Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Simone, Syaf & Cifuentes
The first issue of Batgirl delivers an accessible, engaging and entertaining comic book that fulfills much of what DC hopes to do with their reboot, particularly with a character that has been drastically altered. I found the comic to bring the Barbara Gordon character to a stage where she is smart, but inexperienced while maintaining the same deep-thought character will recall from her Oracle days but all the while injecting a layer of fun that Oracle rarely provided. Overall, this is the kind of comic book that DC needs to keep creating and churning out in order to make this reboot a success with old and new fans alike.
Simone deals with the wheelchair issue immediately. I admire how Simone hits this topic head on. After Batgirl nearly botches stopping a home invasion in progress, Batgirl is confronted with a gun. She doesn't back down, but she also doesn't fully plan out her actions. She ends up getting very lucky in the process.
This encounter brings her back to the home invasion where the Joker shot her in the stomach. Batgirl was in a wheelchair for three years before getting the use of her legs back and then retraining to fight crime. This allows Simone to potentially call on more stories of Barbara Gordon in a wheelchair and it also gives Simone the ability to bring back stories when Batgirl was training with Batman. This all works very well and it also gives us a good introduction into who Batgirl is today.
Barbara Gordon is moving out of her Dad's house and into an apartment. This provides an opportunity to see into Gordon's private life and meet a new character, her roommate. It also allows the reader to understand her fears and the things she deals with both as Barbara Gordon and Batgirl. Overall, this issue gives good balance between Gordon and Batgirl as separate characters.
The ending brings in the villain of the first arc and pushes Batgirl into familiar territory. Batgirl stares down a gun and, again, hesitates. The ending is a superb way to end the first issue.
The artwork provides so much energy I think any reader is going to get immediately that Batgirl is a vibrant character. The coloring also just jumps off the pages, much as you would expect in a Green Lantern comic. I definitely could feel the energy coming out of every page and I think this helps to make the story come to life. I'm not sure I've ever seen Batgirl depicted so perfectly. This is an excellent visual story.
Simone has done a good job at introducing the Batgirl character and bringing the die-hard fans up to speed with regards to the wheelchair question. Some fans may not be happy with the answer, but Babs is younger and was probably never the Oracle of the DCU the last twenty years or so. However, this was probably the best of the reboot that I have read so far and I am definitely looking forward to the next issue. Simone definitely knows this character well and is bringing the fun Batgirl (like from the 1960s TV show) to life in the comic book. I definitely recommend checking this one out.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles