Review: Batgirl #38

bg038Since the launch of the new creative team on this title, this series has been less of a pure comic book superhero series and more of a hybrid with other elements, notably a story line which closely mirrors that of new adult fiction.  So far it has been a refreshing take on the superhero genre, instead of infallible and inhuman superheroes, the reader is treated to a hero that is forced to deal with the problems of day-to-day life in addition to the perils of superheroics.  So far one of the major themes that this series has been focusing on is the spread and importance of social media in young people’s lives, in that it is essentially something that is impossible to live without in the modern day.  This issue focuses once again on this same theme, here pitting Barbara against a living representation of the easy-social-media-celebrity, a reality television star that breaks the rules and gets away with it.  In this case the villain is no real supervillain, rather just a drag racer that gets away with it because of celebrity.

While this forms the backbone of the story, there is more going on here, in that there are some personal developments for Barbara, as Dinah continues to act as an unlikely voice of reason, sometimes in unforeseen or unconventional ways.  The story here does get a little bit weaker towards the end.  There are some consequences of Barbara’s heroics that she did not realize, and what is worse is that she only seems to get the message by checking into her social media account and seeing what it is that people think of her and how quickly their opinions have changed.  It highlights one of the problems going forward for this series, in that it is OK to explore such a theme as the proliferation o social media, but that other themes also need to be explored.  If this just becomes an odyssey of a heroine to balance her superheroics and her twitter account, then there is not going to be as much promise here in the long run, even if the new direction is impressive.

As an entire experience, the story here comes across, even with the reliance on the same general theme for storytelling.  There are a lot more directions in which to point this series while still staying edgy, and the creative team is talented enough to do so.  There is no sense of immediacy yet, because they are still keeping the story relevant, well paced and full of strong characters.  This issue is proof of what the ensemble is capable of, still ending up being a good finished product, even if there is a minor cause for concern.

Story: Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher  Art: Babs Tarr
Story:  8.6 Art: 8.8  Overall: 8.6  Recommendation: Buy