This issue is an extra-sized anniversary issue and it debuts the new creative team. It is a good jumping on point and it is starting fresh, so you don’t have to know anything from the previous issue.
The new writer, Mairghread Scott, starts the anniversary issue with a tale of Batgirl going to a funeral. She had encountered the deceased, Duane, a few months earlier when she had saved him and his class from the Scarecrow. He was killed later by the Joker at his own wedding. Batgirl is feeling upset because she is beginning to feel like there is no happy endings in Gotham, not even the heroes. Her thoughts drift to Batman and his wedding that never happened. Duane’s mother finds Batgirl and has a talk with her. She tells Batgirl that even though Duane died later that she still gave him the gift of time and that he used it to the best of his abilities. She advises Batgirl to mourn but to move on and keep doing good work. She also encourages her to find someone to lean on in the hard times. After Batgirl leaves the funeral, she gives Nightwing a call.
The second story, by Marguerite Bennett, has Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon relaxing together and they are using Bruce and Selina’s honeymoon suite since it was never used. The two talk about Bruce and Selina’s aborted wedding. Dick tells her what his perfect wedding would be. It would be away from Gotham in Honolulu at sunset. Babs is less concerned with the wedding than just having time with a loved one. She gives the example of just cuddling in bed on a Sunday morning. They speak a bit about their relationship and Babs suggests that they spend more time together. The two cuddle in bed together and fall asleep.
The third story, by Scott, is set a week later and Batgirl is on the prowl for a murderous art thief. She catches up to him right after his latest murder and theft. The killer is none other than a grotesque and old foe of Batgirl’s. The two have a fight and he escapes. But not before Batgirl slips a tracer on him. This leads into next month’s issue.
The final and fourth story, by Paul Dini, has Batgirl encounter March Harriet, an associate of the Mad Hatter. Harriet has taken control of a bunch of wealthy men and dressed them up in animal suits. Harriet manages to knock Batgirl out when they confront each other using a shock form her rabbit ears, which is what she is using to control the guests. After Batgirl wakes up, March Harriett tells her about how she came to assume the identity. She and her girlfriend, Lily, had moved to the United States from London. They were doing whatever they could to survive, including theft. They ended up working for William Warren, who was the owner of Menagerie Magazine ( it’s a magazine where the women dress in scantily clad animal costumes). While working a party for Warren, they find a device that puts people to sleep or controls them. They decide to steal the devices, but before they leave the Mad Hatter appears (the tech was ripped off from him). Warren and his men discover them. Hatter managed to escape, but Harriet and Lily did not. Harriet is shot and Lily knocked out. They are then thrown into the river. The Hatter pulls them out, but unfortunately Lily had drowned. Hatter nurses Harriet back to health and she joins his gang. After she finishes her story, Batgirl realizes that March Harriet has Warren locked in the safe and he is suffocating like Lily did. She manages to get him out in time and turns them both into the authorities. Harriet manages to escape the police and the story ends with Batgirl chasing after her.
This issue is setting up the new creative team of Scott and Pelletier. Scott does a fine job of writing Barbara and really shows off her intelligence and determination. I am excited that Pelletier will be the new artist on Batgirl. I have enjoyed his art for years. They seem to be getting away from the style that the Batgirl comics have been drawn in for the last few years, with the art being more in the house styles of old. The previous style in Batgirl had been light and almost cartoonish.
Bennett’s tale does a good job of showing what Babs and Dick’s on and off relationship is like. Paul Dini’s tale of Batgirl versus the March Harriet was really well done and gives an origin for Harriet, who Dini created. The art in all the stories was well done. This issue had some great artists in Derenick, Panosian, Pelletier, and Lupacchino. I would have to say that I enjoyed Pelletier’s work best, but is probably because I am a longtime fan of his like I said earlier. The series appears to be in very good hands.
Batgirl # 25: New Blood
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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