It’s been 4 months since Batgirl Wanted started … even though it’s a 3-part storyline. It’s been interrupted by both Villain month and the mediocre Year Zero tie-in. And yet this comic is almost wroth the ridiculous wait time.
A quick recap just in case you need it. In the aftermath of Death of the Family, Batgirl aka. Barbara Gordon’s criminal brother went on a rampage. It ended with Batgirl throwing a batarang into his eye and watching as he fell into the water, with her father, Commissioner Gordon, witnessing the whole thing. Since then, Batgirl’s been wanted for murder by her own father. It’s a messy situation that gets even messier in this issue, as Batgirl must defend her father from Knightfall’s gang of vigilante thugs.
Part of the fun of this comic is watching father and daughter fight alongside each other, even when they don’t trust each other. The dramatic tension is only matched by Barbara’s absolutely hardcore fighting as she takes on Knightfall’s gang by herself. Her anger nearly puts her on Batman’s level for a moment as she utterly rocks them.
Once Knightfall’s gang retreats, the father and daughter have a showdown of their own. Dramatically, this is where the comic really works as they confront each other about their differences. After Gordon tries to arrest Batgirl for the “murder”, she mentions the boy he shot several issues ago. It leads to a satisfying conclusion that I won’t spoil here. There’s also a nice little twist at the end that could easily change everything down the line.
The art is also very good. The villains each look frightening in their own way. There’s a lot of detail, from the shattered glass and tables to Mirror’s smoke effects. Batgirl looks absolutely menacing when her face is blacked out, showing nothing but her eyes as she rampages on the attackers. The action flows perfectly from panel to panel. Yet when the dramatic scene starts, both father and daughter look equally wrecked from the days since the Wanted ark began.
The only real problem with this comic is that it took so long to reach us. Everything else works. The writing is great, the fight scene is exciting and the art is strong. It’s also written in such a way that’s easy for new readers to figure out what’s going on. Whether you’re a Batgirl regular or are interested in checking out the larger Bat family, this is well worth reading.