"Burned": Having moved out of her apartment in Cherry Hill, and into a new one in Burnside, Barbara Gordon receives a rude awakening from her new roommate Frankie and her friend Liz, urging her to get up and attend to he
- Gross. I'm glad these gloves put a layer between your face and my fists.
- — Batgirl
Synopsis for "Burned"
Having moved out of her apartment in Cherry Hill, and into a new one in Burnside, Barbara Gordon receives a rude awakening from her new roommate Frankie and her friend Liz, urging her to get up and attend to her guest. Woozily, Barbara shuffles out of her room, and is surprised to see a shirtless man named Troy waiting for her, whom Frankie assures her that Babs made out with until she finally pulled them apart and sent them to separate beds.
Hungover and seeking coffee, Barbara checks her messages on the way to Chiroptera. The funding for her graduate research on urban geography has been held up, and her bank account is overdrawn. A message from Alysia warns her not to party too hard, having heard Babs went out, the night before. Frankie, meanwhile, texts Troy's coffee order, to Barbara's dismay. As she places her orders, one of the shop's other patrons begins complaining that his tablet was stolen while he was in the bathroom. Despite her dishevelled stated, Barbara's eidetic memory is still intact, and she recalls that someone had left with a tablet just as she was coming in.
Considering the fastest route, she chases the thief down and corners him in an alley. He misjudges her by her youthful appearance, and is punished for it, taking a fist in the jaw. Though he gives up the stolen device, Barbara doesn't feel that serving justice was as satisfying as usual. Her exertion triggered her nausea, and she hurls into a nearby trash can.
Returning to her apartment, Babs is surprised and dismayed to find Dinah Drake sitting on her stairs - particularly since she had already warned Dinah that she didn't want to see her. Dinah apologizes, but admits that she's come because she needs help. Barbara tries to insist that she leave, but Dinah confides that she has nowhere to go. Her home - and the dojo beneath it - were burnt to the ground the night before. Everything she owns fits into her a single grocery bag. Worriedly, Barbara realizes that all of her equipment was hidden in Dinah's apartment while she moved. Angrily, Dinah accuses her of selfishness, reminding that it was her life that was taken from her, and insisting that if the fire was super-villain related, Babs will have to help her.
They head up to Babs' apartment, where Frankie demands the coffee that Barbara failed to get, and reacts with uncomfortable acquiescence when she is informed that Dinah will be staying a while. Barbara explains that her van's cameras upload directly to her laptop on a twenty minute delay, which means that she and Dinah can try to see how or when the fire started - except her laptop has gone missing. Worriedly, she asks Frankie if she saw her laptop last night, but Frankie can only tell her that Troy's phone is also missing - maybe they were robbed.
With difficulty, Barbara tries to focus on the events of the previous night. Though her memory of it all is fuzzy, it is still eidetic. Using it, she recalls a man who stood out from the others as not belonging there. Frankie identifies him as her friend Sevin's date for the night, of whom she disapproved. Barbara asks for Sevin's number, as well as Liz' friend Diane's, whom, Babs recalls from overhearing a conversation earlier that morning, had her phone stolen by a date she met on an app called Hooq.
In meeting both Sevin and Diane, Barbara learns that they both met bad dates on Hooq, called Jason and Andrew, respectively. Diane's date had started off well enough until he spilled a desert on her, and when she cleaned it off in the bathroom, she returned to find he'd stolen her phone and left. Sevin suspected from the beginning that his date wasn't even gay, and it went so badly that he wouldn't be surprised at all if Jason had stolen Barbara's laptop and Troy's phone, too.
For research purposes, Barbara asks Frankie to help her set up a dating profile on Hooq. Gleefully, Frankie gives her a makeover for her profile photo. She then insists on writing Barbara's profile for her, reminding that as an employee of Hooq, she knows exactly what the boys are looking for in a profile.
While she waits for her profile to garner attention, Barbara sets to work at making herself a new Batgirl uniform. Soon, she receives a message from a man calling himself Brad, and she recognizes him immediately as the same man that Sevin had brought to the party.
Moments before the agreed upon time to meet, Barbara sends "Brad" a message to cancel, but Batgirl arrives right on time, and calls him out on his crimes. He makes a run for it, showing his guilt, and so she beats him into submission, taking his phone from him, learning with some amusement that his real name is Frederick Ernest Butteroil. He admits under duress that he is stealing devices for someone called Riot Black, whom Barbara has heard of before. Grumpily, she wipes his phone and leaves something on it for Black, insisting that Frederick put the phone right into Riot Black's hands.
Riot Black is essentially an online extortionist, using a website called The Black Book to blackmail people by leaking sensitive data about them. It had been shut down once already, but a relaunch party is being held at a Burnside club, where Batgirl prepares to confront Riot Black and put a stop to his crimes. She warns that she has evidence that he's obtaining private data illegally, and offers him just one chance to delete it. When he refuses, she attacks, but it becomes clear that she can't take him down the easy way, thanks to a flash drive inside his head. So, she offers a deal. If he will give up the data, she will give him the more valuable data that is her secret identity. He demands that the evidence of her identity be sent via an app, but instead of a picture of her unmasked face, he receives an image with a QR Code with an embedded worm virus that begins deleting all of the data within the implanted flash drive - including all of the stuff he intended to blackmail people with.
Despite her victory, Barbara's own school work and files have also been wiped clean. She'll have to start from scratch. Sympathizing, Frankie confesses that she slept with Troy after Babs went to sleep at the party, which doesn't bother Barbara much, though she thought Frankie was exclusively a lesbian. Dinah interrupts, grumpily, wanting to sleep on the couch, and Barbara warns her that she could be nicer, but Dinah's mood after losing her home can't be improved. Guiltily, Barbara admits that she is concerned that the fire might have been her fault, caused by Riot Black triggering an incendiary in her van via her stolen laptop. This only serves to enrage Dinah more - but Barbara is distracted from dealing with it when she receives a text message from someone who seems to know her secret identity, and claims that Batgirl isn't cut out to protect Burnside.
Appearing in "Burned"
- Riot Black (First appearance)
- Frederick Ernest Butteroil (First appearance)
- Troy (First appearance)
- Sevin Gupta (First appearance)
- Diane (First appearance)
- Ben Wiley (First appearance)
- Natasha Holloway (First appearance)
- Donna (First appearance)
- This issue is reprinted in the Batgirl: The Batgirl of Burnside collection.
- This issue is the debut of the 4th Batgirl costume in the Prime Earth reality.
- The 1st one showed up in Batgirl Vol. 4 #0, and 2nd in Nightwing Annual Vol. 3 #1.
- Batgirl Recommended Reading