Batgirl #25 – Mairghread Scott, Marguerite Bennett, Paul Dini, Writers; Dan Panosian, Artist; Tom Derenick, Paul Pelletier, Emanuela Lupacchino, Pencillers; Sean Parsons, Norm Rapmund, Ray McCarthy, Inkers; Stephen Downer, Jordie Bellaire, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: The latest anniversary issue for DC delivers a big package of stories more associated with annuals, weaving together four narratives by three writers into one semi-cohesive but highly compelling story. Batgirl #25 comes a few months after regular writer Hope Larson departed the title, and the book’s had a few fill-ins since. Now it gets ready to welcome a permanent new writer in Mairghread Scott, who’ll be doing a tale that revisits the Oracle era and how Barbara got out of the wheelchair. She gets two of the four narratives in this story, with the first being the strongest installment in the book. It takes place at a funeral, and humanizes a character many people thought was nothing more than a plot device. That would be Duane, the black groom who was brutally killed by the Joker at his wedding in Batman #48. Here, it’s revealed he had a moment of heroism that introduced him to Batgirl months before, and she meets with his mother as they pay tribute to his life in a deeply touching segment. If this is any indication, Scott’s going to be a perfect fit for Batgirl’s solo title.
The story then flows directly into Marguerite Bennett’s segment, as Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson meet at a hotel – what would have been Bruce and Selina’s honeymoon suite – to discuss the major changes in their lives over the last few months. Bennett is clearly making the case that these two make a compelling couple, and her voice for both of them is great – just the right note of ambiguity to the relationship. DC should consider giving them a shot, much like Marvel did with Rogue and Gambit – and give Bennett a top-tier book now that her current two have ended. Mairghread Scott returns for a second story, which sets up her run. It’s far more intense than the rest of the book, pitting her against Grotesque – an obscure villain from Gail Simone’s run. He’s gone much darker, hunting the rich in twisted art-heists and murders. There’s maybe a bit too many of these villains between this guy, Anarky, and the Citizen over in Green Arrow, though. Too similar. Paul Dini’s final story doesn’t really tie into the rest of the issue, but it’s an interesting tale that humanizes the obscure Batman villain March Harriet and gives her a backstory that makes me think she’d get along great with the Sirens. Dini, as always, does great work with Gotham’s rogues. This issue is a great Batgirl anthology overall.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.