Barbara’s life finally felt like it had some sense of direction. She was successful. She had a team of Batgirls that could uphold the standards that she had set. She had also found love, but everything would change on her wedding night, the night that lead to the birth of Bete Noire.
After her psychotic brother tainting her wedding day with unforgiving tragedy, Barbara finds herself a broken woman. In order to get a better understanding of the enemy she becomes a master of disguise working as a gun mule and assistant to the likes of The Riddler and The Penguin. She would continue to do this for two years as she captured and collected villains and data alike. But her life would change as after two years she would be given the opportunity to train under the command of one of Batman’s greatest enemies…Bane.
This issue is a great one, presenting a journey of self-discovery as Barbara assumes her new identity in order to strike fear into her opponents. Bane has become like a father to her, her third father, as she learns how to intimidate the strongest opponents, as Bane teaches her that in order to beat your opponents you must break them mentally and physically. Fast forward three years and the Batgirl Gotham new is dead, she has been replaced by Bete Noire. A muscular Goddess that controls her very own League of Batgirls: Cassandra, Stephanie and Tiffany. They keep crime off of the streets so that nobody will have to suffer the injustices that Barbara once did, but all is not well in Gotham as Bane is back and he is not a fan of this Bete Noire and her Batgirls.
The art is excellent in this issue; the way Bete is presented really looks great. Each Batgirl costume has great detail as well as a specific colour scheme. Most of the frames contain dark backgrounds as this issue is one that highlights the tragedy that led Barbara on this journey of finding out who she is. The amount of detail put into each frame is commendable. The penciling is top notch from the lines that pump up the action sequences to the fur on Bane’s coat; the finest of detail is present.
This issue is an enjoyable read it has a great story to tell and does a great job of telling it. We get to see that even superheroes can fall, that even the most pure at heart can have their souls darkened by those closest to them.