BATGIRL ENDGAME is like the lighter side backstory to DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Well to me at least. As Babs silently (nary a talky bubble in this issue, nor or are they needed), moves her way through the Joker Virus infected Gotham, to herd her Grinners as Rick Grimes does Walkers, my mind couldn’t let go of a Mutant overrun Gotham from my youth that was protected and cherished by another young woman also of indomitable spirit, Carrie Kelly.
The lack of words in this issue leaves this artistic troglodyte at a loss for a lengthy review. The plot, as with most comics, is straightforward. Joker virus extras bleeding off of Snyder and Cappulo’s soundstage in BATMAN are making their way off the little island that Satan built towards the wilds of Kane County and beyond. Thankfully, Babs is ready to use her New 52 giddy-up sticks to make the bridge go boom before Joker and Amazo viruses collide (drops the continuity mike)
Where you get your per minute entertainment value in ENDGAME (outside of giving a deep naval gaze into the penultimate pages of Snyder’s ending omnibus Batrun) is basking in Bengal’s ability to articulate grander and granular in a deft dance between panels. Also, as I mentioned earlier, fangeezers can see what Miller’s work would have looked like with clean lines.
I don’t know which of the three family bridges blew up (as identified in GATES OF GOTHAM) and I don’t care. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the other side glance offerings yet to come in ENDGAME. I don’t care about any of the things we usually bitch about, because I am already so blinded by the incoming flares of CONVERGENCE’S continuity supernova that I am eminently satisfied with solitary sub-universe seamless…hmmm…lets say geling.
Batman, Superman, Justice League, Dark, Young and Didio: The myriad of nation states that make up the DC super power have kept tight storytelling even if they were always slightly one step ahead of their respective partners over the past three year dance. Number ones appeared and appeared again, but they were merely accounting exercises more than story catalysts. Except for Batgirl.
Babs’ recent reset to a Twitter tastic younger teen is honestly a bit more offensive than her truncating of Wheelchair time after the New 52 accordion scrunch. We didn’t het a number one, nor an explanation on Babs’ sudden selfie obsession when her Dad is thelittle spoon with Bane in the bowls of Blackgate. Change is good, but change is hard. I was fine walking away with this title with Ms. Simone, but I feel deeply for those Batgirl zealots who may have thought they were picking up the next issue of the media devolved Just from MULTIVERSITY. New art and new tone, should have been anointed a new number one without question and at least a drop of Omega Beam to explain why she started to age like Benjamin Button. Change, but for God’s sake DC, show us how you came to the conclusion. You did it a bit in this issue, Batgirl finally used Twitter for a purpose to communicate with a school bus full of kids. She used social media to not only contain a plague, but also be a hero in the purest sense of the word.
Barbara Gordon is more than a gimmick. She earned her elevation beyond the pastiche light purple pastel that birthed her a generation ago. Smarts, sass, moxy and courage made her a hero, the events of the KILLING JOKE then made her an icon. She birthed the information age back when it took a knowledge of computers to use computers. She has never quit…and neither have her creators.
Time to back off Fangeezers, there’s great shit going on here and if you don’t like it, I really really believe your daughters will. I recently defended Albuquerque on Twitter for his decision to pull his BATGIRL 41 “KILLING JOKE” homage cover. I could care less about good taste, I simply hate bad business. BATGIRL is no longer ours, and that creepy creepy moment that fell Barbara and led to years of triumphant climbing back are also gone. New 52 time, Barbara’s back was better after 3 months in the cave. The brunt of recovery was for the 3 weeks when Harold the hunchback moved in. Ohhhh those good ole’ weeks. See what I mean, new Joker getting weird with new Babs…it’s just weird. Buy a print oldie fans, I know I’ll try. And buy BATGIRL ENDGAME. Enjoy the craftsmanship and then pay it forward so these kids are writing for us as we prepare to die in our moon retirement homes.