Review: Batgirl #35
Written by CAMERON STEWART and BRENDEN FLETCHER
Art by BABS TARR
Cover by CAMERON STEWART
MONSTERS Variant cover by KEVIN NOWLAN
FC /$2.99 US / RATED T
Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes… so when a fire destroys everything she owned, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life — and seizes it! Following the rest of Gotham’s young adults to the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new Batgirl… and discovers all-new threats preying on her peers! It’s a re-invention of Batgirl from the boots up, by the incredible creative team of Cameron Stewart (BATMAN INC.), Brenden Fletcher (WEDNESDAY COMICS), and rising star Babs Tarr!
There was a lot of positive reaction to Batgirl’s new costume when this issue was announced. It was only natural that I would want to review it when it came out. I haven’t read Batgirl since the New 52 started three years ago, and stopped pretty much three issues into it. I was disillusioned with most of the New 52, and since I’d yet to start writing for the site, I didn’t feel obligated to continue with a book I wasn’t 100% enthusiastic about reading every month.
This is a perfect jumping on point for new readers as it gives Barbara Gordon a new start. It establishes her as a person before jumping firmly into her role as Batgirl, although it is revealed very matter of fact, and if there’s one bit of common knowledge a new reader should have going in, it’s that Barbara Gordon is Batgirl.
I don’t quite care for Barbara waking up hungover and forgetting about making out with a guy at a party the night before. After that, her story flows pretty naturally, with Barbara written as a typical 19-year old, who despite being extraordinarily intelligent, makes some bad decisions. One of those decisions leads to the creation of her new costume when Black Canary’s base of operations burns down, taking with it, all of her gear. This leaves Barbara to use what she can to stop a data thief, mainly social media. Hopefully this trend of the underfunded Batgirl continues for a few issues without Bruce Wayne coming to her financial rescue. Black Canary sleeping on the couch could make for some good play especially if the tension introduced at the end of the story is true. The best element in the story is Barabara’s nigh-photographic memory. Given her past using librarian-like skills, I find it very believable that her mind works like a computer, searching her knowledge as she needs to pull up information.
Overall, the book is very satisfying, although sometimes Barbara is written too much like a stereotype, with the Batgirl skills wedged on top of them. The neighborhood or Burnside is very nicely fleshed out, and seeing more of it might be as interesting as seeing Batgirl’s adventures. If Batgirl’s old roommate, Alysia is forgotten, it will be very sad, that the only transgender character in the DC Universe is gone. I recommend the book, and I will continue to read iot, as long as the quality continues to be at this level.