- Written by Brenden Fletcher & Cameron Stewart
- Pencils by Babs Tarr
- Colours by Serge Lapointe
- Cover by Babs Tarr
As Barbara’s friends gather for a major celebration, a familiar face from her past returns—and he’s got a lot to say about their future together!
Pickup your copy of ‘Batgirl’ #45 at Comixology now!
After riding high over the last few months for me ‘Batgirl’ hits somewhat of a low point this month with #45 and sadly it’s all because of that damn Dick Grayson!
Dick and Barbara have, to comics fans, decades of history. I even touched on it with my review of ‘Grayson’ #12 (here) because both of these characters seem crucial in the current DC Comics universe and his reappearance in Gotham couldn’t fail to have an effect of all corners of the Bat-family. With that in mind this issue really needed to deliver on reuniting the two characters in a way that serviced both of them well, felt organic to the story and that would excite fans… sadly this Grayson guest spot feels nothing beyond forced and paints neither character in a good light.
Lets lay down some context first: it’s Alysia and Jo’s wedding, our fair Barbara is in charge of making sure the day goes smoothly so along with her wedding day survival kit she is prepared for lost earrings, lipstick stains and emergency deodorant sprays for all. It’s a particularly light day in the world of the ‘Batgirl’ and things have been pretty light in her world for months now.
Barbara has even brought new boyfriend Luke to the party, pushing the development of their relationship a little further.
The bump in the road comes when the wedding prep is interrupted by the arrival of Dick Grayson, fresh from their deep-and-meaningful conversation in ‘Grayson’ #12, he’s looking to spend some quality time with Barbara regardless of the fact he witnesses a clearly romantic exchange between her and Luke.
Convincing her to leave Luke behind at the part Grayson leads Barbara up to the roof and persuades her in to a chase across the rooftops by stealing the brides wedding ring-to-be.
As there’s no villain to be defeated this month the only in-costume action comes when she decides to ditch the bridesmaid dress for her costume in order not to ruin it. There are some nice exchanges between Barbara and Dick ruminating on their shared pasts however convincing her to ditch Luke at a wedding full of people he doesn’t know was unfair and brought out some of her more selfish qualities. In the story it all makes sense with the two reminiscing about fighting killer moth and how much of an impression she made on him when they first met.
There’s definitely an aspect of recapturing that feeling of fun that the two had back when Dick was Robin but the two have been through too much and are no longer those same people.
After a quick dash across the rooftops Grayson makes the disastrous move of telling Barbara how he still feels for her and the fun is ruined. She apologetically returns to Luke and the wedding and Dick is forced to watch on as Barbara lives her life without him.
The whole issue is an exercise in self indulgence, albeit an incredibly well drawn one. The script and the artwork for ‘Batgirl’ #45 both maintain the standards we’ve come to expect from recent issues. The dialogue is witty and perfectly fits the visual and emotional nature of the title and the artwork perfectly accompanies it. There’s definitely some style of substance going on with ‘Batgirl’ these days BUT that’s not a bad thing given than that it’s a near perfect reflection of culture today. Make no mistake the book is not written this way out of error, it’s this way on purpose and it works.
The artwork is going to continue to be the aspect of ‘Batgirl’ that keeps me coming back each month until such time as Burnside warrants an incredible story of its own.
‘Batgirl’ #45 is by no means a fail. It serves as a bookend to the Dick/Barbara relationship which hopefully will allow her to move on with Luke, the nice guy who is bound to end up in danger at some point because of it. For Barbara fans it gives a good reason to route for Luke but for fans of the wider Bat-family it doesn’t serve to move either characters story forwards.