The Ghost in the Machine


Batgirl #40

The villain who’s been messing with Barbara Gordon’s life has been revealed, and it’s… Barbara Gordon? It’s actually a computer program taken from Barbara’s brain algorithms soon after she’d been shot and paralyzed. The program is angry, resentful, and fueled with a Batman-esque desire for vengeance and a Joker-esque desire for mass murder. She’s controlling Riot Black with cyber implants, and she’s invited a bunch of people who she’s decided have a very slight chance of someday causing crime to Burnside Square so she can kill them all with a hacked military satellite. Can Batgirl and her allies save Burnside from destruction?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic art, fantastic story. Love the way this ties so many elements of previous stories together — not just plots, but plenty of characters make prominent appearances. Most of Barbara’s supporting cast shows up at Burnside Square, all tied by Cyber-Babs by extremely tenuous strands to possible future crimes. Batgirl’s solution is a combination of face-punching, acrobatics, and brain work — I only wish she’d been able to do her own hacking, instead of leaving it to someone else.


Loki: Agent of Asgard #12

Old Loki has escaped and bound Teen Loki so he can tell him what the future holds — how Old Loki triumphs over everything, destroys Midgard, and humiliates Thor — so when his younger counterpart hears how it all went down, he’ll be inevitably drawn to the dark side. When everyone considers you, now and forever, no matter how much good you do, as only the God of Lies, why not just go full-on evil?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s not a bad example of how labeling someone can help force them into a path they may not want to go down. If everyone expects you to be evil, and treats you like you are evil, at some point, you’ll get frustrated and live down to everyone’s expectations.

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