Written by: Gail Simone
Like many avid fans out there, I was a little disappointed to hear that Barbara Gordon would “magically” regain the use of her legs, forego the title of Oracle, and dawn the mantle of Batgirl once again. As a matter of fact, this was another check in the con column as I tried to decide if I would support DC’s reboot. When I saw that Gail Simone would be writing the book, my skepticism began to change. In the past year or two, I have become a big fan of her writing, and I thought, “If she is leaving Birds of Prey, at least she is still writing Barbara.” Wednesday marked the release of Batgirl #1, and now that I have completed reading it, it is time for a review.
The first thing you will see when you pick up this book is a nice bright colorful cover. Batgirl has a great big smile on her face, and you may expect a nice happy book. As you open the book and read through this first installment of Batgirl, you continue to get the feel that this is a happy book, if you are only paying attention to the art. That is an important point, as the content of the book was actual quite dark. Dark to the tone of criminals engaged in home invasions, including the invaders telling the family what they would do to them and even showing images of their previous crimes. So from my perspective, the art did not seem to match the mood of the book, but I do believe the art was well done. The art continued to point me to where I should be reading next, and it was done in such a way that I wanted to keep reading the book. (3.5 out of 5)
One of the things I really liked about Birds of Prey was the intelligence of Oracle (Barbara Gordon). Under her persona as Oracle, she truly utilized the her abilities that remained, and became a terror to others in the world of technology. As I read this new story I immediately began to miss the Barbara I had grown to admire. This new version has no doubt lived through some horrific events, and is working to help others which is truly admirable, but an intelligent, calculated hero that can still kick some butt is always more appealing to me.
I mentioned that the colors and art of the book did not seem to fit the mood of the book to me, and that is directly related to the story. In this first installment, we see a family being held hostage by criminals conducting a home invasion. The criminals are quickly painted as the worst type, by showing how they plan to kill the family, the fact that they performed similar horrific acts before, and that they will enjoy doing it again. Fortunately, for the family Batgirl, a victim of a horrific home invasion herself, comes to their aid. While saving the family, Batgirl thinks back to the reasons that her arms are stronger, and the feeling of stopping a criminal with her feet. I believe this is Gail’s way of showing everyone that home invasion that paralyzed Barbara did in fact still occur in this universe. There are several other mentions in the book about the event, but I will leave those to you to see for yourself.
Needless to say, the story material of this book is very dark. A home is everyone’s safe haven, and the mere thought of having it invaded steals any sense of security that an individual may have once maintained. Overall, the story was not that interesting to me. There are several moments in the book that I found the writing to be very strong, and really pointing to Batgirl’s past, and the impact that it still has on her to this current day. However, with the soon to be released Batwoman title, that function is already fulfilled for me, and Batgirl doesn’t add any true value to the new universe, in my opinion. (2.5 out of 5)
Would I read it again?
I believe that I will be removing this from my subscription, as it did not interest me enough to purchase the book anymore. There is nothing about this story that I find interesting enough to keep my attention, or worth my money as I continue to evaluate my purchases from the new 52. (0 out of 5)
This was just not a story I am interested in reading.
Read it again?
Overall (not an average)