Batgirl #20 Review
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Sami Basri
Colors: Jessica Kholinne
After being sent to a house with a bunch of bat poop, Batgirl is able to meet up with Qadir to figure out who’s causing the blizzard. With the help of her eidetic memory, Batgirl is able to deduce that the person who stole the government tech, which turns out to be a device that makes people trust every word you say, is Ethan Cobblepot.
Through a scuffle with Ethan, Batgirl learns that Penguin wants to run for Congress, and the father-son duo is going to use the goodwill Penguin built up helping people during the storm with the trust ray to get elected. Batgirl’s able to swoop in to stop Penguin just as he announces his campaign.
The emotional throughline of the issue sees Batgirl thinking back on all her experiences in Burnside. She realizes that, like Ethan, she’s accumulated some scars of her own over the years, and she’s going to use those experiences to propel herself to greater things going forward.
I haven’t seen any issues with Ethan before, and I found him to be the most intriguing character who didn’t get a whole lot to do. You have the tech-savvy son of a supervillain who was permanently scarred by Batgirl, giving him a personal reason to hate her and want to bring her down. I hope we get to see more of him in the future because he could turn into a really great adversary for Barbara Gordon.
The issue feels as though it should have been two separate stories. Penguin helped bring in people from the cold, so he could have used this newfound goodwill to launch a campaign without the help of stealing government technology. There could have been really fun opportunities to compare Penguin to real-life politicians with checkered pasts who want to enter the political realm. Ethan’s inclusion was a nice wrinkle, but again, I would have liked to delve more into him. Like why his first plan after entering the public again is about getting his dad elected rather than trying to get revenge on Batgirl.
Another question I wanted an answer to: Who would have sex with Oswald Cobblepot and have a kid with him?