Writer: Mairghread Scott
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
We learn the true identity of Grotesque and the mastermind behind all these robberies in the latest issue of Batgirl. The action in this issue takes a bit of a backseat to focus more on Barbara’s journey, making for a memorable story that ties up some loose ends nicely.
One aspect of this arc the creative team has had to balance is making it clear that Barbara is no worse a hero if she’s confined to a wheelchair. The previous issues in this storyline skirted the problem somewhat. However, other reviewers have rightly pointed out that it certainly appeared as though the writer was saying Barbara needed to have full use of her legs to be a hero. She was not broken when she was Oracle and to suggest getting her legs back was absolutely, medically necessary can certainly serve as a topic for debate.
I feel as though this issue makes up for the last couple’s shortcomings. Barbara tells her father that although she never allowed the wheelchair to slow her down, she wishes he would view her as worthwhile no matter what. It leads to an incredibly touching moment where Jim Gordon sits her down and tells her that she will always be worthwhile. He even admits she still accomplished more than he imagined even when she was disabled. Whether Barbara’s antics end up putting her back in a wheelchair are almost beside the point. She will always be a hero to her father.
That’s the main crux of the story. Grotesque’s true identity is revealed, and Barbara discovers it potentially too late. Now that her dad is guarding valuable art, his life is at risk, and only she can save the day. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of action in the next issue, but for now, it’s nice to see Barbara recognizing she has value no matter what identity she assumes.
Overall Score: 9/10