REVIEW: Batgirl #43

(W) Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher (A) Babs Tarr (CA) David Lafuente

By now, people should know how I feel about this book.  Batgirl is one of my all time favourite characters.  I loved the old school 70’s back up stories in Detective Comics, all the way to the nu 52 stuff, with the Cassandra Cain and Steph Brown stuff thrown in for good measure.  I loved Oracle and Babs Gordon role within the DC Universe as a whole, not just as an ancillary character to the Batman mythos.  I have recently re-watched the 60’s Batman episodes following the sad news regarding Yvonne Craig from last week.  So with so much love I have for the character, why do I not enjoy this book?

This is the sort of issue that multi part stories have to have.  There is a lot of set-up, with the villain element somewhat relegated to make room for the Alysia sub plot and of course the introduction on  Luke Fox to Burnside.  There is even a hint of discord in team Batgirl.

Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart keep things moving along quite nicely. As a recent newly wed myself, the list elements brought back memories of to do lists, and guest lists and everything in between.  The script is consistent with previous issues and whilst it helps with the ambience of the book, it is actually my first problem.

The art is by Babs Tarr whose style has influenced a number of books across the Big 2 divide, yes I am looking at you Black Canary.  Again the art and the script work well to create a certain style, the cartoony element  giving the visual impression of a “fun” book without the reader having to look to deeply.  Here is problem number two.

Despite parts of the script showing Barbara to be a competent crime fighter, there are other parts that kind of move away from that.  The whole “my corner of the city” just made me cringe.  The dialogue is set at “hip” level, which over time may serve to age the comic prematurely when our conversational language, again, changes.  The art also sets up its own disconnect from light-hearted girl about town to serious crime fighter.

I know that this book has a lot of fans, and I am really pleased the Batgirl is again leading the charge for female superheroes, it’s just a shame that some readers are getting left behind.

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