Here I am late as usual, but it wasn’t until recently that I was pointed in the direction of the New 52 Batgirl. I remember hearing about Gail Simone being fired after writing some great stories, Simone revealed that rather than leaving voluntarily, she had actually been fired off Batgirl by email, by the book’s new editor, Brian Cunningham. Which is lousy, especially since she has brought new life to a great old character that hadn’t been in the costume in years. She is currently back on the book and I am trying to catch up to see what the other writer did in her absence and see what she is doing now. Because these first two books seemed to be building towards something big and I cannot wait to find out what happens, thank you DC comics for coming to your senses. I am beginning to think DC comics needs to re-staff, but that is another article that should be written by a better informed person. But back to the review, these books were great. Oh and you all know I am not a big fan of the New 52, but this book is a stand out.
BATGIRL VOL. 1 THE DARKEST REFLECTION
The first book deals with Batgirl and her return to action. It takes place three years after the Killing Joke, it is established she was paraplegic after being shot by the Joker, Barbara Gordon having regained her mobility after undergoing experimental surgery at a South African clinic. She is just getting her legs back underneath her when she meets the villain of the story, Mirror. He pulls a gun on her and she freezes and he kills a man in a hospital. She deals with this a lot with in the two books. But through the story she grows and is able to work through issues.
The writing as I have said, terrific. Gail Simone is very good at getting into the head of Batgirl and really seems to give her a voice. There times while reading, I thought this would make a great television series. She is able to bounce through all parts of Batgirls life, as Batgirl, Barbara with her father and on moving in with a new roommate. The writing really kept in me into the story and honestly I ended up reading this very fast, it was that good.
The art is good, I think it would be nice to see a big Batgirl story with a top artist, this was good, but I feel there were some things that could have been done better, but still, it is not all that bad.
Overall this is a great book and if your a fan of the Bat-family, this is a must. My biggest issues with this are DC continuity problems, I know the New 52 and Flashpoint changed everything, but where is Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, the previous Batgirls? I do like the way Gail Simone danced around explaining everything, I do wonder if we will get mention of her being Oracle or if that is going to disappear from the continuity, with the terrible New 52. Batgirl is one of the better books coming from the New 52.
If you do buy the trade paperback, it has some cool behind the scenes, concept art and part of the script.
BATGIRL VOL. 2 KNIGHTFALL DESCENDS
It starts with the 0 issue that gives a peek at the origin of Batgirl and this is handle in a very unique way. It didn’t completely shit on the origin like some of the New 52 books have done, I am looking at Scott Snyder. Then it goes into the first story about a villain called Grotesque. We do get a visit from a couple of people in the book, Batman, and Batwoman shows up and kicks ass. It is funny Batgirl is called Batwoman a few times.
The main story woman sentenced to Arkham Asylum emerges more dangerous than the inmates she was locked up with. She calls herself Knightfall, we also see more of James Gordon, Jr. So like I said, it seems to be building to something bigger and I cannot wait to see where it goes.
The writing continues to be great and I think this is the second to last story arc before Gail Simone was fired or taken off the book.
The art is the same as the first book, except an appearance from Ed Benes who is actually pretty terrific.
Overall I really liked where this story is going and it again kept me into the book. Gail Simone is terrific and I cannot wait to read more, even if the next story arc is from the terrible Death of the Family story that covered the entire Bat-family and I still blame Scott Snyder, the main story, terrible…
So check out the Batgirl trades or check out the comic itself, really good stuff.