BATGIRL: ENDGAME Review & Spoilers
“The Battle for the Burnside Bridge” (20 pages)
Story by: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher
Art by: Bengal
Letters by: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by: Rafael Albuquerque
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
This is the shortest and easiest review I’ve ever done 🙂 Know why? Absolutely no dialogue!! Didn’t see that one coming in the least! Major plus here: this is the same creative team, aside from the artist.
For the first five/six pages, I thought that the art would carry itself and that there’d be at least some captions. NOPE!! These pictures speak at least 10,000 words or more. I now see this as a bit of a challenge. My imagination has to kick in to overdrive to provide a worthy play-by-play.
The bridge leading to Burnside has been barricaded, and for good reason!! Too many Jokerized citizens are eagerly trying to tear it down. The virus has affected 97% of the city’s populace. Standing atop the bridge with binoculars in hand, Batgirl assesses the situation.
A new development has arisen and one that cocks my eyebrow. BG receives a text from
Frankie. In that message, there is a list of VIPs on a school bus that needs to reach the safe zone. The elite individuals are Lucius Fox, his wife Tanya and his daughter Tiffany. What makes me curious is this — does this happen right after Frankie learns of Babs’ secret ID? I would surmise that since she’s feeding intel to BG’s cell.
BG swings into a building that allows her to access a billboard. Once she pulls the switch, disturbing images of the Grinning Ghoul catch the attention of the zombie-like masses. Frankie calls to give an update to the bus’ locale. BG tinkers with her laptop and pinpoints the vehicle’s GPS. Through ‘speech’, Frankie gives a big thumb up (akin to the “like” symbol).
The bus makes it safely across. As BG directs the ‘escapees’, some eagle-eyed infectees take notice. The sane citizens furiously climb the barricade while Batgirl holds the line. BG has rigged some explosives that are set to detonate in less than ten minutes. Complications ensue when little Tiffany Fox is left behind, kneeling atop the bus bawling her eyes out. Things never ever go without a hitch.
BG flails her arms to get Tiffany’s attention then signals her to keep hush-hush. Lucius and Tanya realize in utter horror that their daughter has been left behind. Tech to the rescue!! BG zooms in on Tiffany, snaps her pic, and sends it to Frankie who in turn gets a phone number. Tiffany picks up the call from Batgirl. BG gestures for Tiffany to put on the fakest smile ever. The distraught girl sends back three sad faces. Eventually, Tiff gets the message (literally!) She makes her way down and walks through the crazies with the most forced smile any individual can put on.
BG puts on her gas mask, steps through, and meets Tiffany halfway. The countdown is imminent. Having no other choice, she brings Tiffany with her into the bus. BG takes control of the wheel. The bus careens off the bridge since BG will not run over anyone, even if that person has been hit with the Endgame virus. I’m pretty sure Tiffany had her heart stuck in her throat. As the bus dives into the river, Batgirl presses a button and her glider wings extend.
Tiffany is delivered safely to her parents. Fire lights the sky. Okay, there is ONE SINGLE WORD is uttered — “Phew”. End of story.
How crazy was this?!? I mean that in the most positive way. It is ultra-rare that a modern-day comic book be a silent one. As I already iterated, I wasn’t expecting this at all. It’s obvious that the intention behind a wordless issue was to render it more effective and focus on the motion. After some contemplation, no conversation is necessary, not even the inner monologue. Action speaks louder than words, in every single panel. *wink*
One can tell a story without resorting to the arrangement of letters. I’m sure it’ll be a long time before something like this is repeated, especially in a mainstream book. I would think this is more characteristic of an independent title. Either way, Mssrs. Stewart and Fletcher: you are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in this current age of storytelling.
Bengal captures Batgirl’s determination and drive, the citizens’ scary affliction, and Tiffany’s anguish all so superbly. He is a worthy adjunct to this newer version of the Caped Cutie. His full-page spreads with added panels keep the momentum of this fast-paced story. The best thing drawn — the little image of poop to convey BG’s frustration. Priceless!!
Jared K. Fletcher had very little to do, ironically, but he aced it. His rendition of the text messages is the crucial component in a talk-less tale. This makes complete sense since the information age requires instant access and is an effective communication tool.
More than all my other reviews combined, this was most refreshing. Batgirl is no slouch. This is a modern masterpiece that deserves a plethora of prizes. I give this book two massive happy faces or 9.75 out of 10.
Tags: Batgirl, DC Comics