I found the last issue of Batgirl to be quite enjoyable and fun to read, despite some fan outcry of the book being bad or not like it used to be. Well whatever, it was a good new start to this series and now let’s see where this new issue can take us. Is it good?
Batgirl #36 (DC Comics)
Barbara is trying to rebuild/regain all of her information for her big college project of sorts that was lost when the laptop got wiped. When she’s at her college getting help on the matter, she encounters an odd duo of Japanese motorbike chicks doing donuts all over the place. She decides to confront them about this as she and Batgirl get an interesting result that leaves her with a blast from the past.
I like how she’s able to fit her entire costume into that one small bag.
One issue after the whole change in direction, Batgirl is still going strong and doing well. This is a very dense read, just like the first, really having a lot of things going on, and surprisingly, it does well with balancing them all. As such, the story here was a lot of fun and had many great moments and continued to progress the story and set up/develop several other storylines. Now, not every storyline introduced here hits the mark (like the whole college professor thing) for various reasons, but all of these stories and subplots truly make for a rather unique experience for a superhero comic and really make it stand out amongst the other DC Comics.
Between this and the previous issue, there were a couple of improvements in the story, writing, and depiction of the characters that had gotten a couple of complaints. The use of social media and similar “hip” things was toned down quite a bit and not as in your face as before. It’s certainly still there, but not as relevant and overdone. Barbara was portrayed as a much smarter and human individual, who made mistakes but still was quite smart and able to figure out problems that were thrown her way (like how she is able to defeat the villain and her scene in the Robotics Lab). She also didn’t get drunk or make out with someone here, so the prudish readers won’t have to blow a gasket over a human being around Barbara’s age acting their age. None of these issues bothered me personally, but if they turned off some readers last time, they don’t have to worry.
The writing on the book is still great and doesn’t have many problems at all. The characterization is great and still fits all the characters. Barbara especially comes out good here, showing her intelligence and a more human side to her (in particular with the flashback of her watching a show and with her dad. Really sweet scene). The dialogue is dense, but enjoyable and continues to have a lot of personality to it. The tone of the book is still upbeat and cheerful, keeping this book from feeling all mopey or the never ending parade of depression we previously got. The pacing is slow due to how much is going on in the book, but you don’t really notice it.
The artwork still really shines on the book and gives it so much personality, especially over most of the books DC or Marvel puts out. The layouts are great and well put together, making the book easy to read and the story to flow great from page to page. The characters have some similar faces, but otherwise look great as well and are so very expressive in their faces and body language. The action is fluid, and the coloring really also helps a lot, making the comic very vibrant and exciting. The art here easily makes me excited to see more of it in action.
Is It Good?
Batgirl #36 still remains very tonally different than the previous run and it’s all for the better. The story and characters are a ton of fun to read about, the writing is stellar and shines brightly, and the artwork is kinetic and really lovely to look at. This book is still definitely recommended and worth your time if you want something bright and colorful from your superhero books.
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