DCU Book Club-Girl Power! Week 81 BATGIRL: SON OF PENGUIN (2016-) Issues 7-11, March 30 - April 5

“Son of Penguin” part one! Babs is back in Burnside! But everything’s…different-friends, school, even Burnside itself. Batgirl must determine her next steps when she realizes that the shady new tech mogul moving into her neighborhood is none other than the estranged son of the Penguin!"


Thanks for stopping by for #dcubc-girl-power ! This week, we’re featuring Batgirl!

”Barbara Gordon redefined what it meant to be a self-made hero when she crafted her own costume and joined Batman’s crusade right under her father’s nose…Though the two halves of her life don’t always mesh, she stays true to the things she believes in. A genius-level hacker and information broker, and an expert martial artist, Babs has, like her namesake, proven to be a fierce survivor, and one of Gotham’s most cherished protectors.” DCU Encyclopedia/Batgirl

A couple notes for this week’s selection :spiral_notepad: :

NOTE 1: You will NOT need to read issues 1-6 to understand the story, so feel free to dive in at issue 7!

NOTE 2: The Batgirl Annual - which appears after issue 9 - is optional reading, it is NOT part of this week’s discussion.

:busts_in_silhouette: HOW TO JOIN THE FUN!

• Read the story between Monday, March 30, 2020 and Sunday, April 5, 2020.

• Reply your answers to the discussion questions, share your thoughts about the story, or both!

• Have fun discussing the book with the community. All are welcome to join, just jump right in!

:rotating_light: Our SPOILER discussion begins NOW.

:books: What to Read :books:

BATGIRL (2016-) SON OF PENGUIN, Issues 7-11


  1. Is this your first time reading Batgirl: Son of Penguin?

  2. What do you like about Batgirl?

  3. Do you think Ethan is a lot like his father, the Penguin?

  4. What was the standout moment to you?

We’d love to hear your general reactions to and thoughts about the story.

:incoming_envelope: Questions? Concerns? Feel free to send me a direct message.

Click here to learn more about DCU Book Club (DCUBC).

Happy Reading!



I read this as it was coming out a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to read again. Great pick JL! Exactly what I need right now.

Side note issue 10 is one of my favorite comic covers EVER. For a while I had it framed (until the baby took over the office) absolutely love it.


The father daughter relationship between those 2 is one of my favorite dynamics in the DCU.


Yes! So true. I’m excited to hear more of your thoughts on this one!


Heh, I actually read this one pretty recently – when New to DCU had the “Art of the Crime” storyline on here, I decided I wanted to binge a little more of that volume and read Son of Penguin around the same time. I’ll put my thoughts out a little later. :slight_smile:


Cool! :sunglasses:

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Cant wait to dive into this! I’ll try and knock it out today and report back later.


Hi @BigGLfan!

Awesome- Can’t wait to hear what you think of the story!

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Oh my! I am reminded of an episode of Powerless that featured the main character dating one of the Riddler’s henchmen unknowingly, “Emily Dates A Henchmam.”


Hi @Don-El
I remember that episode too now :smiley: . This story is quite different!

  1. Is this your first time reading Batgirl: Son of Penguin ?
    This was my first time reading this story. I enjoyed it.

  2. What do you like about Batgirl?
    I like her youthful zest. I like the way her personal life is in disarray, just like so many people at that time in their life. Trying to find the right roommate, trying to decide if it’s time to start a family. All those little details really fill out the story nicely.

  3. Do you think Ethan is a lot like his father, the Penguin?
    I think he wants dads attention at first but then when penguin was like “screw you”, he just wanted to bring penguin down. I think he evolved into more of his dad as the story progressed.

  4. What was the standout moment to you?
    I liked the Penguin kidnapping his son at the end. You’d like to think he was turning over a new leaf and stepping up to be a dad, but you know there is more sinister plans in the works!


Hi! @BigGLfan

I’m so glad you enjoyed the story! I think “Evolved” is such a great word the describe Ethan’s path in the story.

I’m counting Barbara’s ability to do so many things - for so many people - as a super-power!

That moment completely surprised me! What a fantastic twist!

Thank you for joining in on the reading and sharing your thoughts :smiley:

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  • Is this your first time reading Batgirl: Son of Penguin ?
  • What do you like about Batgirl?
    I enjoyed seeing the more people person side of an intelligent hero. Offering her time to teach coding to kids not for extra credit, but because it is the right thing to do.
  • Do you think Ethan is a lot like his father, the Penguin?
    By the end, yes. He appeared to start out as the son to show dad he could make the world a better place despite who his father is, but in the end it became more of a “I can be a better villain than you dad, and take you down in the process.”
  • What was the standout moment to you?
    I loved how her biggest problem at the beginning was

Who can’t relate to that?


