hope this breaks the cycle of one-shot villains and ushers in a slightly more dynamic era for one of the most beloved members of the Bat-family.
The third and final part of the “Terrible” arc is a satisfying conclusion which certainly challenges Batgirl more than expected. A hopeful sending seeks to push the character in new and inventive directions.
Batigrl #36 is written by Mairghread Scott with pencils by Paul Pelletier, inks by Norm Rapmund and colours by HI-Fi. The cover is by Francis Manapul.