SECRET ORIGINS #10 Review & Spoilers
“The Algorithm” (12 pages)
Story by: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher
Art by: Irene Koh
Colors by: Hi-Fi
Letters by: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by: Bryan Hitch
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
[Note: there are two other stories in this issue. For the purposeful intention of examining the crazy buzz behind Batgirl ATM, only this tale will be critiqued.]
This book has fallen into my lap not a moment too soon!! After last week’s major-mega reveal (you’d have to be living in an alternate universe if you do not know of that which I speak), seven whole days took an eternity!!
Spoilers for that big reveal from last week’s Batgirl #39 are here and here. The preview for Secret Origins #10 is here.
Some questions are answered but the one to top it all will be in next month’s BATGIRL #40.
Self-diagnostic running…Barbara Gordon examines her unique existence. She always stood apart from the common folk. She observes that even before there was a Batgirl, that part of her was dormant. Reassurance leads to uncertainty.
Eyes wide open. Hospital bed. Dad Jim is by her side. Sadly, this painfully reminds all of us admirers of Babs falling victim to the Joker. She is indeed paralyzed. Here’s where the twist is shown: a radical new experiment implanted in her mind will allow her to walk. In essence, an algorithm that will provide her with superior functionality. As Babs reminisces, some glitches occur.
New scene. Babs comes upon a sobbing young lady. This one doesn’t need a wheelchair yet but she is having difficulty coming to terms with the inevitable outcome due to muscular dystrophy. Introductions are made. This young lady is Babs’ current roommate Francine Charles better known as Frankie. She gushes over Babs’ hot new laptop.
Parallels are made between the two. Nevertheless, Babs dares not share her greatest secret with Frankie. The beginning of Batgirl is recapped as it occurred during “Zero Year”. She put on a spare Bat-costume tucked away in her father’s office and saved her brother from unruly individuals. She made an impression on the Dark Knight.
Barbara was born to a White Knight, Gotham’s true hero: Commissioner James Gordon. She idolizes and worships her father. Babs, inspired by a vigilante as well as her father, wants to join the GCPD and major in Forensic Psychology. Daddy dearest, ever the protective one, tries to discourage. He hopes that she’ll continue her PhD in Library Studies. A knock on the door turns out to be anything but an expected visitor.
Frankie is being taught to fight by Babs. Full-on aggression comes out as Babs manages to flip Frankie hard. Babs refuses to go easy on Frankie since any psychopath would not wait for the opponent to strike. Babs has a cold steel gaze affirming that she can help not only Frankie but everyone.
The heart of the matter or should I say the insides of the CPU are laid out here. Babs has written an infallible algorithm that will place proactive measures against crime. By accessing the raw data from her brain scan, she will input all variables to guarantee unmitigated success. The idea of Oracle starts to emerge — an information broker will compile data and send out operatives. Frankie, a competent computer user herself, sees Babs’ coding as too aggressive and dangerous. That’s exactly what Babs is aiming for. All criminals must fear the Bat…..
Interruption. Babs has no recollection of regaining her mobility. It is in fact a miracle. Major round of applause to Mssrs. Stewart & Fletcher!! This is a plot point that has been deliberately dangling since issue #1. Gail Simone ‘promised’ to eventually explain this in the most feasible way possible when the New 52 was launched but that never came to light. How interesting/appropriate that Babs exploits as BG in the New 52 don’t really count. The 3.5 years (real time for us) most likely never happened.
More glitches arise. There is a second brain scan attempting to override the first. There is an error in retrieval. The body belongs to Babs but she senses it is not actually her. Plus, when she reboots she is unaware of the location of her body. Internally, she knows and feels that she is Batgirl. Her directive is simple and singular: save Gotham City and all its citizens by any means necessary.
CTRL ALT DEL // RE-BOOT // ERROR // CTRL ALT DEL // RE-BOOT // ERROR //
Man, oh man!! I’m foaming at the mouth in anticipation of next months’ conclusion. I truly think this will literally break the internet. So many passionate fans out there will take this with arms wide open or not. Mssrs. Stewart & Fletcher have planted such an insidious virus into our hive-mind consciousness that may never be eradicated. Such crafty men!! I’m thrilled at the zig-zag re-routing Babs’ life story has taken. It is befitting of the New 52’s mission statement.
Irene Koh is an excellent ‘stand-in’ for Babs Tarr. By no means am I dismissing this lady’s art. It’s pretty much on par with the regular artist’s work. I can’t find any trace of this illustrator anywhere!! How can she not exist online?? In all seriousness though, Irene designs the Babs we all knew and loved so radically different — cold, determined, forceful. She contrasts this with Batgirl’s jovial can-do attitude. This makes perfect sense since the two can be considered separate entities.
Who the heck is Hi-Fi? I’ve seen that name bandied about in some DC books. I gather it’s a studio comprised of many individuals. The colours here are mainly light and fresh as a means to veer from the all too dark reality that is at the edge of Babs’ awareness.
Jared K. Fletcher must be a tech whiz in his own right. He painstakingly writes code on the screen in such miniscule detail that I had to resort to a magnifying glass to decipher it. The same goes for the cubed captions reflecting the ‘real’ Babs’ thoughts.
How much more suspense can one fan take? Tune in next month, same Bat-issue, different Bat-girl!!
I give this titillating tale a 1001 [9 on the Binary code].
Tags: Batgirl, Batman, DC Comics, New 52 (DC Comics), Oracle, Secret Origins