‘Batgirl’ #7 is written by Hope Larson with pencils, inks & cover by Chris Wildgoose. Colours are by Mat Lopes.
‘Son of Penguin’ part one! Babs is back in Burnside! But everything’s… different-friends, school, even Burnside itself. Batgirl must determine her next steps when she realises that the shady new tech mogul moving into her neighbourhood is none other than the estranged son of the Penguin!
Batgirl is back in Burnside, a creative goldmine for the series. After a spell in Asia which stretched the books artistic muscles ‘Batgirl’ needed to get its groove back. Over the closing months of the New 52 era ‘Batgirl’ was one of DC Comics most consistent titles. It had killer artwork, great stories and most importantly a great cast.
With Barbara travelling for a while ‘Batgirl’ lost much of the supporting cast and with it much of its heart. Characters like Frankie and Alysia both appear pretty quickly in this issue and instantly help the world of ‘Batgirl’ feel much more real. It’s not that Barbara isn’t entertaining enough to carry the book by itself. It’s more that she needs people around her to propel the series forward. Without that it tends to stagnate and resort to stories about her love life.
That being said ‘Batgirl’ #7 does spend some time circling Barbara around Ethan Cobblepot in a romantic way. First though it reintroduces us to the world of Burnside and its new status quo. Having put Barbara in charge of Gordon Clean Electric before the end of New 52 it feels like a course correction to said her back to school here. Now she’s studying to be a librarian. A classic trait for the character which is a nice nod to old school comics.
A lesson learnt from the New 52 era seems to be the connection ‘Batgirl’ has to other series. Crossover events aside Barbara spent much of her first stint in Burnside separate from the rest of the Bat-family. Rather than have this Rebirth feel like a retreading writer Hope Larson instead includes a small moment for Barbara to catch up with Nightwing. Small moments like this really help to make ‘Batgirl’ be its most well rounded.
Overall this is a strong reintroduction with a compelling story. Ethan Cobblepot is clearly to become the focus. Here he is only a supporting character but one with enough intrigue to keep the reader interested. Outside of the story the artwork is back on form.
As I said earlier the previous issues in Rebirth have stretched the series artistically. This issue brings ‘Batgirl’ back to a sleek modern style which really suits its ethos. Chris Wildgoose brings a bit more depth to the art than Babs Tarr. Her artwork, though amazing, often caricatured an anime style. Wildgoose has similarities but has more of an American flare. Still the series looks great from start to finish.
‘Batgirl’ #7 is another Rebirth for the series. It’s a little like Barbara’s travels were a mini-Rebirth and this is now the series really finding its stride. There are great ties to the Bat-family and her supporting cast is back. The story is a slow burn but seems to be going to great places.
‘Batgirl’ #7 is available in store and online now!