Review: Batgirl #39

I was really just looking for something to review and decided to revisit Batgirl, despite Barbara Gordon not acting much like the Batgirl I’ve come to know. It looks like all of that was part of story, but to say more than that would be spoiling it.

Batgirl-039BATGIRL #39

Written by CAMERON STEWART and BRENDEN FLETCHER
Art by BABS TARR
Cover by CAMERON STEWART
HARLEY QUINN Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale FEBRUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Solicitation:

For months, Batgirl’s been hounded by an unseen threat claiming to be the “real” Batgirl…and the truth of her enemy’s identity will shock her to her very core!

Batgirl-039page4Review:

This run of Batgirl started very strong but started to flounder with some bad characterization and a villain in an issue that was a horribly insensitive stereotype. In my review of the previous issue, I pointed out that Batgirl wasn’t acting very much like Batgirl. Now we are seeing the part of the story that explains that. I hope that Stewart and Fletcher had that planned.

The reveal at the end is a genuine cliffhanger, although I dislike having to go to Secret Origins #10 to continue the story. The artwork by Babs Tarr is good as always, making Burnside a real place, and populating it with realistic people, not just a bunch of hipsters and college students but people that look like they’ve lived there for years. Everything is consistent even as the story varies its locations and times of day.

Overall, this issue is the justification for a series that has seen the quality of its story vary so much, it becomes obvious that what we’re reading is a longer book that is being broken down into smaller chapters. I don’t know that I approve of this, as this story might have been better served as a stand-alone graphic novel rather than the trade paperback it’s going to be.