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Comic Review: Batgirl #16

Batgirl #16 Ed Benes Barbara Gordon in the Church New 52 Joker

There’s another spider in the porridge, and his name is James Gordon, Jr.

Gail Simone’s Batgirl #16 brings the Joker’s wedding plot to a climax by inserting the volatile James Gordon Jr. into an already explosive situation. The result is another outburst of absolute fury from Barbara as all her psychological pain turns into pain for the Joker and his henchmen.

Batgirl #16 can never be the revenge fantasy readers might want it to be – Joker has to survive, after all – but it does allow Barbara to let off some steam by turning the Joker into a punching bag.

Simone continues to find a lot of the same notes she hit in her previous Death of the Family tie-ins, and while she doesn’t bring the story to any new levels, she does maintain the momentum she has coming into issue #16.

Unfortunately, the art is about as slapdash as the Joker’s strapped-on face. Ed Benes and David Sampere take turns aping Greg Capullo’s Joker, rather than doing their own takes. They switch up duties halfway through, and the break is obvious in the sudden change in the Joker’s look. Add to that a weird-looking James Gordon Jr. and one of the worst split-kick Batgirl shots you’ll ever see, and the art quickly takes the wind out of the story’s sails.

Batgirl #16 is worth it for Gail Simone’s finish, but the art definitely hurts the experience.

7 out of 10

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