By Ginger De Los Rios
Our story begins with Barbara Gordon having a ‘survivor’s guilt’ nightmare in which she rants and berates ‘Batgirl’ who is sitting in a wheelchair. It’s just not fair that thousands of others are stuck in wheelchairs but she gets the miracle. She awakens and realizes that these questions have plagued her but she refuses to acknowledge them. It’s 2 days before Christmas, and she’s lonely. She sits with her roommate Alysia and reveals to her that she was paralyzed. But Barbara does not elaborate and then walks out. She’s too afraid to open up.
Just a note: Mirror’s glass shattering mask on the cover looks very cartoonish compared to the rest of the layout. And like the other titles, we are stuck with blank colored backgrounds. It’s a pale comparison to the actual drawing of the scene inside on page 17.
The HIGHLIGHT of the issue- Check out page 7–A criminal techie named Hugo made a ‘Bat App’! Whenever someone spots the bat they just hit the code on the phone and a ‘Bat GPS’ pops up with his symbol and alerts the criminal to where he is! Pretty clever. I have a feeling this ‘bat app’ may cause more trouble in the future. But they didn’t count on Batgirl coming in to break up their attempted mugging. We learn two things from Barbara’s thought process–she despises vulgarity and has an eidetic memory, which she is counting on to help her find Mirror’s next victim who was on the hit list back in issue #1. It’s sad I picked this as the highlight, because we’ve waited four issues to see this intense, fascinating villain be brought down and the final result is a little weak to me.
Batgirl realizes that Mirror will be at the cemetery to visit his family’s graves. When his wife and twin daughters died, he lost it, and now he believes that miracles where people survive against the odds are curses, not blessings. Batgirl leaves him a note. She calls him out on his crimes, tells him she has revealed all his latest targets to the police, and wants him to meet her for a showdown. However, she feels awful she used his family’s graves as the bait.
Batgirl acknowledges that he is far stronger and a superior fighter, but she puts up a rough fight of her own. She has some tricks up her sleeves when she leads him to an abandoned carnival. The trick she employs to make Mirror finally buckle under is effective, but I think it’s one that is very overused in comics, movies, and television. Let’s just say that the original Batman the Animated Series did it to PERFECTION in the ‘Clayface’ episodes.
At the end Barbara and her roommate exchange gifts, and Alysia asks why she’s not with her own family for the holiday. Barbara tells her it’s just her father and her ‘brother.’ I never knew Jim Gordon had a son, so I’m a little confused. The doorbell rings and Barbara gets the shock of her life. It’s her long-lost mother who abandoned the family when she was 12. Just to borrow one of Adam Basciano’s hilarious acronyms, there is a serious case of SFD (Same Face disease) going on between Babs and mom. And total SHD too. (Come on, you know it’s Same HAIR disease!) So I guess the Gordon’s are an entire family of look-a-like redheads.
Can’t wait for issue #5, Bruce Wayne guest stars!
Overall Grade: 7/10