Saturday, April 29, 2017

Comic Book Review: Batgirl #10 "Son of Penguin, Pt.4"

By: Jerry Montgomery
April 28, 2017

Batgirl #10
“Son of Penguin, Pt. 4”

Written by: Hope Larson
Pencils and inks by: Chris Wildgoose

Batgirl has returned to Burnside, that trendy, hipster tech saavy part of Gotham that has become the spot to be for young millennials. Babs has returned to her old friends, villains and life. However, the old neighborhood just isn't the same as before she left for Asia in the first story arc. The borough has gone through gentrification while she
was away and she's has had to adjust to her new surroundings.  Other than that, Barbara has had to adjust to everyday normal life, going to college, working and dating. What?! That's right, there's a new heartthrob in town and his name is Ethan Cobblepot.  Cobblepot,  as in Oswald Cobblepot . Ethan is the estranged son of the Penguin!

Ethan has come to town under the auspice of gaining a foothold in Burnside for his new techie, app company. He had taken an interest in Barbara and she in turn, had taken an interest in him but always had a nagging feeling that Ethan was not always on the up and up. Especially when she discovered that Batgirl keeps showing up in cameos in a popular cellphone app entitled Doggo, which of course was developed by Ethan's company, Vicform. Was it really developed to keep Batgirl under surveillance? Maybe Ethan's good guy image isn’t so good after all. Vicform's variius phone apps then begin to cause problems all over town, from robberies to ultimately, fighting and rioting…right in the Penguin's nightclub. Maybe the Penguin has good reason to be against his son's move to Gotham. It would seem that a lot of people are getting hooked on Vicform's apps.

In issue #10 and part four of “Son of Penguin” Barbara , as Batgirl investigates the
riot that took place at Penguin's nightclub, the Iceberg Lounge, over a friendly game of ping pong. Penguin is sure that it was Ethan but has no proof. It is here and on her way out, surveying the busy city streets that she comes to the logical conclusion that the millions of smart phones in use is the key. She needs to see Ethan to speak from her heart in light of events  but doing so may be harder than she thinks…even if they are dating! It’s a good thing that she's always had Dick Grayson to talk to in times of need and he's been a regular since she's come back to town. Talking to Dick, she gains the insight and advice she needs to make a final opinion on Ethan Cobblepot. If you know anything about Ethan though, he's not going to take anything lying down. Maybe he's his father's son after all. In spite of all her superhero-ing, Barbara still has time for her good friends to help with their problems, no matter how big or small. Now if only falling streetlights would stay out of the coffee shop! At the end of the issue, Ethan's true intentions are revealed as he confronts his father, Oswald/Penguin. As with any dysfunctional relationship, things can't go that well, can they?

The Verdict: It was an enjoyable issue even though it's into part 4 of the story arc, thanks to the writing of Hope Larson. Her previous works have featured stories about young women, written for young women and is really in tune with Barbara Gordon's life, both public as Batgirl and private as Barbara. Larson has done a great job detailing Barbara's “normal” life, through relationships with close friends, work, librarian (homage) school and dating and incorporating today's tech into it all, good or bad. The artwork by Chris Wildgoose is energetic and a fine compliment to Larson's storytelling. This title in itself is a great read for young women or girls that can relate to the same things that Barbara Gordon faces everyday in her life with a positive outlook. This may be a little off putting to some male readers but still should be given a chance for an interesting and different take on the difficult life of a superhero.

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