Batgirl 3: Death of the Family

batgirl volume 3 death of the family cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Batgirl is a fun character

Simone's story gets bogged down by Death of the Family

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batgirl (Volume 3)/Batman (Volume 2)/Young Romance

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Gail Simone/Ray Fawkes/Scott Snyder

Artist:  Daniel Sampere/Ed Benes/Admira Wijaya/Greg Capullo/Juliu Gopez/Vincente Cifuentes/Jonathan Glapion/Mark Irwin/Marc Deering/Rob Hunter/Juan Albarran

# of Issues:  8

Release Date:  2013

batgirl #15 cover death of the family

Batgirl (3) #15

Reprints Batgirl (3) #14-19, Annual #1, Batman (2) #17, and Young Romance #1 (January 2013-June 2013).  Batgirl’s worst nightmare has returned.  The Joker is back and it appears that he could know Barbara’s identity.  With her whole family in danger, Batgirl learns that the Joker might have an ally that could even be deadlier.

Written by Gail Simone, Ray Fawkes, and Scott Snyder, Batgirl Volume 3:  Death of the Family follows Batgirl Volume 2:  Knightfall Descends.  The collection also contains the short story contained in Young Romance #1 (April 2013).  The multi-issue storyline was also collected in The Joker:  The Death of the Family.

Batgirl was another one of the fun relaunch titles of DC Comics’ New 52 line-up.  I’m not always on Gail Simone’s boat, but she did a good job reinventing Barbara after years of being Oracle (which did upset some who felt she was a positive role model for people living with a handicap).  This storyline was decent, but also had problems.

batgirl #17 cover vs james gordon

Batgirl (3) #17

Despite being a Batman villain, the Joker is really Batgirl’s boogie-man.  He’s the one who put her in a wheelchair in the highly debated Batman:  The Killing Joke.  Barbara can walk again in this series but is forced to confront her fear.  It was a confrontation that needed to happen since Batgirl returned to walking…but it is a bit garbled due to the overall plot of Death of the Family.

The Batgirl also ties into Scott Snyder’s pre-New 52 Batman story Batman:  The Black Mirror by bringing back James Gordon, Jr.  This further complicates the plot because James’ motivation and actions in tricking the Joker into abducting his mother to threaten Barbara are a bit unclear.  He had been seeing Barbara’s roommate Alysia who also had a surprise confession for Barbara.  James’ actions lead to the second half of the collection which does set-up volume 3.

Batgirl 3:  Death of the Family has some weaknesses but overall is a fun, strong continuation to a series that was one of the better New 52 relaunches.  Barbara always was one of my favorite character (in or out of the chair) and it is nice to see her back in the cowl.  Batgirl 3:  Death of the Family is followed by Batgirl 4:  Wanted.

Related Links:

Batgirl 1:  The Darkest Reflection

Batgirl 2:  Knightfall Descends

Batgirl 4:  Wanted

Batgirl 5:  Deadline

Batgirl 1:  Batgirl of Burnside

Batgirl 2:  Family Business

Batgirl 3:  Mindfields

Batman:  The Killing Joke

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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