By Ginger De Los Rios

Before I get into the review, I just wanted to take a paragraph and acknowledge the artists. The penciling by Ardian Syaf is truly exceptional; look him up on deviantart.com under ardian-Syaf to see more samples of his awesome work. And I really love the deep shadows, cool tones and glossy colors that Vincente Cifuentes employs. The cover is wonderful. It is very foreboding, with Batgirl looking very much like an insecure young woman, still trying to reclaim her superhero identity.

After last month’s dreadful cliffhanger (dreadful as in ‘frightening’) our story picks up with the villain Mirror escaping the hospital out the window and Batgirl soaring after him. A wild battle ensues on the building rooftops and Barbara is still unsteady and a little wobbly in her legs, lamenting how woefully out of practice she is. Batgirl even tries to save Mirror from a fall because he’s shouting how he’s not supposed to die this way. But alas, she is, and for her troubles Batgirl gets herself tossed off a gargoyle and smack against a taxicab. The cab driver looks suspiciously like Granny Goodness from DC Comics and she rants about all these ‘Freakin’ bat-people with their vampire ways.’ They all need to go to Metropolis and fight ‘Larry Luthor.’

Back at the hospital, Detective McKenna is refusing medical treatment and demanding justice for her dead partner. Commissioner Gordon finds out that there is now a warrant out for the arrest of Batgirl and a wonderful panel displays his shocked expression. Apparently he had no idea she was even back in action. Batgirl follows Mirror to the cemetery and another fight ensues with Mirror getting the upper hand, he dwarfs Batgirl. I must say Mirror’s costume is pretty cool, when he opens his cape he surrounds himself with a blue halo of light-ala Tron Legacy-and a bunch of mirrors glow on the inner lining. Barbara constantly lets the readers know that she is aware of her limitations and not as strong as Batman. But she is very confident of her own smarts and manages to snag his ‘death list’ of names.

Barbara stumbles back to her apartment and awakens to find herself bandaged in her roommate’s bed. Alysia is skeptical and angrily demanding answers. She’s not dumb and thinks ‘Gordon’ was worked over. Barbara does not reveal her secret yet and changes the subject by asking to borrow a dress. Alysia calls her a GBG, which led me to a search on the Urban Dictionary. (Blech!) I can only assume she meant that Barbara is a ‘Ghetto Baby Girl’–a white girl who wants to dress ghetto. Oookayyyy. Alysia doesn’t look ghetto to me, more like indie-punk. But I digress. So, Alysia lets the matter drop, but she’s still wary of her. I have a feeling she may either find out her secret or Barbara is just going to have to get a single apartment.

It turns out Barbara has a crush on her handsome physical therapist, Gregor. She’s painfully obvious at flirting, even joking with him about marriage. Although they are seeing each other socially for a lunch date, he keeps her at arm’s length, as a professional relationship should be. Once again we are teased with the reveal of Barbara’s cure. She is of course a skeptic and doesn’t believe in miracles. It’s almost as if she doesn’t know how she was able to walk again. Interesting. If it turns out she was sent to a mysterious island and cured like John Locke from ‘Lost’, I’ll eat my hat. (Okay, not really.) I’m still inclined to believe that Bruce Wayne had a hand in paying for her therapy and ‘cure.’ But it could also be something otherworldly, this is a DC comic, after all. Hey, maybe she’ll discover that she’s like Jamie Sommers and has bionic legs!

Barbara goes to the library to research the clues she put together on Mirror and discovers his true identity. Apparently Barbara does not have a day job right now, so I assume that daddy is paying her share of the rent, the lucky duck.

I don’t want to give away Mirror’s identity, but Batgirl comes to the conclusion that Mirror doesn’t want to kill. He wants to die. You could have fooled me. You can be rest assured that a sad tragedy drove him to lunacy. So Mirror now believes he has the right to kill others who were supposed to, or should have died. He is determined to bring these cheaters of death a sense of closure from all the suffering of life.

In my opinion Batgirl is a great researcher but her detective skills need lots of work. She walks right into what looks like a trap and then the issue ends on another cliffhanger. The fate of the Gotham Subway system is in Mirror’s hands.

Be still my heart, I was hoping for this! Next issue- NIGHTWING! It really does look like Batgirl needs all the help she can get.

Overall Grade 7/10

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