Cover by Alex Garner
Written by Gail Simone
Colours by Fernando Pasarin
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
‘Batgirl: Wanted’ kicks off this month in the wake of the events which have seen Barbara lose her brother and cut off the bat-logo from her costume.
I’ve read a lot of reviews of this title over the last two years and most have veered from exceedingly positive to equally as negative. In terms of recent issues it seems that many of the critics are taking issue with the levels of violence and also the somewhat depressed, downtrodden emotional nature of the stories.
I for one do not agree with these opinions.
I would be first to admit that I predominantly read comics with male heroes: ‘Batman’, ‘Nightwing’, ‘TMNT’ etc… and the closest that I got to reading a female headlined title is ‘Justice League’.
I will also admit that at the ripe old age of 17 I was a fan of the ‘Birds of Prey’ TV series and subsequently have read some of their old TPBs and now the ongoing New 52 title.
I don’t believe that comics headlined by female characters need to try any harder to fit in with all the males however I do believe that having a female lead does by nature allow the stories to have a much wider breadth of emotion and ‘Batgirl’ showcases this brilliantly.
What Simone does so masterfully in this series is take the emotional struggles of the character dress them up brilliantly in the kinds of stories that comic book readers expect from the Bat-verse.
Going in to this arc I had some genuine concerns such as with the removal of the logo from the chest plate of her costume as although a hugely symbolic visual in the story it’s somewhat watered down by the fact her cowl still has ears and her utility belt is still packed with bat-shaped gadgets.
Thankfully any fears I did have were quickly allayed by the quality of the story. There’s a huge sense of urgency in this issue, events are moving quickly and dramatically and with a decent amount of drama. There are also several story threads which are all running tandem which I have no doubt will come together at some point in to a massive crescendo.
I’ve spent so long on the story I’ve not touched on the art! ‘Batgirl’ has a great mix of scenery to character moments, the added emotions are equally well conveyed by the art as they are by the script.
I wouldn’t say that the art in this book is breaking any new ground but what it is most definitely is month-on-month is consistent. The level of quality here has been set and is maintained from issue to issue without fail.
If you haven’t dipped in to the Batgirl-universe as yet then this issue is a brilliant jumping off point in to the best arc this book has seen as part of The New 52.