We catch up where last issue left off, with the GCPD training their guns on the street fight between Silver and his lady friend, and Barbara (in civilian clothes) and Strix (of the Court of Owls).
Babs and Strix are outside of the home of a kidnapped girl, trying to find her before Silver ‘splodes her… Because… He thinks that she’s a vampire. Because…
The cops tell him to lower his weapon, he refuses, and Barbara is trying to figure out a way to diffuse this situation because she’s worried that, if she doesn’t, Strix will, and she’ll do it by knocking the shit out of each and every cop out there before resuming the fight, and then probably running out of time, etc. Plus, if shit doesn’t get solved soon, someone will recognize her when the glare goes down and she lowers her hands.
But, it’s okay, because Silver comes to the fore again, threatening the police to kill himself in a really sarcastic manner. When they refuse to lower their guns, this whole page happens and I don’t understand any of it.
Why would you arbitrarily slice your throat? How does that relatively not forceful action cause you to flip a billion feet? Did you really just include this because you needed to fill a page? Did you think this was clever? Or did you do it because you think that that last panel was so super cool and totally worth it?
Because it’s really just idiot. You could have had a distraction caused by a giant robot stomping around in the background or a fight between other Gotham rogues or Bat-people, and I would have bought that.
As it stands, the villain is able to get into his Rolls Royce, which then sprouts a machine gun and rips the GCPD cops and their cars APART, as Barbara bangs on the window, completely unscathed.
Strix pulls Barbara away and they manage to escape the GCPD’s notice. A call from Knightfall gives them the lead they needed.
Back at Uchida’s Dracula’esque mansion, he gets patched up by girl-Alfred and given a whole carafe of something-or-another to chug as Batgirl and Strix creep around the building, looking for a way inside.
We also get a little bit of backstory for this dude and all of his crazy.
The door pretty much magically opens for Batgirl and Strix, and Silver further invites them in, specifically asking them to drink his blood.
Obviously, fighting ensues, and apparently this dude is actually pretty good.
Strix soon gains the upper hand, and it about to end this crazy motherfucker, but Barbara won’t let her.
Lucky for her, Strix doesn’t take it personally, and Barbara knocks Silver down, trying to talk some sense into him, like she probably should have from the beginning.
This simple explanation that I guess nobody else ever tried explaining to him is apparently enough to snap him out of his delusion because, Cissy rounds the corner, asking if she can go home now, and Silver very calmly asks her where his assistant is, calling her “Child” instead of “Demon” for the first time.
And then, VINDICATION.
Because THIS happens.
That’s right. That’s right. All along, vampires were real. And this little girl was one. And she killed and ate her father. And this disappearance happened a while ago, but NOBODY fucking noticed this little girl’s sudden aversion to things like, oh, say, sunlight?
Vampires are fucking real now. As evidenced by the fact that the line above, “Stop. I command it,” was spoken by a shirtless dude wearing leather pants (pictured below) who entres during a convenient strike of lightning and when asked who exactly he is, responds, “I? Vampire.” Y’know, using the type of syntax that no one does.
He tells them that Cissy’s been dead for a while, that this is only her shell, and that now she’s his responsibility since her undead power and whatever has been calling to him. And it looks like he’s been trying to find her on foot..?
Either way, the moment doesn’t last long, since Cissy spontaneously combusts. The reason?
Then, everybody there fucking disappears in a swarm of bats.
AND THAT’S THE END OF THE ISSUE.
That’s how it ends! We’re in third -person limited-ish, it looks like, so we’re seeing it from Batgirl’s perspective… Except for all of the times we see Silver’s actions and his actual perspective. And that’s all we get! Batgirl was wrong. Silver was right. Vampires are a thing.
And the only other witness is a mute with poor writing skills?
Okay, so, really, now… This has just added more fuel to my, “I’m pretty sure that Batgirl is going crazy and wouldn’t that kinda be cool?” fire.
All of the shit that came out of left field? The shit that made not sense? The various and very obvious oversights, like not looking more thatn halfway down a sheet of paper when she’s supposed to be the brilliant protege of the world’s greatest detective and the commissioner’s daughter and she has a photographic memory to boot?
And then that last bit of internal monologue? “How do I convince myself this actually happened in the morning?”
I guess you don’t.
You’ve already lived it, whether reality or a delusion.
And this is the latest in a line of things that have happened that bear no explanation, that make no sense, that are getting increasingly more creeptastic, and that no one but her can recount! Supposedly murdering her brother and being hunted by her father? The ventriloquist with the living, independently moving and murderous doll?
And now fucking vampires.
I really do hope that Barbara is losing it. I really do. Not only would it be good writing and a really interesting story arc to eventually get to, but…
If the alternative is just a series of poorly written one-shots and uninteresting additions to a personal rogues gallery?
Yeah, give me crazy. Because I’ve had enough of terrible writing in the DC New 52.
But, that fact that Silver saw Barbara and Strix as being vampires, and that he was right about Cissy, poses an interesting idea. She is crazy. Or she’s got some kind of growing darkness in her. Heck, Strix has all kinds of darkness floating around inside of her tragic history. Oh! Actually, Strix IS undead!
Oh, I hope that this shit actually plays out in a decent way.
Until next time, nerds.
