GeekMom: Comic Book Corner–Batman, Batgirl, and Harley Quinn

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Batgirl #26 (Cover by Alex Garner) © DC Comics

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week, we review that latest issue of Batgirl, featuring a tense confrontation between Babs Gordon and her dad, a Batman Christmas carol, and the first issue of the new Harley Quinn on-going series.

Lisa Tate–Batman: Noel by, Lee Bermejo

Batman: Noel  Image: DC Comics
Batman: Noel Image: DC Comics

One of the Christmas books I keep on my coffee table is Lee Bermejo’s 2011 graphic novel for DC Comics, Batman: Noel. Bermejo (The Joker) shows off both his writing and illustration talents, with the Dark Knight’s own version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

It does seem like this story has been done to death…brought back to life and done to death again. I can’t argue there, except this version needs to be given a chance. The story places Batman himself in the Ebeneezer Scrooge role as the wealthy loner so obsessed with his personal demons he not only has robbed himself of any worthwhile personal contact, he has forgotten that those around him also possess a soul.

The Bob Cratchit character is a small-time criminal, struggling as an impoverished single father of an upbeat but young son with a bum leg. The remainder of the classic “Christmas Carol” roles are pretty obvious including the past, present, and future ghost cameos. Here’s a hint: Batman has only one “late” partner suitable to don this tale’s yuletide tights.

Best suitable for ages ‘tweens on up, it is an impressive piece of comic book eye candy, especially the glimpses of the retro-style Batman (and Catwoman) costuming as well as the very believable present-day garb of the winged vigilante. Read it with the family as a way to wind down before the Christmas morning mayhem, or get a blanket and curl up with a hot libation for a few moments of escape once the troops are in bed.

Kelly Knox–Batgirl #26 (DC Comics)

Last week, writer Gail Simone wrapped up the “Wanted” storyline in Batgirl #26. Batgirl has been heading toward a showdown with her father for some time now, as the Gotham Commissioner considers her a vigilante who has crossed the line to become a murderer. But Barbara has a bone to pick with Gordon, too, and the two get the opportunity to talk it out.

Not only does the issue focus on the relationship between the two Gordons, the story contains a who’s who of the villains of the New 52 Batgirl run. Knightfall and her minions, Mirror, Gretel, and more have infiltrated Commissioner Gordon’s home, and it’s up to Batgirl to save him—so you can imagine how much action is packed into the panels by artist Daniel Sampere.

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Art by Daniel Sampere © DC Comics

The cover art for this issue, however, is truly stunning. (In case you were wondering, though, it’s not my favorite Batgirl cover, but it’s up there. Batgirl #6 from Adam Hughes has that honor.)

The issue ties up all loose ends for the storyline, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the series is headed next.

Corrina–Harley Quinn #1 written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, drawn by Chad Hardin (DC Comics)

Amanda Conner, Harley Quinn,
Amanda Conner variant cover to Harley Quinn #1, copyright DC Comics

This is, strictly speaking, the first issue of an on-going series but it’s also a follow-up to Harley Quinn #0, an awesome meta-commentary issue that was basically a who’s who of comic book artists. That zero issue ranked #2 on the sales charts for November. That left the first issue of the series to live up to its promise.

And it does.

It’s hard to make a villain series fun and I’m not even a fan of Harley Quinn, so I was skeptical going in. Right around page three, when Harley “rescues” a sad looking dachshund from an annoying owner, I grinned and was truly hooked. The premise of the series is that Harley has settled into a new home on Coney Island, a building that houses a freakshow on the first floor. A perfect place for Harley, including some new friends and supporting characters, save for the small problem of how to pay taxes and upkeep. Harley attempt to solve that problem by getting a day job as a therapist (her alter ego’s profession) and a night job in roller derby. Unfortunately, there seems to be a price on her head.

Hardin outdoes himself in the roller derby sequence and in a fight earlier in the book that results in Harley producing her famous hammer.

This book shouldn’t be so much fun.

And yet it is.

