Batgirl #3 Review

(My amazing Batgirl #3 review, in which I use a lot of slashes to convey meaning.)

Batgirl #3

Being a fangirl is all about your OTPs and by this I mean One True Pairing. For (crazed) fans of every subgenre of fiction, this exists for them. For example, a lot of peoples’ Harry Potter OTP is Harry/Hermione, though it does not exist. Some would argue Kirk/Spock, and for Gleeks, you have Kurt/Blaine or Finn/Rachel. For me, amongst the Batman realm, I most definitely believe that Batgirl/Nightwing is one of my OTPs. And if Batgirl/Nightwing = my OTP then Batgirl #3 is an issue that made me squeal with girlish delight. But not just because of the relationship aspects. Not by a long shot.

The issue opens up with Batgirl in the midst of Mirror’s intricate plot to carry out what he considers to be righteous work; what Batgirl surmises he must think to be ”God’s work”. He’s a zealot for revenge on the right people, in his mind. She thinks she has found the loophole in Mirror’s plan in Rupert Ansell but the fact of it is, Mirror has a far more intricate plot than she foresaw and it ends in an exploded El train.

What this leads to is a reevaluation of her current state. A lot of folks she knows questions her stability now that she is “a miracle”, as was smartly alluded to in the first few pages. I can see why Babs would be so defensive about it; she wants the freedom to live her life, now that she has the opportunity. I myself would not want to hear people around me being so cautious/negative.

The last half of this issue was, in my opinion, some of the finest writing/work within the Batgirl canon I have ever seen. I’m not trying to earn any brownie points with Gail Simone but she has clear control over this title and I absolutely love it! While busting her bike out of the impound lot, Babs acquires a stalker in one Richard Grayson (Squee #1.) Their interactions have the tell-tale signs of people who have known each other a long time, who have fought alongside each other, know each other’s weaknesses and strong points.

And we see a little of that in their back and forth; their conversation is full of things they want to say but don’t. (Squee #2.) Batgirl’s internal dialogue is so real and honest that I couldn’t help but feel in her shoes for that moment. She teeters on the edge of this new life that she had once thought was lost forever. And though she recognizes her need for support, especially from people who love her – as Richard admits – she still grapples with the idea of needing to do it alone. Because while she was in the chair, it was like she had to do it that way; there was no other way.

The flashback was wonderful in cementing their previous relationship but also justifying why she had to take the leap she does on the final page. The reader understands exactly what’s going on here but still feels the emotional connection these characters share, making everything that much more complicated.

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the best issue so far in this Batgirl reboot. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the tension between those two but it was an amazing dynamic and Simone owned it; her familiarity with these two shine through in the words and, coupled with Syaf’s and Cifuentes’ art, brought out a stark realness to the world of the Bats.


Pros Cons
Amazing command of the characters and deep emotional writing None, really

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  1. Wayland says:

    I, too, have always liked the Babs/Dick pairing, but since the DCNU seems to be trying hard to avoid anything like a committed relationship with very few exceptions, I’m concerned we won’t see much about it anytime soon.

    Liked the issue overall, my only real complaint is that if Babs has been out of action for three years, is “rusty” as she describes herself, there’s no way in the world she did that well against Nightwing in that sparring match.

    Loved it overall and good review.

  2. Claire Smith says:

    Thanks! Some others complained about its pacing but I argue that in all arcs, we have to get the in-between issues that address some of the emotional hang-ups characters have. I didn’t see too many problems with that aspect. But you’re right; she would have lost that match-up. :)

  3. nightoracle says:

    Great review. I loved the story, despite the fact it did seem so fast, (more like the pacing of a short-movie than a comic) and the sexual tension…whoo…worth every penny.

    Gail is my new favourite post reboot writer…and by the time Nightwing 4 rolls around there’s going to be another Babs/Dick team-up writen by my other favourite, Kyle Higgins! I can’t wait.