Batgirl #43

'Batgirl' #43 page art
'Batgirl' #43 page art
'Batgirl' #43 cover by David Lafuente, Anthony John Rauch, Jr. Babs Tarr & Des Taylor
‘Batgirl’ #43 cover by David Lafuente, Anthony John Rauch, Jr. Babs Tarr & Des Taylor
  • Written by Brenden Fletcher & Cameron Stewart
  • Pencils by Babs Tarr
  • Colored by Serge Lapointe
  • Cover by David Lafuente, Anthony John Rauch, Jr. Babs Tarr & Des Taylor

Tech genius Luke Fox has brought his startup to Burnside, and he seems to be hiring all of Barbara’s friends…but not her! Unfortunately, someone else is setting up shop in Burnside as well…the mysterious Velvet Tiger!

Pickup your copy of ‘Batgirl’ #43 from comixology.com here!

I read a lot of comics, roughly 20-25 titles per month, some I read even though they’re maybe in need of a creative kick up the arse and others I pick up randomly because there’s just so much buzz I have to give them a shot.

‘Batgirl’ was one of the ones I picked up just because there was so much buzz around the creative re-shuffle that lead Barbara Gordon to move to the Burnside area of Gotham and create the new costume that has made the title such a hit that its circulation has cracked 40k on several occasions this year (N.B. back in January is cracked the top 25 in estimated sales). At the time I was just curious as the book was so dark in the months prior that I was intrigued how it could carry off the planned changes.

That was then… now I’m putting serious consideration in to adding ‘Batgirl’ to my monthly subscriptions rather than a go out and buy it in the shop purchase.

There may be a little of the love-it-or-hate-it syndrome going on here, I don’t think that ‘Batgirl’ is for everybody but I can’t say enough about how you should give it a chance. The artwork, here provided by meteoric rising star Babs Tarr (pencils) and Serge Lapointe (colours) is so stand out for a comic and yet it evokes almost a feeling of a classic Disney cartoon in it’s atmosphere. If this were an animated movie Barbara would be the princess and most likely she would burst in to song.

The cynic in me picked up the first issue of this run expecting it to be squarely aimed at teenage girls and yes this book is now much more accessible to a younger and more female audience but that never feels like the sole motivation for the creative changes. There is nothing to put off other demographics in the audience, in fact the inclusion of LGBT characters only serves to make the book more inclusive to readers.

The overriding message here: DO NOT JUDGE THIS BOOK BY ITS COVER.

This is now the 11th issue of the newly minted ‘Batgirl’ so there’s a wealth of story for you to read if you’re just picking this up for the first time.

This issue, dubbed ‘Tooth & Claw’, is the beginning of a new arc featuring a villain that’s not one of the staples of the Bat-family books. The story itself focusses less on the villain and more on the supporting cast of the series, despite being a relatively short 20-pages there’s room of all of Barbara’s new group of friends and allies to appear.

The story of transgender, ex-housemate Alysia and partner Jo feels a little underdone, I don’t recall missing an issue but this has come about quite fast and it does feel as though there could have been more time spent developing their backstory.

The most intriguing characters are allies Qadir and Frankie. There’s an Oliver, Felicity and Diggle triad-in-development feeling in recent months. Qadir brings the technology and Frankie brings the cyber knowledge but also wants to bring the muscle. When she eventually steals the cowl, a plot point that feels as though it’s been foreshadowed for some time, and creates her own costume the gang finally feels as though it’s coming together.

Brenden Fletcher & Cameron Stewart have been able to craft a strong circle of friends for Barbara which sets her apart from the Nightwing/Grayson’s of this world and most other solo Bat-family titles. The crimes and eventual reveal of the villain are also second place to the ensemble cast but they’re still well developed will hopefully carry the next chapter of this story as the focus shifts.

There ‘Robin Son of Batman’ focusses on more fantastical elements of the DC Universe and ‘Grayson’ explores a world of spies ‘Batgirl’ is almost exploring the real world. ‘Batgirl’ feels like a very real-world story and a very practical hero for the modern age.

She’s not perfect… but then neither are we!

4 stars

 

 

4 stars

About Neil Vagg 2006 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG