We’re back in the Stephanie Brown “Purple Bat” Batgirl saddle in Convergence Batgirl #2 written by Alisa Kwitney, pencils by Rick Leonardi, ink by Mark Pennington, colors by Steve Buccellato.
We last left Steph, Tim Drake and Cassandra Cain getting throttled by both an alternate universe Catman and Gorilla Grood. We continue where it left off, with everyone getting pummeled until it’s more or less just Catman and Steph standing. Tim is taken by Gorilla Grood mind-control/body swap action but Steph knocks him out. Catman, who was brought there with Gorilla Grood essentially surrenders to Steph, triggering the blobs that return them back home and somewhat nipping Gorilla Grood’s onslaught.
This issue actually addresses some elements of Tim and Steph’s relationship where Tim was rather, to put it delicately, lesser than. And she delivers appropriate comeuppance. To my knowledge it was never shown that they were actually dating again once she returned to the Spoiler mantle after her “death”, and especially when she became Batgirl. Their cross-over showed their deep history and yet they felt restrained to not get involved with each other. I might have forgotten the detail that they may have gotten back together in this canon splinter, but as it stands the treatment of the relationship was correct in some ways (Tim being vague and just going all moody and withdrawn on people)
Cass Cain being the first to get knocked out. I’m sorry that’s just a no. Tim would be the first to go, in fact it should have been him, and then both Cass and Steph should have been the last ones standing. I’m not fond that while she pulled some moves, Stephanie ultimately doesn’t cause the win herself, Catman does by surrendering and that’s….a bit anti-climatic. There was a bit too much time dedicated to Catman and Gorilla Grood too. The art, just like last issue, wasn’t doing this any favors and that’s disappointing. It’s not terrible. But it’s pretty forgettable. It ends on a good note I actually really like, with Steph and Tim cuddling but both being too bruised and beat-up to really do much. It’s an often forgotten element to heroing.
The writing is markedly better this issue but it’s still not very memorable. It does give a good end to those who like Tim and Steph together (I do, but I acknowledge there is a lot of toxic stuff and this two issue extended oneshot may not have been the place to do it). The lack of Cass as well as Steph and Cass is a disappointment as is the art, which muddles what could have been some dynamic fighting and earlier in the issue, emoting. Still worth picking up if you’re a fan, it’s just not picture perfect. These girls deserve much more.