Batgirl #6

I didn’t read Batgirl #5 yet, but the sixth issue starts out with Bruce Wayne getting ready to clock Batgirl with a crowbar. That certainly got my attention.

Bruce was under the control of a new super villain called Gretel, whose use of mind control for lethal purposes and an obsession with killing powerful men is a huge problem. By Gotham City standards, you can’t get more manly or powerful than Bruce Wayne. So with some slick detective work and teaming up with Batman, our caped heroine is able to save the day.

If anyone needs more proof of why Gail Simone is a great writer, look no further. Gail uses a very simple, almost cliché plot of the hero preventing the murder of a public figure. But what she does with instead is uses it as a frame to contrast the two similar characters.

Both Gretel and Batgirl are survivors of gun violence. Gretel was a journalism student investigating a mob boss and wound up being shot, just as Batgirl was shot by the Joker back in The Killing Joke (which thankfully is still part of canon in the New 52). 
What separates the two women is what happened afterwards. Gretel was left for dead and  recovered on her own, becoming extremely vengeful. Batgirl was fortunate enough to have not only the love and support of her father but of Batman as well. It’s a pretty touching story and that exists in the confines of a single issue.
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