Review: Batgirls #1

Batgirls #1

It’s been building to this for a while, and they’re finally here in their own series! Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, and Barbara Gordon, aka Oracle now have their own series and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. They not only need to get used to a new headquarters, and living together, but they need to deal with the mysterious hacker Seer and some really bad public relations. There’s also curfew too. Batgirls #1 brings everything together for a solid debut that should leave fans of the characters and new readers very pleased.

Written by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, Batgirls #1 picks up on the storylines that have been seeded in other series in previous months. The old bell tower is trashed and Cassandra and Stephanie have been framed to look like terrorists. There’s also the hacker Seer who is giving Oracle a run for her money and forcing all the old tech tricks to be thrown out the window.

Batgirls #1 feels like it is going a similar route as the recent Batman storylines in that it takes the characters back to basics. All the crazy contraptions and supercomputers are gone making things a bit more grounded. Like Bruce Wayne losing his fortune, Barbara has lost her amazing network and must start over with a low-tech solution to try to achieve a lot of what she was already doing. Out are the amazing communication systems and in are walkie-talkies.

There’s also a focus on public perception which has been key in the Batman mythos since early on. The Batgirls have been framed and the public think they’re dangerous. They can’t go out and fight crime as easily as they once did so need to go back to sneaking around and keeping a lower profile. That’s at the behest of Barbara who acts as a mentor to the two. The dynamic of the trio is great and you have two young and brash individuals with the much more pragmatic and conservative approach to things. The interactions of them all are great and sure to make the series really stand out especially compared to the relationship between Batman and Robin. It’s a very different take on things that so far really stands out.

Jorge Corona‘s art style pops. With color by Sarah Stern and lettering by Becca Carey, the comic has a look that mixes youthful exuberance and energy with the chaotic aspects of the story. With blues and greens, purples, and pinks, the comic has a look about it that stands out from the shelves. It’s unique and different delivering a visual treat where the look matches the content well. Corona’s fights have a energy and flair about them that captures the duo in the center. There’s also a solid switch from the action and humor to some horror for a bit too. The art fits the comic so well and is another reason this debut issue stands out.

Batgirls #1 is a great balance of action, humor, and mystery. While it continues the back-up shorts, the first issue is a “fresh start” that new readers can easily pick up and enjoy and long time readers will want to see what’s next. There’s so much packed in a comic that knows what it is from the start and makes its vision and voice clear. One hell of a debut and great start to help wrap up DC’s year.

Story: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad Art: Jorge Corona
Color: Sarah Stern Letterer: Becca Carey
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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