- Written by Brendan Fletcher & Cameron Stewart
- Pencils & Inks by Bengal
- Colored by Serge Lapointe
- Cover by Babs Tarr
Velvet Tiger’s got her claws around Luke Fox’s throat—and only Batgirl can save him!
Pickup your copy of ‘Batgirl’ #43 from comixology.com here!
This has been a week of getting ourselves up-to-date with comics and after the fun I had reading issue #43 from last month (reviewed here) it didn’t not take me long to pick-up this one up to carry on the story.
‘Batgirl’ #44 picks up right where we left off with Barbara facing off against the newly minted Velvet Tiger (yes not Tigress as I first thought), who has successfully managed to tie herself in not just with Batgirl herself but with most of her supporting cast. Last month introduced Luke Fox to the work of ‘Batgirl’ giving him a break from his mantle as Batwing. I hadn’t expected the romantic connection between he and Barbara until seeing the cover art for this issue but more on that in a moment.
In my review of #43 I complemented the writers on creating a rich cast of characters to inhabit the world of Burnside, that continues here but what Fletcher and Stewart now do is pull everything together with Velvet Tiger targeting Qadir, Alysia and Jo dragged in to the action and Frankie making some very questionable choices in her quest to add some meaning to her life.
It’s a really clever way of bringing this generally separate cast of characters together, particularly given the nature of how vigilantism in comics very rarely allows the loved ones of its heroes to remain free of danger for very long. Barbara has often been a character who puts herself before her friends but also she is the supporting member of the Bat-family who surrounds herself with the most people outside of the crime-fighting life.
When I talk to fans of the book I often find that they say what brings them back each month is fact she is so easy to identify with. Where Bruce is Batman and generations of fans love the character it’s not as easy to identify with his wealth and power where Barbara is currently being portrayed as a student in rented accommodation living as very DIY lifestyle. That’s too easy to identify with right?
This month Babs Tarr steps back from pencilling the full issue and only provides the very spoilerish cover. The inside artwork is provided by artist Bengal. The artwork is a little less Disney than last month but there’s a connectivity to the style that means ‘Batgirl’ #44 still feels very much the same world as #43. The artists on ‘Batgirl’ clearly care more about the quality of the book then having their moment to shine and that is a quality I’m proud to say is being shown by a lot of the current crop of up-and-coming artists.
The story develops nicely throughout ‘Batgirl’ #44 coming to a nice semi-conclusion. There’s time for some development of the Velvet Tiger story, she’s a fairly generic villain and that is my only issue with ‘Batgirl as a series. There is still a complete lack of a rogues gallery which is born from ‘Batgirl’ lore. All of the villains created from this book follow the same generic structure and none are yet to be standout.
Issues with villains not withstanding my only complaint related directly to this issue is that the burgeoning romance between Luke and Barbara, it feels a little on the rushed side as he has only been appearing in ‘Batgirl’ for a short time but perhaps there is history there from the ‘Batwing’ series that I’m not aware of. It certainly fulfils the quota for an interracial relationship in a series which is already set to feature a transgender wedding. There’s a lot of boxes being ticked by ‘Batgirl’ but that is just a sign of the world we live in today.
Another issue of solid writing and solid artwork. All-in-all ‘Batgirl’ #44 only continues to prove that this is a book which has no issues maintaining quality.