Though I miss Stephanie Brown already, this issue did not fail to impress me with Barbara Gordon back at the Batgirl helm.
I had to read this issue twice and let the events sink in. Admittedly, I wasn’t blown away upon first read-through. Maybe this is because – even though it was JUST released – people kept telling me how amazing Batgirl #1 was supposed to be. The more I ruminated on what all went on in this issue, the more I came to like what Gail Simone is doing now that she’s taken the wheel.
We begin with a list; clearly a list of folks who need to die. Someone – someone we find out names himself The Mirror – has a vendetta. And at the bottom of said list is Barbara Gordon.
We flash to her current situation wherein she’s tracked some punks who are holding random folks hostage. The cool thing at work here, as we get to the title splash page, is the reintroduction to Barbara as Batgirl. The dynamic going on is that she admits to herself that she’s a little rusty. She has to remind herself that she at least has the upper body strength and she was once Batman’s star pupil. She bobbles the rescue/fight a bit; it isn’t perfect but for what we assume is her first bad guy foil since reclaiming the title, she hangs on pretty well.
The big theme going on in this issue is fear. Her fear. And who could blame her? If you’ve ever read The Killing Joke, then you know how awful it was for her. We get a nice flashback page of the encounter with Joker that left her paralyzed and it is poignant and dark, which is something I secretly wished for in this new #1.
After a brief chat with dad, we switch to a moving day scene. Though not a whole lot seems to be going on here, it’s a subtle nod to what Barbara must obviously do: become independent once more. Through finding a place and a roommate, she’s asserting herself back into the world of the able-bodied, which she is exceedingly thankful for, even though there are still triggers. It pops up in a conversation with the new roomie. I tell you, I really like the subtly of the HUGE fact that she can walk again. This was my biggest reservation about the reboot of this title. Because I honestly got a little miffed with DC when I heard about it. I mean, she was a very strong character as Oracle. She spoke volumes to what can be done regardless of your mobility restraints. I found it very forward-thinking of DC to pursue that entire story-line with her. I was thoroughly angry when they announced she’d be back in the cape and walking.
BUT, to Gail Simone’s credit, it was not cheesy or dumb and I bought it. I am sure we’ll get more details as the series goes on but I am happy to report that I did enjoy this issue. The end opened up a load of possibilities and I am excited to read more. I was not previously familiar with Ardian Syaf’s work but I dug it. It’s realistic and, at times, gritty, setting the emotional tone. All in all, I cannot wait to see where this title will take us in the next year.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great reintroduction of Babs as Batgirl||Still unsure about the walking thing, as a long time reader of the character|
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