Batgirl 36 Review

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Posted November 18, 2014 by Henry Varona in Comic Books

Written by: Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher

Art by: Babs Tarr and Maris Wicks

Publisher: DC Comics

Last month, Batgirl got a shot in the arm that saw a drastic jump in sales and excitement about the character. Whether you were a fan of change or afraid of the times, you were talking about Batgirl. However, it’s easy to be a flash in the pan, so it’s even more important to succeed in your second issue, to solidify change and make people remember who you are. Luckily, the team of Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher, and Babs Tarr do just that, creating a modern superhero that feels unique in the landscape. While the taste of Gail Simone will linger for many, this fresh and fun series looks to create a fan base all it’s own.

Our book opens up with Barbara, Dinah (Black Canary), and Barbara’s roommate Frankie, all of whom are shopping for new clothes. After they browse for a while, Barbara stops by Burnside College, where she has been offered a research position. Unfortunately, a recent break-in cramps her style, and it isn’t long before Batgirl is on the scene, taking on a pair of motorcycle-riding, sword-wielding maniacs. But when the dust settles, Barbara seems to remember something too familiar about the criminals, sending her on an investigation that will reveal something Batgirl never could have prepared for!

Batgirl 36 is a much stronger issue than it’s predecessor. Where the first issue focused on setting up an entirely new world, here the team of Brendan Fletcher and Cameron Stewart can instead focus on adding depth to it. The addition of a few more supporting characters helps to make the world feel real. Comics often have the problem where there are nameless faces filling out roles. Here, the writers have instead decided to make them distinct, already creating identities for each party. The villains, Yuki and Yuri, are fun, if marginal. But honestly, when the book is about Batgirl’s new life and how her world has changed, we don’t need a grand villain in our face every issue. The vague allusions to a future bad-guy is enough to whet your pallet, and has me intrigued for more down the line.

Babs Tarr on art is my favorite thing about this book. Everything about her work is stunning, from the incredible detail of her pages to the outfits that her characters wear. These things help to make the book feel more lived in and genuine, something that makes Tarr unique in the market right now. Her humble origins mean that she is out to prove herself, providing mesmerizing work that is sure to get recognition. Cameron Stewart does the breakdowns for the issue, which I’m sure is a huge help to Tarr. Having an industry veteran like Stewart helping this young talent assure me that she will do great things with this title as it evolves. You can already see how her action sequences, body posture, and character expression set her apart from others. Special shout out to colorist Maris Wicks, who compliments Tarr and brings her work to life, adding excellent tones to clothing and set designs.

Overall, Batgirl 36 is a phenomenal comic. The creative team has such a great understanding of one another, allowing for a clear vision that is distinct in the marketplace. The title embarks on it’s own unique path that signals a changing of the guard at DC Comics, who have realized that grim and grit can take a break for fun adventures. So long as this book has Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr, I am completely invested and on-board for more.


About the Author

Henry Varona

Lover of comics, Legos, and movies, Henry Varona is supremely awesome in every way. He spends his days designing his own comics, and his nights dreaming about Chris Hemsworth and Captain Cold.