Unlike earlier in the month where I completely spaced on writing the Detective Comics #17 review, this one has taken some time because I wanted to put it in alongside some of the other "Death of the Family" post-mortem.
Honestly, if you've read my Nightwing and RHATO reviews already, then you've probably gotten the feeling that I am enjoying the post-DOTF stuff. Well, that's because I haven't expressed my disappointment with these titles yet.
So while last week's reviewers may have given Batgirl's guest writer a positive opinion, no such charity will be given here. Wow, talk about a drop in quality.
First off, I'm not sure who narrated the beginning of the book because those narration boxes were the same color and font as Jim Gordon Jr.'s thought boxes. If they were one and the same, then the whole rooting for Barbara thing really came off as bipolar. Am I supposed to assume that's what's happening? This book was just annoying to try to follow.
Secondly, why ARE we doing this story from Jim Jr.'s perspective? We just got out of DOTF. Barbara had a huge emotional hell thrust upon her, and we're taking the narration out of her mind? Oi!
Thirdly, where is Barbara's roommate? You know, the one who was JUST WITH JIM JR. the day Joker struck? You can't just leave that out of the story one issue out if you're intent on making the possible kidnapping madman the narrator!
Fourth(ly?), WTF is with Barbara and this petty thief from two arcs ago? Besides the fact that she nearly exposes her true identity to him on accident, they've clearly established an age difference exists, so what the hell is going on here? This is NOT a romance I want to see!
And finally, the art sucks. Seriously, I hated the odd shapes people seemed to take in this book. Barbara almost looks like she came out of the mind of someone practicing cubism in some panels.
My only positive is that for the first time, Barbara's computer skills are put to use. I like the idea of showing off more of those Oracle-based skills. That said, given how emotional she just recently was, she comes off as overly calm during her phone conversations with Jim Jr.
Man, oh, man, if the Jim Jr. stuff gets paid off before Gail Simone goes back on the book I'm going to be PISSED. If you were lucky enough to avoid this book last week, good for you! Do it next month too, and I'll see you when the good writing comes back in April.
Ok, this book isn't bad, but it's not the best and it certainly is not what I was hoping for right after DOTF.
The storyline isn't really a storyline and is rather a compilation of dreams Bruce, Damian and Alfred have after a night of fighting crime.
This is not a bad idea in itself. It gives the chance to show off artistically and limits the need to be totally logical (which is good, because you're going to be confused at times).
My problem is that the dreams of Bruce and Damian feel far too normal given what has just occurred with them. I expected far more out of them, and they felt too much like these two hadn't had an interesting opponent to fight is weeks.
Only Alfred's dream works to perfection, as I always love Alfred being portrayed as a badass, and it was great to see him go all "Batman: Earth One" on Joker.
Overall, it's not a bad book but it's not required reading. It's just a stereotypical 'funny book' that you can flip through while in line to buy your other, better books.
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