Batgirl in her Rebirth series set herself up as defender of the hip Gotham neighborhood of Burnside.
But she isn’t the only aspiring hipster there with a connection to an earlier definition as seen in the second volume of the series, subtitled Son of Penguin.
After her volume one tour of Asia, Barbara Gordon returns to Burnside to see the neighborhood in the throes of massive gentrification. Among the folks who are driving prices up and driving the quaint areas out is the new head of a tech company she finds to be rather handsome. His name? Ethan Cobblepot.
Yes, he’s the illegitimate son of the Penguin.
Does he want to follow in his father’s footsteps?
It probably wouldn’t be much of a story if he didn’t, and there is some weird stuff going on involving various apps.
What follows is Barbara dealing with a new kind of villain, someone who gathers data through popular apps as a way to take over the neighborhood.
Writer Hope Larson has a nice thing going here. It may not be the best Bat-book out there, but it’s far from the worst, and she gives Barbara a unique personality that fits her very well. That said, this volume also contains an annual, and the two stories there–a first meeting with the Rebirth Supergirl and another rather inconsequential story after that–don’t have much to do with the Ethan Cobblepot story, so that actually drags the overall reading experience down a bit. 8 out of 10 Penguin Ping Pong matches.