Batgirl #35 sets up the final issue of this three-part arc in thrilling fashion, as the personal stakes start to outgrow the problems she faces as a caped crusader. Continuing to flesh out an incredibly bizarre and corrupt organisation, issue 35 does a lot in showing why The Terrible Trio are so good at being so bad and how far Batgirl must go to combat their schemes.
The last issue left off with Batgirl captured by the trio and put on display so that their clients could see how legitimate they were in their aim to take control of the criminal underbelly of Gotham. With Babs tied up, literally, her friend Alyssa has to deal with the takeover of the company the two worked so hard to create. The two stories worth together side by side really well, balancing the personal drama with the action sequences of the life of Batgirl. There’s not too much story to delve into in terms of Barbara fighting off the trio and so this is made far more narratively interesting by the issues with the company.
The battle between the Shark and the Bat are certainly visually appealing, with the serum Shark-injected bringing him closer to that of King Shark than just a man wearing a mask. The animal-themed villainy is very effective here and the fight itself was made far more impactful by the inclusion of some sort of superpower.
With Babs defeating the Shark at the end of Batgirl #35, she’s clearly coming for the other two, Vulture and Fox. Their physical fight will not be as powerful, but with the Fox clearly a master manipulator and schemer and Vulture obviously having a few tricks up her sleeve as the leader of the trio, they may be far harder threats to face.
The third part of this tale will also have to show what decision Babs’ friend will actually make, with the decision between choosing her colleagues and their jobs or the loyalty to her crime-fighting buddy. It’s a moral dilemma that is sure to cause tension between the two and I’m guessing which choice she will move forward with, especially when it’s made clear where Batgirl’s priorities are.
A shorter arc like this works effectively to tell a succinct story and it is this tale in particular that works with a three-act structure. There’s no need to draw it out and this would not have worked within one book, so the decision to make it a three-parter was wise.
There’s also a feeling that the status quo is changing here, which is sometimes difficult to do in comics when so much of it is never permanent. It will be fun to read the final chapter of this and, hopefully, we’ll see The Terrible Trio back again in the future, perhaps with a variety of other animals at their side, considering how interesting the concept of their group actually is.
The artwork in Batgirl #35 is dark, gritty and visual in the right areas, creating some spectacular imagery which supports the quality of the writing. This is a fun Batgirl adventure which plays alongside some larger changes in Gordon’s life.
A brisk adventure which contains personal plot elements that threaten to change the status quo, alongside great visuals and an exciting action sequence.