Part 1 Thoughts: This might as well be a Batgirl/Stephanie Brown issue. I will admit that the main reason I got this was because of Stephanie. I was slightly curious about this book and lastly my other two books weren't in stock. Grant Morrison writes a great Steph and this book only highlights why I think she works better in the Batgirl role than Barbaras' return. She's capable, still has her quirks and this is a lot of fun. Batman is hardly in this section but he knows he can count on her and that makes this premise work.
It's the quirks that make this a joy to read. The school is training girls to be assassins. One of the girls' guns has a cell phone charm attached to it. The "make over" items are weapons, like a brush that shoots darts. The girls dress in Kathy Kane Batwoman costumes. I LOVED this half of the book. This wouldn't have worked nearly as well if they made her Spoiler again simply because of the ongoing theme of Batwoman/the bat family. There's sort of a subtle vibe that even though her dad is a criminal and she's actually not in the bat linage that Steph has risen above her past. She's earned her place. The art is beautiful working flawlessly with the story as Stephanie HAS to have art that's able to covey her expressive face.
Did You Notice?: At target practice the ladies are aiming for "where it hurts" on the male JL members. Shown are Hal Jordon, Superman and part of the Flash.
Say What?: Morrison either loves canon or doesn't research it. Stephanies' dad, the Cluemaster, isn't "the late Arthur Brown." Yes he was presumed dead but he showed up alive twice since that story. The last time being at the very end of Stephanies' Batgirl run. This makes me raise an eyebrow because this book was delayed a LONG time. That should have been caught.
Did Steph have her ID as Batgirl exposed?
Part 2 Thoughts: I haven't been following Morrisons' books so I was worried this would be confusing as hell. It wasn't. I know there are things that likely went over my head but I think I followed it pretty easily. The art was decent and really did the trippy moments well. I got the symbolism of the pearls even before a character echos it later on in the text. I liked this story but not as much as the Batgirl one. It shows the network Batman has put together and has him failing. Something we don't see too much. The bit with Jezebel was a little much though, as if to say "yeah I'm the real bad guy here so look at my symbolism!" The small moments with Damian were great with him muttering that he knows French and German when Red Robin explains it to him. Then his sorrow when he apologizes for killing a man to save his fathers' life.
The thing that grates on my nerves is Talia. Like with Red Hood Morrison can't seem to get her right. First she's the one that forces herself on Batman to produce Damian (which I believe was retconned in Batman and Robin) then she's a heartless mother and now she's an emotional clone of her father. Okay, why? I heard theories on what this has to do with Damian which will explain why she's so heartless with him but that still doesn't make sense to me. Say what you will about Judd Winick but has least he kept to the core of the character and showed how she's conflicted.
Did You Notice?: Batwings' supposed death. But no body so it doesn't matter since he has his own book.
The red phone like the Adam West Batman. There's more but I have a feeling that I won't get this review done if I go over the whole book for things Morrison slipped in.