Hi! @rspezzano13.50251

It truly was refreshing to see that.

I was rooting for him in the beginning, but then he took a turn towards villainy :confounded:

:laughing: Very relatable indeed!

Thank you for reading along and sharing your thoughts!

Swimming in the fishbowl looks pretty cool!

Discussion is open through Sunday night!

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Is this your first time reading Batgirl: Son of Penguin ?

Like I said earlier, I read this a couple of months or so ago.

What do you like about Batgirl?

I think what is the most compelling thing about Barbara is that she’s sort of the balance, the best aspects of Batman and Robin/Nightwing. She has Bruce’s intelligence, skill, and drive to succeed, but tempered with Dick’s optimism and joy for life.

Speaking more specifically in this storyline, I like the area of Burnside as Batgirl’s place – it has it’s own unique flair and a different feel that fits with Barbara’s aesthetic, but it’s not so unconnected to Gotham that she doesn’t stick out.

Do you think Ethan is a lot like his father, the Penguin?

Their similarities I think get lost in the generational gap. After all, Penguin makes his money in selling information and laundering things for the Rogues of Gotham City, but if used immorally, applications and terms of use agreements can do the same thing. I think Oswald recognizes that in the end.

What was the standout moment to you?

I’m gonna go with how Batgirl defeats Ethan in the end, that was very clever.

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@jay_kay Love this! It’s such a great description of her character and how she uniquely stands out from the Bat-family and Gotham.

That’s a really cool way to describe it. I totally didn’t think about that :smiley:


Thanks for reading along sharing your thoughts with us! @Jay_Kay

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  1. Is this your first time reading Batgirl: Son of Penguin ?

Yep, first time I am reading this at all. I haven’t read much of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl for some reason.

  1. What do you like about Batgirl?

It is weird to try to answer that because I am not sure what it is I like about the character. I have never given it much thought. I think I like the fact that she is focused on becoming a librarian/has been previously. I love that she understands that is about providing information to others. I also love the fact that even when things are bleak, Barbara Gordon sorta shines on. It is more than just optimism, it is that she isn’t going to let life tear her down. She is going to keep fighting the good fight through technology, wisdom, and good ole perseverance.

  1. Do you think Ethan is a lot like his father, the Penguin?

The Penguin has always been, to me, a character that is about controlling other people for his own interests and investments. His son takes the same type of approach. Ethan seems, when we first meet him, to just be your average techno-geek. He is easily relatable at the beginning, but as the arc progresses we can see that sinister side showcasing itself. Also I felt he was very much his father during the scene where he dumps Barbara and then calls her the B-word when he spies on her. Seems like a Penuginish type move to me.

  1. What was the standout moment to you?

The intern? I don’t know why but I loved that moment. Poor intern and then immediately gets attacked. Honestly, a lot of this stood out to me, as someone that was not as familiar with Batgirl and had not seen the Dick and Bab’s relationship as much as I am sure others have. The two seem to have each others backs regardless of what is going on. I loved the fact that we discover near the end one of the biggest reasons why the Penguin did not want to “claim” Ethan as his. Penguin has always had an image complex and this just solidified that even more. I also loved that the arc includes relationship drama, but it allows the transgender character to have the stable relationship. This is a really positive portrayal that is often not found for this community. I also enjoyed that little side arc in the story because misgendering is a huge thing for the community and it was handled appropriately here. It easily could have been a joke part or poorly represented if the writer had chosen to go down that path. Luckily, we get a writer who understood and respected that misgendering can be a big thing, especially when it is coming from someone that the character was interacting with for any type of medical reasons. I really loved this arc and glad that it was selected. Gave me a chance to step out of my own comfort zone with my comic reading. Can’t wait to see the next reading choice.

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Hi! @CassTheStreet

:arrow_up: This! Barbara rocks so hard. She understands everything so well and how it impacts others. She has a huge heart for people.

I was really hoping he’d turn out to be less like his dad. I agree with you, he absolutely is “Penguinish”. By the way, I loved your description of the Penguin. That’s how I see him too.

I completely agree, I don’t often see this in comics. It was very well-written.

I’m so glad you were able to join us - it’s great to see you! :blue_heart: Thanks for reading and sharing!

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Yes first time reading this series.

I like that Batgirl at least in this story we got to see more of her life behind the Batgirl mask and see how she deals with everyday life of friends, relationships, and school. Overall I like Batgirl because she always has the best interest of those around her.

Yes I think so, he uses information just like the Penguin but just on a bigger scale that his father. While the Penguin gets most of his information from criminals and other lawbreakers, Ethan uses different apps to gain information through his company. They both use information to gain a upper hand to make the situation work in their favor.

I enjoyed this moment the best and it also made me laugh a little

I guess in the future they will even make an app so you don’t have to breakup with someone in person.