Batman has become more and more detached ever since the murder of his son Damian. Both from the rest of the Bat-family and his own tenets. Batman and Batgirl #21 demonstrates how this behavioral about-face affects his relationship with Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. Is it good?
Batman and Batgirl #21 (DC Comics)
We kick things off with Batgirl spoiling a heroin shipment at the Gotham docks. The entire time she’s lodging her yellow boot up drug dealers’ candy asses she’s thinking about what she’d say if Batman were there. And wouldn’t you know it, the Dark Knight himself shows up to join the fun:
Only… this shit ain’t much fun anymore. As Batgirl quickly learns from her brief brush-in with the even more laconic and pitiless than usual Batman:
But is it Facebook official yet?
Batman and Batgirl have another run-in later on, only this time at a convenience store stick-up. Batgirl records Batman’s actions as he goes H.A.M. on the would-be burglars, noting how cold and brutal his methods have become. Even so, my inner eight-year-old couldn’t help but squeal with delight when Batman’s ferocity extends to a certain police officer:
I’ve been waiting for this since Batman: TAS, Bullock. Suck it.
Everything culminates with a showdown at the Batcave between Batgirl and Batman. Batgirl seems willing to make amends but Batman ain’t having it. After severing his ties with Red Hood last issue, at this rate the comic book might be called Batman and His Own Bad Self in a few short months.
- Solid art by guest penciler Cliff Richards.
- Needed to see this interaction between Bats and Barbara.
- Nice “exchange” between Batgirl and her father.
- Not much happens besides thugs getting shit on.
- “Bats gone off the deep end” premise needs to lead to something more.
Is It Good?
This issue is a little short, but sweet enough overall.
I’m glad writer Peter J. Tomasi is taking his time to fully explore the ramifications of Damian’s death and the “Death of the Family” storyline with the Joker as it pertains to each member of the Bat-tribe.
That being said, hopefully this act is coming to a close soon and we’ll see some sort of deviation from the “Batman gon’ crazy so let’s try and talk him out of it” routine so I can at least feel like there was something unanticipated thrown in the mix as I come to the book’s end. (Also, we get it. Batman is pissed, and naturally so. Now let’s do something else with it.)