REVIEW: Convergence: Batgirl #1

STORY BY: Alisa Kwitney
ART BY: Rick Leonardi, Mark Pennington
COLORS BY: Steve Buccellato
LETTERS BY: Dezi Sienty, Tom Napolitano
COVER BY: Rick Leonardi, Dan Green, Steve Buccellato, Chip Kidd , Pere Perez , Guy Major
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
Release Date: 04/08/2015

And so it begins.

Convergence is upon us and with it the return of one of the most polarizing characters in DC’s recent history. Stephanie Brown is back as Batgirl.

Back in the Pre-Flashpoint universe, Stephanie started out as an irritant for Batman and then, later a major factor in Time Drake’s life,  before donning the red and green of Robin herself.  Fast forward a few years and she was given the role of Batgirl by Cassandra Cain.

That Batgirl book was written by Brian Q. Miller and generated a hard core fan base. The book was a little ahead of it’s time, with a lighthearted approach that mixed hope and trying to do the right thing whilst finding herself, with the superhero element with much greater aplomb then the current Batgirl book, which whilst is fun, can alienate older fans.

This book is written by Alisa Kwitney and whilst this may be a new name to some, a quick bit of research will lead you to a very talented lady.  This book feels great.  I love Stephanie’s self doubt and the fact she doesn’t it let stop her.  More importantly she sounds like the Stephanie of old.  One of my favourite ever Batgirl issues was in fact the Batman Incorporated double, which coalesced the doubt/action elements and eventually the recognition of her skills. Whilst Stephanie is on track, Black Bat and Red Robin don’t get the same treatment, acting as enablers by proxy.

The art is also a bit of a flash from the past with veteran Rick Leonardi putting in a solid issue.  His style may seem a little late 80’s or early 90’s but it works mainly because the whole premise of Convergence is about the past.  Leonardi is at his best in action scenes, bodies and legs at angles defining motion through the panel and page. However his set up panels can suffer a tad from his less than detailed work.

I have to say that I am a huge Stephanie Brown fan, from her inception as Spoiler to Robin and back, all the way through to her run as Batgirl (I have every issue) to her re-introduction into the Nu-52. It’s this re-introduction that is the biggest shame. I would gladly buy a book written by Kwitney, featuring Stephanie, but it is unlikely the DC will move away from it’s current Batgirl format. That’s fine but how about a Spoiler mini series by Kwitney?

Apart from the zero issue, this the first Convergence book I have read. Despite the talents on show, I can’t help but thing that the two issue stories will be thrown away in the grand scheme of things, once the DC office move is completed. I hope I am wrong as this would mean that, from a certain point of view DC is taking advantage of its fans. That said, I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the last part of Steph’s Love Song.

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