Arguably one of the best ongoing series in the DCU before the Reboot, Batgirl was a hard one to see revamped. I will be reviewing Bryan Q. Miller’s two-year run on the title in an upcoming Bin Fodder but, as it was made clear to me by many fans of the title, seeing Batgirl changed was one of the tragedies that fans of DC just had to swallow.
First, let’s address the issue of what is going on with the character. Barbara Gordon has reprised her role as a caped crusader. After “miraculously” regaining the ability to walk she has stepped (literally) away from her role as Oracle and is Batgirl once more. I’m a bit confused by this. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
From my limited understanding of what went on in Flashpoint it wasn’t as if Flash did some kind of magic surgery on Barbara while he was doing all that time-travel running. Right? If he did, that would be pretty awesome. But I don’t think that’s what happened.
I have no apprehension about Gordon regaining her position in the Bat-hierarchy and I have a lot of faith in Gail Simone as a writer to make it a quality book. But, ok stick with me on this one…Action Comics is in the past, Detective Comics is in the past. So why not just do that with Batgirl? Why even acknowledge that she was shot and is now magically fine?
I’m really hoping that this gets explained somewhere along the way as the series progresses but for now this is a major negative mark against the title.
It wouldn’t be a bat-title without some ass-kicking though, right? Simone knows how to bring it, check out this panel from Batgirl’s first altercation.
The story of issue one spends a lot of time reflecting on how Barbara is changing as she transitions back into the role of a crime-fighter from a crime-preventer. We see her move out of her father’s house and we see how she’s still using her wheelchair transport van, now retro-fitted to accommodate her bat-cycle.
Speaking of bat-cycles, she uses hers to ride through a hospital entry-way, into an elevator (I always did hate when movies/tv/comics show people on motorcycles in elevators) and then down the hallway into the room of a man being attacked by the villain of this first story arc: the Mirror. Really? Seriously? Someone who was, until very recently, a paraplegic has such little regard for the safety of others or what could happen to any of the people she could potential run down with her bike?
Ok, rant on bat-cycles over. Moving on.
Gordon as Batgirl gets a thumbs up. Gail Simone writing gets a big thumbs up. The explanation of how Gordon can now walk and is already back on the bat-pack is distressingly poor and gets a big thumbs down. Overall the series may be a success, but for a first issue that should have either done a much better job of explaining how she regained her ability to walk or ignored it completely, Batgirl issue one gets a middle of the road rating of Queen.
The best is yet to come so keep your eyes (and browsers) open on 8DaysAGeek all month long as we tackle the biggest story in comics!
This is your Bin Fodder Guru Tim Blacksmith signing off.
p.s. Did you spot the hooded lady? I’ve included a picture below. She keeps showing up in the strangest places! Who is she? What’s her impact going to be on the new DCU? Discuss below in comments!!!