I don’t know what “Gothtopia” is. I’m going to figure it out by the end of this review, but for now, dear readers, realize that I’m going into this issue with zero idea of what in the world is going on in here. As always, I review the comic as I read through it on the first time, then summarize shit once I’ve taken a sec to gather my thoughts and form my oh, so many opinions.
Let’s explore my ignorance together, shall we? Let’s begin.
The comic opens with Babs narrating the morning routine of Angela Ramirez, a woman with family and a good job, managing the Joker Brand Ice Cream Company.
Apparently, Gotham City is the safest, the nicest, the friendliest city in ‘Murica, and even the weather is a balmy 90 degrees and sunny in February! Everyone is happy in Gotham. Everyone smiles. But Ms. Ramirez has started having nightmares. And she’s not smiling any more.
Cut to the Gordon household, where a cheerful Barbara wakes to her dad making breakfast, and the promise of bacon as she scrambles for clean pants.
She muses on the love she has for her family. Her mother is still around. Her dad is carefree. Her brother, James Jr., is a volunteer at a soup kitchen. And her cat is fat as fuck. There’s your first, second, and third warning bells right there.
And in this perfect, crime-free Gotham? She’s still Batgirl for some reason.
…Okay. I’mma wait.
And her partner is crime-stopping is… Charise Carnes. Fucking Knightfall. But here, she’s “Daybreak.”
Back at the Ice Cream factory, Ms. Ramirez tells
Steve Urkel an underling named Leo that she’s started scheduling surprise inspections of the flavouring vats. Anybody else’s ears perk up at the mention of “vats” at the “Joker” Ice Cream factory?
On the roof above the ice cream truck, Babs, who has only been referred to so far as “Bluebell” (and isn’t that an ice cream brand itself and WHY is there still a bat on her chest, then?) refuses to buy ice cream. This appears to be due to the fear of clowns. HA!
Right after that little meeting, a bus full of children from Gotham Elementary (How can there be only the one elementary school?!) arrives, making me really nervous all of a sudden.
And then this happens.
The trucks can’t be called back because all of the radios are down. Somehow, even the cellular phones aren’t working. So, Barbara tells Daybreak to “make the call” and steals one of the poisoned people’s motorcycles, tailing an ice cream truck that’s just made its way into a public park. She slaps a dude’s ice cream out of his hand, and he, naturally, takes a swing at her head.
Urkell is telling Ramirez about the poisoned ice cream, saying that they can’t give any of it to the kids, of course. Ramirez responds by donning a clown mask, hoisting a pistol, and assuring him that nothing bad could ever happen in Gotham.
Naturally, she shoots Steve Urkell (Did I do that?). However, she promptly reassures the children, saying that they’ll be together forever, unlike the little girl she once had, and unlike her former husband. She tells them to call her Mother Mercy.
Awesome. That’s not creepy at all.
Babs and Charise arrive on the scene and the GCPD is there ahead of her. Detective McKenna wants her to go in on the DL and take the aggressor out, but Detective Bullock is also there, belittling her and saying that Mayor Cobblepot has given the order to use a sniper on the way.
Inside, Ramirez is traumatizing the children further by telling them her very tragic story wherein she was called in by the police to identify the smiling corpses of her husband and daughter. Despite their deaths, she says she was still happy, still smiling, just like all of Gotham. She questions this fact. She says that she wants to forget, but she can’t with the city plastered with the smiling Joker face logo. So, she’s gonna go all Heaven’s Gate on these kids and she and the kids will all eat ice cream and stay together, smiling forever.
Outside, Daybreak offers Babs a distraction in the form of blowing up Bullock’s car.
The sniper is still on the roof. It’s not much of a distraction as Barbara sails over ALL of the police, who are all looking directly at her, some even pointing in case you inexplicably missed her.
Right before Ramirez forces the first kid to eat, Barbara bursts in, elbowing this woman who put so much thought into her plan but apparently never learned how to use that fucking gun in the FACE.
The “very bad day” making her a raving, mass-murdering psychopath reminds me of “The Killing Joke.”
…And then it reminds Barbara, too. And Ramirez sees that she’s not the only person who remembers another life, another truth.
While the Barbara has a mini panic attack, the sniper makes his move. Ramirez is struck in the solar plexus, not the heart or the head so this sniper should be FIRED, but it gives her enough time to give us some last words about her family and some other such bullshit… Trying to make me feel feelings, DC?!?!?! Better publishers than you have tried.
Barbara clings to the fact that the kids are safe. She wants to forget this day. She plans to. She even says, that if this is her waking up…
How very un-Barbara-like. To dismiss reality. To delude herself.
So, as if we didn’t know that it would be already, this “Gothtopia” is a problem. And, as I mentioned “Emperor Joker” earlier and DC is really out of ideas, I’m willing to wager that the whole thing is some kind of illusion-y thing. The Joker is probably behind it all, but that might be a red herring because DC likes to pretend that they’re clever. And while I do like Gail Simone on Batgirl (and I liked her Wonder Woman run, too, but that’s a whole other story), I also read “Leaving Megalopolis,” her recent independently published trade, and it fell really flat. So… Obviously, I’m going to give it a try. I’ll try to pick up the Detective Comics and other Bat-books tie-ins (DAMMIT.) and I’ll summarize shit you the rest of you nerds.
The issue, overall, was entertaining. But one thing is still bothering me, and is completely unconscionable even before the rest of the story unfolds…
See you next time, kids! And remember: Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!