Barbara Gordon’s quest through Asia continues as she…
Wait a minute. What was her quest again? Was she supposed to be finding a new teacher, taking some time out from being Batgirl, exploring her relationship with old friend Kai, or finding out why Kai seems to be the target of a group of assassins? Okay, let’s say it’s the last one these days. That seems to fit the best, despite it not really being why she went to Asia in the first place.
So, after getting her ass handed to her in an MMA fight by The Moth, Barbara continues her investigation by finding a few clues and… ditching Kai. That isn’t too much of a problem, even though she was originally hoping to keep tabs on him and protect him from harm. Well, it doesn’t matter because she’s tracking down the origins of a tracking device to South Korea. Along the way she figures out exactly what it may be that’s made Kai a target, and heads to a building site where trouble awaits…
First of all, I have to say that I don’t hate this title.
Of the two Batgirl-related series out there right now, this one’s clearly the better of the two. At least some emphasis has been placed on Batgirl’s intelligence and how she uses to it find clues and solve mysteries. She’s a more interesting character in this, being capable of more emotional depth than sulking and being snarky. Likewise, the art isn’t bad either. The pace of it feels right and it looks like some research has gone into the backgrounds, with the characters moving around naturally.
The problem is how unfocused this series seems to be. While Barbara Gordon has emotional depth, her thought processes behind those emotions make very little sense from issue to issue. One minute she’s falling in love with Kai and wants to protect him, the next she’s dumping him (despite the real possibility of him being killed) and off solving mysteries. As already stated, her goal so far has become so sidetracked that it’s hard to work out exactly what it is she really wants. Maybe it’s an analogy for her own mental state, but if so it’s a poor one.
As for her detective work, it’s like something out of Scooby-Doo. She finds clues conveniently waiting for her, tracks down an electronic signal across the globe with no real difficulties, and then a random conversation with a complete stranger gives her the possible solution to the mystery itself. If that’s how it’s going to be – and believe me, I’m hoping it won’t – then it’s enough to make Agatha Christie spin in her grave.
While this is possibly the most satisfying issue of the series so far, it still has a long way to go before it hits the levels of greatness which Batgirl deserves.