February 26th, 2007

Superhero

Another Death In The Family

Batman: A Death In The FamilyBatgirl: Destruction's Daughter

I like to keep some graphic novels in my car for light reading – for times when I want to read something quick and easy. For example, when I'm waiting for Q to get out of work, or run into a store to get something, or just when I feel the car should be allowed to warm up for a few minutes in the morning before I start driving. Every now and then I check a few out of the library where Q works, and the most recent batch included Batgirl: Destruction's Daughter.

Those of you who don't really care about comic books in general (or DC's Gothamites in particular) can stop reading now if you'd like (and if you haven't already). But if you know anything about Batman's history, you must have heard of Batman: A Death in the Family. It was a four-part series released sometime in the 1980s, where the second Robin (Jason Todd) decides that he needs to find out who his mother is. He sets out to find out (a prime suspect is an assassin named Shiva), and his fate was in the hands of the readers – there were two endings written, and fans were able to call a 1-900 number to vote on whether Jason Todd lived or died. Things did not end well for Jason; he found his mother but was killed by the Joker (providing Bruce Wayne with even more angst, something about as necessary as providing shampoo to Lex Luthor).

I started reading Batgirl: Destruction's Daughter and immediately recognized the plotline: The second Batgirl¹ (Cassandra Cain) decides that she needs to found out who her mother is. She sets out to find out, and a prime suspect is an assassin named Shiva. Collapse ) Naturally, I didn't expect this to end well … in fact, I expected the new Batgirl to die at the end of this one. However, I didn't expect her to stay dead – so you might have thought, "Well, at least there has to be some suspense, if you're right, in figuring out how she dies and comes back to life." Well, not really, since Collapse ) features prominently in the storyline. Comic books are often formulaic and predictable, but this one was laughably, incredibly, insultingly so.

But, I see from WikiPedia that she Collapse ). Since none of this concerns me that terribly (certainly not enough to pay money for), I probably won't see any of that explained unless Q's library gets those graphic novels once they come out … and then Q goes shopping and makes me read them.

¹The Huntress masqueraded as Batgirl during one storyline, but I don't think that means that she was a Batgirl.