Review of Batgirl #16

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“Me? I’m just the guy holding two live grenades.”

***Contains Spoilers***

This month the Bat Family titles all really come together to lead us toward the conclusion of the Death of the Family crossover. Gail Simone again shows us a treacherous, but playful Joker acting out his own insane fantasy. The artwork by Ed Benes, Daniel Sampere and Vincent Cifuentes is excellent. I guess Ed got tired after doing the first half of the issue? No offense meant to Mr. Benes, but I think I prefer the team of Daniel and Vincent. It has a slightly grittier feel to it that I felt worked better with the story.

Before I get to the Joker and Batgirl stuff, I want to address Barbara’s brother, James. He certainly is an odd, if not bold fellow. I mean bringing grenades to a gun fight? Genius. Sacrificing your sister to save your mom? Dirt Bag. I mean not only did he sacrifice her, he traded her to the Joker of all people. I feel that down the road he and his sister will have a little chat about this.

We also got a little timeline info(something I am always on the look out for) from Barbara’s flashback. She was in therapy after getting shot when she was 18. This is about where I had figured her being, but no we have some evidence. This of course doesn’t really help her escape the hands of the Joker. By the way his plans for a pre-nup, cutting off her limbs and locking her in the basement, are pretty sick. However, given that this is the Joker I think it fits.

I want to know what is under the platter. A similar platter is also seen in Batman and Batman and Robin #16 and I expect to see the same thing in Nightwing and Red Hood. Alfred’s head? Commissioner Gordon? something more sinister? The beautiful(and frightening) thing about the Joker is that there is no real telling. As you will see if you read the other Bat issues this month everything is building up the conclusion in Batman #17. Still no idea what truly lies in the Joker’s little book.

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