[personal profile] lego_joker posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Once upon a time, there was Batman: The Animated Series. And it was good.

Then someone decided to shake up the status quo, slap more action-ready redesigns on everybody, replace half the writing staff, and tie it all to the Superman cartoon airing at the time. And the results were decidedly horrible mixed.

Somewhere closer to the positive end of that scale, we have 1996's Batgirl Adventures #1, sort of a pseudo-sequel to 1995's Batman Adventures Holiday Special as well as another prototype of TNBA's Girls' Night Out. Once again, there's not much plot other than "the ladies of Gotham kick lots of ass, add one cup of humor and stir", but it's a formula that's made Paul Dini plenty popular, and I'd be lying if I said I weren't fond if it.

(Doesn't hurt that the yellow-and-black look is one of my favorite BG costumes of all time, either.)



By the way, remember how I snarked last time that Babs got her spotlight stolen by a sociopathic clown girl? Well, it's kinda gotten worse in this issue. Babs has to play straight (wo)man to Harley for most of the story, and while the results are largely delightful, I can't help but accuse the cover of false advertising.

(Admittedly, your mileage may vary; some say that the straight-man is actually the real star of the routine.)





... d'aww. I just can't stay mad at you, Harley. As long as you stay in the DCAU where you belong, anyways.

By the way, the villain of this story is far and away the weakest part. Kit "Kitsune" Nozawa is pretty much all gimmick and no personality, and she's kinda stupid, to boot. I mean, I get (not that I agree with) people in real life who dismiss Harley as a goofy lightweight, but in-universe she hangs out with the equivalent of Osama bin Laden on a semi-regular basis, serves as his muscle, and handles at least part of his hardware (no, not like that... okay, maybe sorta like that). So what does Kit do? Toss her out a window before she even makes her pitch to Ivy.



And now, for the page you've all been waiting for.



Harley then recounts how this mess started, which... doesn't really establish anything besides how much of a moron Kitsune is. Then comes the inevitable moment.





Oh, Babs. You clever little thing.

By the by, I'm not terribly fond of Rick Burchett's art at this stage of the game (he's still taking the TNBA model sheets a bit too literally, so his action sequences often look flat and two-dimensional), but man can he draw faces. I can already hear Tara Strong's voice in just about every panel with Babs, and Harley's face in the middle panel up there gets me every time.

So, with Harley secured, Babs goes down to fight Kitsune's gang, but oh no!



Anyone wanna see a Babs vs. Toph fight? Just me? 'kay.

So while Babs is kicking ass, Harley gets loose and frees her BFF. I'm sorta ambivalent about the Harley/Ivy ship, I have to say, but this scene is just cuteness overload.



While even Dini's not perfect at writing these two a hundred percent of the time, he's damn near perfect here. Ivy might have enough human feeling in her to grieve for Harley, but she's definitely not sticking her neck out for a goodie-two-boots like Batgirl mainly because the fight would be over in about three panels.

But Harley's just decent/childish enough to think her word actually means something, so off our heroines go.



How the girls take down Kitsune is kind of stupid (even if it is in-character), so I'm not posting it here. The resolution to the whole mess, though, is pure gold.



Oh, Harley. Mistah J would be so proud. Dot-eyed Barbara is just the icing on the Christmas cake.

(By the way, you might've spotted Commissioner Gordon up there in those panels. I couldn't really post the GCPD subplot here without going over the scan limit, but suffice to say it's got some of the funniest parts in this comic.)

As a bonus, here's a cute little minisode with yellow-and-black Babs from the underrated webseries Gotham Girls. Yes, the plot is a straight ripoff of Batman & Robin Adventures #8, but who cares? Evil!Tara Strong makes everything better.
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