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Batgirl: Endgame #1

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'Batgirl: Endgame' #1 cover art by Rafael Albuquerque
'Batgirl: Endgame' #1 cover art by  Rafael Albuquerque

‘Batgirl: Endgame’ #1 cover art by Rafael Albuquerque

With the ‘Endgame’ storyline drawing to a close in the mainstream ‘Batman’ comics DC are turning their hand to the remaining members of the Bat-family to spin off the story in to a series of one-shots. Up first for release this week alongside its normal monthly release is ‘Batgirl: Endgame’ #1.

Unfortunately for writers Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart ‘Batgirl: Endgame’ ended up being released in a week where ‘Batgirl’ comics stole many headlines for all the wrong reasons (which you can read about here).

Stepping aside from the controversy ‘Batgirl: Endgame’ is an interesting mix of the current ‘Batgirl’ comics lighter tone and the disaster movie feel of the ‘Endgame’ arc.

For those who are a little out of touch with the world of Barbara Gordon she recently moved to the Burnside neighbourhood of Gotham, got a new costume and started back at square-one in the hero game. The storyline has worked well and kept the focus firmly on the creative aspect of the book rather than focussing on the fact that between issues ‘Batgirl’ went from a seriously dark and twisty series to a teen-dramedy with quirky artwork to boot.

As I’ve said ‘Batgirl: Endgame’ is a hybrid of this new Batgirl sensibility and the epic nature of Scott Snyder’s ‘Batman’ series. Amazingly the book works with almost nothing by way of dialogue. The ‘Batgirl’ series is very much social media focussed to bring it in to the modern era and using that aspect this ‘Endgame’ issue is almost an advert for that, though not enough of one for me to call this a cash cow.

Fletcher and Stewart take the social media aspect of the main series and use it as the crux of a rescue mission for the Burnside neighbourhood. Instead of playing up the teen-dramedy they switch it up and show how social media could, albeit by stretching the imagination of using emoticons, be used in a life or death situation.

That’s not to say the lack of dialogue makes perfect sense throughout. With hordes of infected chasing after similar hordes of Gotham’s citizens somebody somewhere should be screaming for help but oddly the entire cast remains silent throughout.

With very little dialogue to be used the book hinges on the artwork of Bengal. The artwork in ‘Batgirl: Endgame’ reflects the work of Babs Tarr in the mainstream series but takes on a more straightedged and serious tone. Where facial expressions are often bemused and played for comedy value in ‘Batgirl’ in ‘Endgame’ they’re very strained and much more seriously emotive and it works well. The story doesn’t feel unfamiliar or dishonest to the mainstream series but also doesn’t mock the work that Snyder and Greg Capullo are doing elsewhere in the ‘Batman’ series.

One-shot comics are a difficult medium to define as they’re not necessary reading for fans of the mainstream series or fans of the story they’re spinning out from which begs the question: why do they exist? Why should I read them?

I can’t answer that for all one-shot comics but for ‘Batgirl: Endgame’ my answer would be that it gives a wider context to the ‘Endgame’ story and is a shining example of an unorthodox construct for comics with its complete lack of dialogue.

Pickup your copy of ‘Batgirl: Endgame’ # at Comixology!

3 stars

 

 

 

3 stars

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