writer: Dylan Horrocks
artists: Rick Leonardi and Jesse Delperdang
we given a special glow to the number 50? With the industry
being as spotty as it has been, really, having Batgirl
survive to 48 issues should have been the milestone - four
years! Amazing! Especially when the book is about a barely
verbal teen-aged girl that prefers to communicate by kicking
when put that way and considering the larger demographic,
it's amazing that this book isn't being put out weekly.
as it may, though the character herself was interesting from
inception, the book never held much fascination for me. A
new art team came in a few months ago that I liked better,
but it still wasn't enough to really hook me.
with this milestone issue the character works completely.
Framed within the larger context of the Bat-family fighting
to break up the distribution of a dangerous new drug on the
street, writer Horrocks works out a confrontation between
Batgirl and surrogate-father Batman in the only way that the
girl can truly communicate. On the fringes of their battle,
the rest of the family tries to put a lid on the chaos in
the streets of Gotham while keeping their cool about the central
Horrocks the chance to show why the "family" works. Both sons,
Robin and Nightwing, deal with it differently. Tim Drake easily
plays psychological games with the supplier of "Soul," Dr.
Death, with a confidence lacking in Nightwing. For his part,
as has been touched on before, Dick Grayson loses some of
his competence when fearing for Batman's well-being. (The
drug, which amplifies rage in its users, has affected The
Dark Knight.) In the Mother Hen role, Oracle calmly deals
with her own helplessness. What can you do when the
two best fighters are going at each other?
main fight actually makes sense, really using Cassandra's
background as the driving force for the combat and the plot.
Too often, her "language of violence" gets a cursory nod,
buried as the reason for why this book features an inordinate
amount of fight scenes. It's good to see it brought back into
focus, though it would be nice to occasionally move past it.
ways, though, it's clear that Cassandra is moving past
some of her hang-ups. I missed whichever issue she finally
altered her costume to a look closer to Barbara's old one.
It could have been a marketing move for licensing, but it
feels right to move her more firmly into the legacy of the
bats, instead of just wearing The Huntress' cast-off uniform.
also feels right is the art team. Though the book still has
a unique look, with Delperdang's inking definitely highlighting
shiny rubber, vinyl and leather, there are panels where Leonardi's
pencils combined with the inks could have easily been taken
from Dick Giordano's Batman run in the seventies. It
makes sense to give Batgirl the occasional nostalgic look,
as she struggles to follow in the footsteps of a character
whose heyday really was back when comics were "…still only
still isn't my favorite character, but DC has a good team
turning out solid work on the book, and this milestone issue
makes a decent place to jump aboard.