Contains MILD SPOILERS.

Batgirl #14, written by Gail Simone with artwork by Ed Benes, in which Barbara Gordon tries to save her family from a fate far worse than death but has she once again fallen victim to the Joker in his return to the DCnU in ‘Death of the Family’?

Last month’s prologue, unlike that of Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws, was incredibly well done – the ongoing story wasn’t interrupted by the crossover event and when HE appeared, it was all the more memorable.

The Jokers’ return has been nothing short of monumental, if it hasn’t won you over to the genius of comics and their ability for storytelling, then comics aren’t for you. I lavished praise on Batman #14 HERE earlier this week.

In Batgirl, Simone has written a strong female character, minus the misogyny, and hopefully others will take note of this. After a fleeting moment of weakness when confronted by her nemesis, it was the Joker after-all who confined her to a wheelchair, a vengeful Barbara pursues the Joker, who holds her mother hostage at a local ice rink. This is before expertly and with ‘extreme prejudice’ dispatching some of the Joker’s goons – action scenes in which Ed Benes’ art shines – but whose is the voice that guides her?

Overall, Benes does a stellar job, although he’s unable to capture the horror of the Joker’s reattached face in the same way as Greg Capullo. This is not the criticism it seems – merely a matter of his interpretation and my personal preference.

An exciting issue, integral to ‘Death of the Family’.

Published by Mark Brassington

Father and Husband. Works in Corporate Banking. Loves Books, Comics, Cycling, Music, Games, going to the Gym and Writing.

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