"The Lesson: Grass Before the Scythe, two of two"
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Batgirl #16
December 8, 2010
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Cover by Dustin Nguyen
Pencilled by Dustin Nguyen
Inked by Derek Fridolfs
Colored by Guy Major
Lettering by Travis Lanham
Edited by Sean Ryan
Previous Issue Batgirl #15
Next Issue Batgirl #17
The “Order of the Scythe” has drawn first blood, framing Batgirl for a crime she didn’t commit. Can she outrun Gotham City’s Finest long enough to prove her innocence? The birth of Batgirl’s gallery of rogues begins here as “The Lesson” continues!

Summary of Stephness: Steph finds herself on the run, wanted for the supposed murder of a classmate of hers. While running, she pleads Oracle to help her, who guides Steph to a set point. Batgirl attempts to avoid a looming helicopter from spotting her by dropping down into the skyline. This turns out not to be her best plan ("And it was only then that young Stephanie truly realized gravity would forever be her enemy.")

Batgirl lands not-so-gracefully on the ground, dislocating her shoulder, only to be discovered by Detective Gage. Steph quips that because he does not carry a gun, he must find her innocent. Nick says that he knows she is innocent and returns her Batarang that was discovered at the scene of Newton's death to her. Nick suggests that maybe she should try to detect some type of evidence on the batarang that "the crime scene boys" couldn't as he snaps Steph's arm back into place. She quips that she could kiss him right on the mouth for his kindness, and Oracle who is listening in comments on the sheer awkwardness.

The next day at Gotham University, Francisco, a mutual friend of Steph, shows her that people are protesting against Batgirl outside. Jordanna is leading the protest. Go figure. Stephanie promptly informs Jordanna that Batgirl is indeed innocent, but Jordanna replies that she is doing it to evoke sympathy and get better grades.

Later at the Firewall, Barbara runs some tests on the Batarang. She traces it to an abandoned tech warehouse. Babs becomes aware that Steph is also upset about how no one approves of Batgirl or is in-support of her. Babs tells Steph that wearing the bat symbol is not about approval, that is must be about serving justice (“I’ve worked too hard to get my life turned around to have “Batgirl” fall out from under me…”)

Elsewhere Wendy is attempting to to build a composite of the flash drive that the hooded “reapers” stole from Newton to see what exactly was so valuable. She is interrupted by a security guard

At the abandoned warehouse, Stephanie comes across the hooded figures. The members of the “Scythe” are loading large crates into the back of a van when Steph surprises them. As she fights the hooded figures she opens a crate and discovers that they are attempting to steal…heavy machinery. As she takes out the last guy, the police show up and tell Batgirl that it’s over. But Detective Gage comes to the front and explains that “this Oracle person” sent footage of the “reaper guys” chasing Newton across Gotham U campus. Batgirl is innocent. But as the members of the Scythe are being arrested Oracle urgently tells Steph that the isotope is spiked, and within a second all the figures are gone, and so is all the machinery.

Back at headquarters, Oracle determines that one of the members has speed powers and that the flash drive that Newton carried upon his death had information about where to get more machinery parts. Stephanie is angry about their cheated escape (“Because I’m going to hunt them..I’m going to find them. And I will bring Newton’s murderers to Justice, even if I have to take them down one by one.”)

Elsewhere the “Order of the Scythe” discuss their plans, and how they need to be more careful now that they have a ‘bat’ on them. The “Speedster” agrees, saying that you could blink and miss her.

Back Matter: Though Steph's beautiful Dustin Nguyen cover was featured in the previous week's back matter (December 1, 2010), this week's back matter gives a bit more context:

"This week we are super stoked to continue our special preview of our cover event taking place this January. To launch what promises to be one of the most important years in DCU history, we wanted to highlight the iconic nature of our characters. Last week you saw the first batch of these covers, and now I'm pleased to show you even more. There's something so cool about seeing all of these amazing pieces together - i can't wait to see them on the racks at the local comic shop!

Last tim we showed you the cover to STEEL #1, which kicks off the "Reign of Doomsday" storyline (check out The Source at for more information), and now we are pleased to show you the cover to WONDER GIRL #1. This stand-alone issue is written by new Teen Titans scribe JT Krul and features art by Adriana Melo & Mariah Benes, and it ties directly into the awesome new story taking place over in the regular series. You'll also notice the cover to the spectacular THUNDER Agents #3 by Nick Spencer and Cafu. You should be checking out that new series for sure. And of course there is the cover for the ultimate game changer in the Bat-universe, BATMAN INCORPORATED #3. And those books are just the start! You've got two covers each for BRIGHTEST DAY and GENERATION LOST, EMERALD WARRIORS, TITANS, JLA, SUPERMAN and much more before we're even halfway through the month! So sit back and enjoy these know hot to find them from the great covers. And come back next week for a preview of the final batch of January DCU covers.

Be seeing you,

- Ian Sattler Senior Story Editor, DCU"

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Behind the Scenes: The cover is designed to recall the Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive storyline, which featured Bruce Wayne on a red cover, attempting to avoid the spotlight.

Other Formats/Collected In:
Digital Comic Book
Batgirl: The Lesson TPB

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Behind the Scenes: The cover is clearly a reference to "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" story arc, specifically the cover from Batman: The 10-Cent Adventure. Gail Simone and Alex Garland later attempted a similar reference with the Batgirl: Wanted story arc, but was not quite as successful as Bryan Q. Miller and Dustin Nguyen.

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