I think one the most important thing to do while writing a story with ladies as the main characters is to make them female heroes, not female heroes. I was thoroughly impressed that Marguerite Bennett was able to do this, and do it brilliantly.
The story centers around the year 1941, in which one lieutenant Francine Charles is setting out on a mission to find the lost Batgirl. Barbara Gordon disappeared years ago, and many say she’s dead, but Frankie and her commander think differently. It’s no issue that Frankie also uses crutches most of the time to get around, and it’s so refreshing to see a character that has some kind of disability and still be regarded highly. Her adventure takes her to the most unlikely place in search of the amazing war pilot who has a heart of gold and wit sharper than her teeth. However, Frankie ends up finding more than she bargained for, and then some.
The story was very intriguing, and I absolutely loved the message of Girl Power. Sometimes that message gets so force-fed you just want to vomit, but that would ruin the supremely beautiful artwork of this book. For reals and feels, Elsa Charretier does a gorgeous job illustrating these ferocious ladies, and Hi-Fi’s kick ass color really brings together the complete package. It’s bright and bold but not trashy, and the way the women are drawn is fantastic. There is no oversized anatomy that we unfortunately see in so many books, and we get to see these characters for who they are, not for what they’re flaunting physically. Make no mistake, they’re still beautiful, but in all the right ways.
But really, this cover makes me want to run out and get it tattooed on me somewhere. Terry and Rachel Dodson do one of the best renderings of Batgirl I’ve ever seen, completely with a tiny shimmering little belly piercing. She looks very happy with a gorgeous purple and gold ensemble that makes me wish I could sew without poking the hell out of myself with needles. Seriously, how do you think I got these microscopic scars?! This is the Batgirl I know; she’s brave, courageous, and intelligent.
All in all, I love this story so much I want to hug it, but I’m strictly against comic book abuse! I can’t wait to read the next issue and see where it takes me! Four out of five stars!
Story: Marguerite Bennett
Art: Elsa Charretier
Letterer: Wes Abbott