"The Brightest Star in Heaven": Batgirl is sitting on a rooftop and watching the sky. Her father used to tell her the stars were always up there even if they couldn't see them. Now she tries to be another light in the darkness for t
Synopsis for "The Brightest Star in Heaven"
Batgirl is sitting on a rooftop and watching the sky. Her father used to tell her the stars were always up there even if they couldn't see them. Now she tries to be another light in the darkness for the people of Burnside.
Right now she is attempting to solve a series of murders committed by a show-off of a serial killer who murders their victims using the same method and leaving them in the same pose. As examining the latest victim, she realizes she has seen that murder before. The killer is imitating the crimes of her favorite slasher film. She, her father and her psychopath of a brother loved watching slasher films. Her brother eventually became a psychopathic murderer because he couldn't stand being in his sister's shadow. But he is currently locked up in Blackgate Penitentiary.
Just in case, Barbara decides to check on her brother. James Jr. remains imprisoned and clinging to his bitterness born from his parents favoring his sister. Barbara replies she always loved him and thought they were in the same side, until he stalked and killed her friends and tried to kill her after torturing her.
Their argument gets heated. James argues he doesn't even want to hurt her anymore and he feels lonely. Barbara refuses his attempt at guilt-tripping her and argues back she only came because there's some serial killer who reminds her of him. James suggests it may be a "fan". He gets love letters from women craving for his attention and approval. James hands over his letters to Barbara in exchange for her visiting sometimes. Barbara replies she doesn't promise anything and leaves.
Barbara goes over her brother's fanmail and narrows her list of suspects down to two women. Both turn out to be false leads, though. James' letters are driving Barbara mad until it dawns on her that his letters are a misdirection. Barbara checks his visitation log for anything unusual, and finds he has been visited by a shrink, even though he hates them. She remembers his shrink's name from his letter box: Meredith Sherman, presenting herself as a Psychology student wanting to profile him for her doctoral thesis.
A bit of detective work discloses Meredith isn't a student at all. Batgirl sneaks into her apartment and confronts her. Meredith calmly confesses her crimes and then attacks Batgirl with a pepper spray and a butcher knife. However Barbara subjugates her swiftly and demands to know why she got in touch with her brother. Meredith reveals it was James who reached out to her, helped her refine her methods and pointed out she couldn't be called a real killer unless she tangled with a bat.
After turning her over to the police, Barbara goes to confront her brother, aware that he arranged all of it. Barbara ignores James' taunts and agrees to visit again. She doesn't know what game he is playing, but she supposes you need darkness to see the stars. She swears she will not let him dim her light and leaves.
James smiles, reflecting his sister isn't like the rest of the Bat-family. After all, back when they watched slasher films together she smiled, too. There's a darkness inside her, whether Barbara wants to admit it or not. Thinking the brightest star was the Devil before falling, he starts writing a new letter to another sloppy serial killer.
Appearing in "The Brightest Star in Heaven"
- Batgirl (Flashback and main story)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Detective Khatri
- James Gordon, Jr. (Flashback and main story)
- Doreen Mailer
- Kelly Gordon
- Meredith Sherman
- Cover gallery for the Batgirl Annual series
- Images from Batgirl Annual Vol 5 2
- Batgirl Recommended Reading