STORY BY: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher
ART BY: Babs Tarr
Publisher: DC Comics
Yes, this is that issue with that cover! Looking at the digital copy, the Killing Joke variant is clearly there and I for one, do not have a problem with it. But enough of judging this book by its cover.
Batgirl meets Scooby-doo, although not actually. We do have a haunted house, a sparkly monster, some pesky kids and of course a pair of bats as first Batgirl appears just prior to Mecha-Bat making his advertised appearance. From there it’s flight or flight time and a regroup back at Burnside for the usual girl talk and a visit from Dad.
Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher have had massive success with this retooled Batgirl and I can see why. Babs is fun, Batgirl is smart and with her best pal Frankie as an Oracle in the making, there is enough fun to go around. So why do I feel like this book isn’t for me. Is the the lack of violence? The need to use film quotes in the shape of dialogue to get the message across (difficult to do, as it can age a book, so you have to use the obvious ones) or the art?
Credit where credit is due, Babs Tarr’s work is better than I remember from the first issue of the retool. That’s not to that I think it’s all peachy and rosy. There is enough quirky elements to help with the light weight feel and the various over the top reactions any parent of teens will recognize.
There in lies my problem. I liked the previous incarnation by Gail Simone. I really liked the Bryan Q. Miller Steph Brown book, which was lighter than what would follow. This version is just to lightweight. The creators should feel proud; it’s not often a whole new genre is created. In this case, a host of books have been “Batgirl’d” and for the most part it’s kinda worked. Just look at Spider-Woman and Silk for example. Both feature a quirky art style with the character de-aging at times to attract new fans.
For me, I like my Batgirl to be older and actually look her age and have the experience of her past shape her and give her challenges to overcome, potentially the idea behind that cover. As it is this feels like a kid book, for a kid character that unfortunately is too young for me to enjoy.