The things Barbara Gordon has to deal with are all over the place in the latest issue of Batgirl, and the team of heroes in Future Quest get ready for a final battle.

Batgirl listening

Batgirl 9
Written by Hope Larson 
Art by Chris Wildgoose, Jon Lamb and Matt Lopes

Batgirl 9Life has been weird for Barbara Gordon since she returned from Asia. Although, I suppose that means it’s business as usual for someone who goes toe-to-toe with costumed criminals and knows Batman personally, but we’re judging on a sliding scale here. No matter how together Babs seems to have things, the chaos of being Batgirl will always be there to make things interesting.

This is very apparent in the latest issue of Batgirl, as we follow Barbara around on a typical day in Burnside. We get a lot of character movement from the book’s supporting cast and we get more questions about Babs’ current beau, the titular SON OF THE PENGUIN, but up until the final page, it’s a pretty normal life that gets complicated because of her secret identity as Batgirl.

Babs still has to deal with her classes, she still serves as an ear for her friends when they need to talk through their problems and she still has to figure out how to make rent. Throw a volunteer position on top of that, where she’s mentoring young kids learning how to create and code apps, and Babs would have a busy life even without her night job.

Batgirl data miner

The issue’s discussion about data mining and its evil ways felt a little like it was thrown in there just so it gave a primer on the topic for those who don’t know what it is. Of course, it all ties in to the overall story, with boyfriend Ethan’s tech company creating any number of apps that have been used to give Batgirl problems over the last few issues.

And of course, there’s the last page, which will continue to muddle the works over whether Ethan is a good guy who happens to have Penguin as a dad or a bad guy who’s working for his costumed crazy pops. More importantly, will Babs and Oswald bond over a game of table tennis (you should really read the issue to see the last page)? I’m looking forward to finding out.

Future Quest 11
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Evan Shaner, Jordie Bellaire and Veronica Gandini

Future Quest 11We’re closing in on the final issue of Future Quest, as the battle between the super-team consisting of Hanna Barbera cartoons’ sci-fi favorites and the force of nature Omnikron that’s threatening Earth will come to an end in the next issue. This time around, the team has finally started to find ways to take advantage of the creature’s weakness and start to beat it back from being a threat. But they still need to put the monster away for good.

The latest issue also included a good amount of exposition, explaining away the speculated origins for Omnikron and how it came to be a threat, which is a bit of an odd choice for a book’s penultimate issue. You would think that by the end of the maxi-series, we should already have this information, but we get it all here as Space Ghost trains an Earth-based Space Corps to serve as a line of defense against the monster.

The series as a whole has been a lot of fun and I’m getting sad over the end of all of these Hanna Barbera books (Wacky Raceland ended after 6 issues, both Future Quest and The Flintstones ends have already been solicited, leaving just Scooby: Apocalypse). But sometimes, I have these flashbacks to the characterization of these characters on Cartoon Network over the years, and I have trouble getting back into the series. Most of my experiences with these characters came from Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, where these characters were nowhere near as heroic as portrayed in these stories.

When this book opened with dialogue from Falcon 7, all I could hear in my head was Stephen Colbert’s version of the character, Phil Ken Seben, on Harvey Birdman.

Future Quest Falcon 7

It’s probably a generational thing, for people who were watching Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim when these shows were on. Still, I’m going to miss Future Quest when it’s gone after the next issue, and I’m looking forward to the battle to come against Omnikron.

Hopefully, a new Future Quest miniseries finds its way into production eventually.

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