Batgirl #35 is here. There’s an all new creative team on this New 52 book, and Babs has had to make a move. She heads to the outskirts of Gotham called Burnside. This will be a slightly SPOILER FILLED Review!
Before this NEW Era of BG started I sent Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher a few tweets on twitter. You can see the conversation by clicking HERE. So Gail Simone has left DC Comics over creative differences. Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr are the new creative team. I was very VERY skeptical about this new direction on writing and art. Everyone knows how much I WORSHIPED Gail Simone’s run on this book. She brought Babs back to life for me, she gave me interesting and new stories to read. She made the book moreso about the psychology of a super heroine than anything else. BG in the New 52 wasn’t just another female superhero in tights. Pasarin, Sampere, Glapion, Blond, and more KILLED it on the art. I loved nearly every minute of Batgirl’s New 52 title. Apparently Babs is 21 years old when Gail’s run began, and the way I saw her is that she aged over the last two years. Probably somewhere between the ages of 25 and 27 at the conclusion of Issue #34. Granted that’s just my own assumption. I figured she’d age up as the book went along. So it shocked me when Stewart told me in the new direction she’d be 21 years old. Plus when I saw the advanced previews of art, it was like they were turned BG into a kids book. Or I should say a teeny bopper book. I was not thrilled with that. And then I read the issue……………..So with my review of Gotham Academy #1 I started a new review process. Breaking the thoughts down into What I think does or does not work about each issue. This trend will continue here.
What Works: Honestly not much about this first issue worked for me. I did like how Stewart and Fletcher maintained the memory that Babs has. So that was interesting in the story. They even address the age thing, when Babs is stopping the guy who stole a laptop from the Bat Coffee shop. The crook says, “What are you fourteen?” To which Babs replies, “REALLY… I’m LEGAL Loser!” This writing sounds to me like she’s fourteen. I do like the mystery of someone potentially knowing who Barbara is in this new location so there is that. I also enjoyed HOW she took the villain down. Now let’s get to the other side of this coin shall we.
What Doesn’t Work: So I kinda started to talk about what doesn’t work in the what does work section. Honestly DC should have just rebooted with a new #1 instead of continuing the current book. Because this feels like so much of a departure in character for BG. Stewart and Fletcher lightly touch on Alyisa still being in Babs life, but EVERYTHING has to be bright shiny and NEW. I’m all for a fun lighter written Batgirl book, but after reading through this twice… this first issue did nothing for me on the writing side. Sorry guys. I do not care for the new roommates, and the assumption that GBG would have “relations” with someone she JUST met at a party no less. Then there is the whole thing about internet data collecting… REALLY???? They want to make this a commentary on what is going on in the real world? I understand making things lighter, but this is tooo teeny pop sugary for me.
What Works: Babs Tarr is new to comics as far as I know, and she is new to me. I do really love how they are calling back to the 60s Batman TV series with the costume. That is my favorite part about the art. Is the purple and yellow costume. The boots I could leave at the door though. Burnside being on the outskirts of Gotham looks as if it could be in another country. There are some things I like about it, for intance the coffee shop scene was very well done. And I liked how Tarr showed us Babs’s thinking process through the art. That was really cool.
What Doesn’t Work: A few of the backgrounds and character designs do not work for me. The art style overall is such a departure from what we had in the previous issues of the series. This is why I said why not just make this a NEW series. Other than the character designs, specifically Barbara’s roommates…. there isn’t much to complain about on the art. It’s going to take some getting used to though.
So….. a new team, a new part of town, a new costume…….I’m going to give this new team til issue #40 to really knock my socks off. Right now I’m mildly perturbed at the series, and mildly interested in where it’s going. This was not a HUGE win in my opinion, but it can improve.