This is a wedding issue in the middle of a Batman crossover involving the Joker. Where did this come from?
In the previous two issues the Joker proposed to Batgirl, using her kidnapped mother as incentive. This plan is all the more twisted considering the Joker put Barbara Gordon in a wheelchair years ago. This is one of those comics, a dark and somewhat disturbing tale about a young woman thirsting for revenge vs. a total madman. Oh, and it’s also very good.
This comic begins with a flashback, showing Barbara one year after she was shot in the spine. Even then, she dreamed of nothing but her revenge on the Joker. It’s a great scene that perfectly sets the tone for the rest of Batgirl 16, because she might finally get that chance.
The rest of the issue takes place in the wedding scene. The dialogue, especially the Joker’s, is probably the best in Gail Simone’s Batgirl series yet. Throw in some good action, a few plot twists involving Barbara’s criminal brother and a cliffhanger that’s almost as good as Batman 16’s, and you have a very well-rounded comic.
The art isn’t quite as good as the rest of the book. Character expressions are well done, especially Batgirl’s unshackled rage, her traces of fear and her shock at the Joker’s continued antics. The joker looks appropriately menacing as well. One can’t say the same for the Joker’s minions. Sure, they’re wearing masks, but they look kind of dull here. There are also several panels where Batgirl’s eyes are completely white. The art is good for the most part, but it’s not flawless.
Batgirl’s Death of the Family tie in has been almost as good as Batman’s main book, and this is the best issue yet. While Simone’s take on Barbara hasn’t thrilled everyone since the new 52 began, this is still at least worth reading for anyone who’s read The Killing Joke. This is also an easy recommendation for anyone who wants to check out the extended Bat family.