The Joker continues his rampage through Gotham and in the pages of “Batgirl.” Barbara Gordon finds herself in an exasperating position as she must become the Joker’s bride in order to save her mother. This issue deals with some of Barbara’s pent-up hatred toward the Joker and thus the shotgun wedding turns violent as Batgirl fights back. Barbara’s efforts are ultimately spoiled as she is made unconscious and finds herself waking up with the Joker holding a surprise for her.
There is some great character development in this issue as Barbara struggles with her own sanity while dealing with the Joker. In many respects, Barbara Gordon has even more reason to want to kill the Joker than Batman himself. The urge for revenge pits her against her heroic nature and makes her question what justice actually is. Since the launch of the new 52, it is clear that this is a much more mature Batgirl than in years past and she is prepared to challenge some of her previous philosophies.
There are a few artists working on this issue, but the styles match up well and never take the reader out of the story. The whole issue plays out like a scene from a horror movie and the artists do a good job of capturing the evil of the moment.
As “Batgirl” intertwines with the “Death of the Family” crossover, Gail Simone has written one of the darkest Joker stories yet. The disturbing scenario of marrying the Joker, along with the emotional weight of Batgirl’s history with the Joker, has made this one of the best arcs written in the Bat-books. The “Death of the Family” crossover will be over soon and hopefully the conclusion doesn’t take anything away from the plots that have been encountered here.