Batgirl has been taken by the Terrible Trio! Can she break out in time to stop her new enemies and save her career?
First off, it was a pleasant surprise to follow Babs’ best friend Alysia through parts of this issue. She’s been on the back burner for quite some time, occasionally popping in to remind Barbara of her obligations to their startup, Gordon Clean Energy. This issue served as a great reminder of what a positive addition to Babs’ circle Alysia really is.
That being said, Mairgrhead Scott does a fantastic job of selling Alysia’s desperation throughout this issue. Alysia has always had such a strong sense of duty, so this is the ultimate conflict to throw her in. Meanwhile, this subplot introduced some intense new wrinkles for Barbara’s personal life, and it should be fascinating to see it all play out. In many ways, Scott’s run on the character has felt like the main goal is to get Batgirl back to basics, but it’s also seemingly isolated her more than ever.
In the meantime, that anger in Batgirl has fueled some of the best action sequences the series has seen in quite some time. Her throwdown with Shark is brutal, but not in an over-the-top way. Batgirl goes from trying to solve a problem to putting the problem out of commission in the meanest, most efficient way.
It’s a side of Batgirl we haven’t seen in a minute, but the release of her brother and her ever-crumbling personal life have really given her a meaner edge. I’m hopeful that we’ll also see Barbara find a way to reclaim that balance of darkness and light that is so important to her character.
While this new Terrible Trio’s identities are yet to be revealed, their personalities are already so well-defined. They’re a blast to read, even as they bicker and complain at one another. Their roles are completely defined and they balance each other in a way that seems destined to break apart at any second, their greed the only thing bringing them together. I hope they’re used again after this arc is finished.
On the downside, I still don’t buy Jason Bard’s face turn. Maybe it’s because he’s still acted like an overconfident ass since his reintroduction. Something about him being a moping puppy dog feels off. It doesn’t seem to be a ploy, since he’s by himself throughout this issue. But one can’t help but worry for Barbara, who is already in a vulnerable place, having to find out that Jason Bard, of all people, has all of her personal belongings. I know it’ll pay off in some way, but the implications make me nervous for Barbara.
Otherwise, this was an intense issue on most fronts. Alysia’s storyline is nerve-wracking, and you really feel for her, as she has to make a decision that she disagrees with for the greater good. Batgirl’s struggle is a more literal, physical one, with one of the best action sequences the series has seen in a while, beautifully and brutally drawn by Paul Pelletier.
The final moments of the issue promises an explosive conclusion that will likely leave you chomping at the bit for the next issue. Also, Batgirl gets a total Red Sonja moment in the last page, and I’m one-thousand percent here for it.