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Gotham Girls #4

Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2002
By: Ray Tate



"I Carry a Badge!"

Writer: Paul Storrie
Artists: Jennifer Graves(p), J. Bone(i), Patricia Mulvihill(c)
Publisher: DC

This issue of Gotham Girls is much stronger than the last. It avoids unbelievable slapstick and instead depends more on drama derived from the character dynamics.

Renee Montoya kicks off her feature by making a pair of believable mistakes that she realizes far too late. Not exactly an auspicious debut, and it's surprising once again that Harley is the one who tricked her into making one of them. However, the usual reason for those mistakes--sexism, lack of intelligence--does not apply. Rather, Mr. Storrie suggests she's the character whom you are more likely to actually meet on the street. Whereas Batgirl like Batman is the ideal of the detective, Renee is the realistic detective.

Montoya's portrayal and her narration allow for some very sensible reasoning behind an old chestnut. The exposition is for the reader but done so in a clever way. The art team also reinforces the necessity of the explanation by showing Ivy becoming more peeved and impressed by the panel. These scenes misdirect the reader from seeing that little laser flash that frees Montoya's hands and foreshadows Batgirl's involvement.

Batgirl as I said is the extraordinary to Renee's normal. Her actions by comparison are larger than life but no less enjoyable. Indeed, I was grinning immensely when reading about this intelligent female hero. Mr. Storrie generates overall drama which climaxes at a tense standoff whose release comes in the form of Catwoman: her arrival beautifully choreagraphed by Ms. Graves.

The author creates a strong friction between Batgirl and Montoya without betraying the characterization or insulting the reader. Their working together never was in question, and Mr. Storrie does not foolishly draw out the inevitable. There's no "Get out of my city." It's more of a give and take between the two.

Concluding with a good fight and a compelling chase, this issue of Gotham Girls fulfills the promise of the premiere. Furthermore, the heroes look to be in real danger when Harley tells her final joke.



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