Batgirl must solve riddles to save the lives of four victims. Is Batgirl up to the task? What is the Riddler’s real agenda?
Batman Prelude to the Wedding: Batgirl vs. the Riddler # 1
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artists: Minkyu Jung, Otto Schmidt (Epilogue)
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Cover Artists: Raphael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
Batman and Catwoman are getting married and the news seems to get getting around Gotham. Heroes and villains both seem to have an opinion on it. Some are even inspired by it.
What You Will Learn:
Batgirl has received an old-school walkman (a tape player with headphones for those of you who may not remember) that the Riddler has taped his riddles on. He even left a burning question mark on top of the building to get her attention. Her evening started out with a phone conversation with the Black Canary about the upcoming wedding. Green Arrow had told her about it. The subject turns to Bab’s own love life when Black Canary asks her about someone named Ian. She tells Dinah that had ended, mostly because she couldn’t stand reading his dangling participles in his emails. Black Canary tells her that no man will be good enough for her unless he is Nightwing. Batgirl hears a scream and ends the call. She finds a woman by a floral shop. Her wife has been kidnapped. That’s when Babs notices the burning roof and the walkman.
Batgirl listens to the tape. The Riddler has given her an analog clue because he knows that she is skilled with technology. He didn’t want her to be able to trace him. She also discovers that there are four total victims. She figures out the first riddle and saves the first victim before she is killed by a death trap.
She quickly solves the next two riddles and saves the two victims. Batgirl also has to take out the Riddler’s minions along the way. She finally catches up to the Riddler. They fight while she listens to the last clue and his reasons for this encounter. The Riddler has been inspired by Batman and Catwoman’s upcoming wedding. He is particularly interested in the idea that Batman is with a former enemy. The Riddler figures that maybe that this will work for him too. He finds Batgirl attractive because of her intelligence. He reasons correctly however that she would never be interested in him because he hasn’t reformed and never will be redeemed. Batgirl defeats him by hitting him in the head with the walkman and kicks him off the roof. He lands on an awning. Batgirl knew that he would land safely because she had this area of Burnside memorized, thanks to her photographic memory. She finds the last victim behind a sign that says “What If” appropriately enough. The last victim is a small child who was a ring bearer from a wedding. He had a ring on a pillow.
Babs gets another phone call from Black Canary and after short chat decides she should give Nightwing a call. Meanwhile, the Riddler has not escaped safely. We next see him bound and bloodied. He has been taken hostage by Harley Quinn and she is looking for the Joker.
What Just Happened:
These one-shots are showing how the wedding is affecting everyone. Some people aren’t taking it very well, apparently. This was a nice little story. Seeley writes a classic Riddler story, but with a twist. Instead of riches, he is after a connection, even though he knows it won’t happen. Seeley also writes a great interpretation of Batgirl. She is smart and resourceful. Just how she should be. Commissioner Gordon comments that Batgirl probably broke Batman’s record for solving riddles. Jung’s art is as good here as it has been in the solo Batgirl series. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the art in the epilogue.
Final Thoughts: While I don’t think this one-shot is essential reading, I do think it was an interesting tale with some very nice art by Jung. Even though the Riddler knew he didn’t have a chance, he just had to know the answer to the question of what if.
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