The GeeksverseBatgirl #1

Batgirl #1
Published on Friday, September 9, 2011 by

Written by: Gail Simone
Penciled by: Ardian Syaf
Inked by: Vicente Cifuentes
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover Art: Adam Hughes
Assistant Editor: Katie Kubert
Editor: Bobbie Chase

So Barbara Gordon is out of the wheelchair and back in the Batgirl costume. But the event that caused her to be in the wheelchair did happen in the revised continuity.

So let’s add it up. Super heroes started emerging 5 years ago (Justice League #1). Barbara says that it was 3 years ago that she got paralyzed. So in those two years Batman developed quite a team of young crimefighters.

The timing just seems odd. I think DC painted themselves into a corner by setting the date that super heroes emerged as 5 years ago. That’s an awful short amount of time for so many things to happen. Which is a topic for another column.

But that being said, Simone does a good job of handling it all in this issue. This is a Barbara Gordon that remembers what to do in costume, but she just doesn’t have the ability to do it right now after all that time in the wheelchair. She’s rusty and makes mistakes. So it has a new feel to it. It gives the book a refreshing tone.

It could have been serious, Barbara returning to crimefighting and picking up where she left off and being bitter about the time missed. But instead Simone gives it a light tone of fun. Barbara remarks about forgetting how much fun it was to crash through a window and a bad guy collapse underneath her.

There are some serious moments has Barbara has to face her fear over being paralyzed. It’s a legit fear. It’s something that could cause someone to be frozen in a crucial moment, like happens to Barbara. It all helps give the issue a realism to it. Anyone that has ever gotten injuried skiing (or something similar) and not been able to do it for a number of years, but then picks it up again would know what Barbara is going through. There’s the rush of doing it again, but behind it is the fear that you’re going to get hurt again. And then because you’re so worried you can easily cause it to happen.

My only complaint with the issue is that Babs doesn’t seem like Babs. There’s no indication that she spent any time as Oracle in this new continuity but she still comes across as a flighty teenager, somewhat like she was when she first put on the costume, prior to getting shot by the Joker. This actually read more like Stephanie Brown-Batgirl then Barbara Gordon-Batgirl.

Syaf’s art is decent enough. It’s technically sound, good layouts and decent storytelling. Some of the characters are weak in many panels but overall the art works solidly.

I do like the new Batgirl costume. Giving it an armor-feel is a nice tough.

Batgirl #1 receives
4 out of 5

It’s good to see Babs back in action and as a fan of the Stephanie Brown-Batgirl it’s nice to see that an aspect of her survived in Bab’s personality.

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