So far, these substitute issues have fallen extraordinarily flat. Neither of the two that have come so far have been bad, but they haven’t exactly been great either, suffering from fractured plots and odd narratives. Batman and Batgirl, on the other hand, does the opposite of both Batman and Red Robin and Batman and Red Hood. Instead of the other title character only making brief appearances, this story is more about Batgirl than Batman, with Batman taking the role of little more than a shadowy figure background figure, at least until the end. We get to see Batman through the eyes of Batgirl, who’s probably lost the most coming out of Death of the Family. This issue deals with almost all of that fallout – including Death of the Family, Damian’s death, and the death f her brother.
The best scene in the book sees Batgirl sitting outside of Commissioner Gordon’s apartment, quietly confessing to everything she’s done. It’s such a heartfelt, touching scene, which this issue does far better than the past few issues. While all of these issues were supposed to be about dealing with the fallout of everything that’s already happened, this is the only one so far that’s done that. That is really a very good thing, and I love that about this issue. I also like that it’s focused more on Batgirl than Batman. We get to see her coping with all of her issues, and we also got to see Batman coping with all of his issues – but through her eyes. This, in many ways, is more effective than what’s happened so far. I mean, we don’t even get any of Batman’s inner monologue, and this is the best we’ve seen of his grieving since Batman #17.
And it all comes to a head in the last four pages, in which we actually see Barbara confront Batman. It’s a really amazing scene, and it’s really one of the few times we’ve seen Batman let loose like that on one of his allies. Honestly, it was good to see him really lose it like that, and it was great to see Barbara trying to reconcile with him, more than Jason or Tim did. It’s kind of odd, coming from her especially, but it’s done well, even if the ending makes you feel like you missed something. That said, the very last panel is a really great image. Sadly, the art bogs the book down in many places, as it isn’t as strong as it has been, which is kind of odd.