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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Animal Man #26
Authority Vol. 2 HC
Batman ’66 #6
Batman And Two-Face #26
Batman Beyond Universe #5
Birds Of Prey #26
Birds Of Prey Vol. 3 A Clash Of Daggers TP
Fables Vol. 19 Snow White TP
Forever Evil Rogues Rebellion #3 (Of 6)
Fury Of Firestorm The Nuclear Man Vol. 3 Takeover TP
Green Lantern New Guardians #26 GM
Harley Quinn #1 GM
Justice League Of America’s Vibe #10
Red Hood And The Outlaws #26
Supergirl #26
Superman Vs Mongul TP
Teen Titans Go #1 Kid Friendly
Teen Titans Vol. 3 Death Of The Family TP
Trinity Of Sin Pandora #6
Vertigo Essentials 100 Bullets #1
Wake Part One #1
Wonder Woman #26 GM
All-New X-Men #20 GM 
Amazing Spider-Man #700.4
Amazing Spider-Man #700.5
Astonishing X-Men Vol. 12 Unmasked TP
Avengers Assemble #22.INH
Cataclysm Ultimate X-Men #2 (Of 3)
Daredevil #34
Deadpool #21
Deadpool Classic Vol. 9 TP GM
Deadpool Vol. 3 The Good The Bad And The Ugly TP
Fantastic Four #15
FF #15
Indestructible Hulk #17.INH
Longshot Saves The Marvel Universe #4 (Of 4)
Marvel Masterworks Atlas Era Strange Tales Vol. 6 HC
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 2 TP
Powers Bureau Vol. 1 Undercover TP
Scarlet Spider #25 (Last Issue)
Secret Avengers #13
Spider-Man The Gathering Of Five TP
Superior Spider-Man #24
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #8
Thor God Of Thunder #16
Thunderbolts Annual 2013 #1
Uncanny Avengers #15
Uncanny X-Force #15
Venom The Land Where The Killers Dwell TP
X-Factor Vol. 21 The End Of X-Factor TP
X-Men #8 GM
Young Avengers #14
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Ben 10 #2 Kid Friendly
Doctor Who Prisoners Of Time Vol. 3 TP
G.I. JOE America’s Elite Disavowed Vol. 2 TP
G.I. JOE The Cobra Files #9
Ghostbusters #11
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth #7
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth Vol. 1 TP
Illegitimates #1 (Of 6)
KISS Kids #4 (of 4)
Locke And Key Alpha #2 (Of 2)
Locke And Key Alpha #2 Boxed Set
Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #4 (Of 4)
Mr Peabody And Sherman #2 (Of 4)
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #14 Kid Friendly
My Little Pony Micro-Series #10 (Luna) Kid Friendly
Popeye Classics #17
Samurai Jack #3
Sinister Dexter #1 (Of 7)
Star Trek #28
Star Trek Classics Vol. 5 Who Killed Captain Kirk TP
Tarzan The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Vol. 2 1969-1971 HC
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #29
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Vol. 6 TP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures #6 Kid Friendly
Transformers Art Of Prime HC
Transformers Regeneration One #97
Transformers Robots in Disguise #24 (Dark Cybertron Part 5 Of 12)
X-Files Season 10 Vol. 1 HC GM
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth #114
Bloodhound Crowbar Medicine #3 (Of 5)
Buzzkill #4 (Of 4)
Captain Midnight #6
Conan The Barbarian #23
Criminal Macabre The Eyes Of Frankenstein #4 (Of 4)
Dark Horse Presents #31
Empowered Vol. 8 TP
Ghost #1
Itty Bitty Hellboy #5 (Of 5)
Kiss Me Satan #4 (Of 5)
Mass Effect Foundation #6
Massive #18
Massive Vol. 2 Subcontinental TP
Neon Genesis Evangelion The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. 13 TP
Never Ending #2 (Of 3)
Powers Figure Set
S.H.O.O.T. First #3 (Of 4)
Savage Sword Of Conan Vol. 15 TP
Sledgehammer 44 Lightning War #2 (Of 3)
Star Wars Dark Times A Spark Remains #5 (Of 5)
Star Wars Darth Vader And The Cry Of Shadows #1 (Of 5)
Star Wars Dawn Of The Jedi Force War #2 (Of 5)
Star Wars Legacy II #10
Strain The Fall #6

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / GM = GeekMom Recommended Reading 

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Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.