Her·o·ine (noun \ˈher-ə-wən, ˈhir-, ˈhe-rə-\) - 1:a. A mythological or legendary woman having the qualities of a hero. b. A woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Batgirl's Comeback

Batgirl #12
Written by Bryan Q. Miller with Lee Garbett, Pere Perez, and Walden Wong on pencils and inks.

So I've always been a Batgirl fan. Well actually, a Barbara Gordon fan. If you grew up in the 90s or have family that grew up in the 90s, you might recognize her from Batman: The Animated Series. And even as an old lady, Babs was pretty awesome. But the comic books are where she really shined. Alicia Silverstone's portrayal of Batgirl in Batman & Robin? Not so much. But then, the Joker shot her severing her spinal chord and rendering her paralyzed.

Needless to say, I was very upset with Alan Moore, but he later apologized to the fans of one of America's favorite comic book characters.

But that wasn't the worst of it. They introduced Cassandra Cain. She's you're typical femme-fatale ninja assassin. But no need to talk Ms. Cain, we don't want to listen to you. Yes, they created an abused and conflicted ninja assassin who can't talk.

Needless to say, I stopped reading.

Until I came across the new Batgirl cover in the comic book store. And guess what? She's blonde!

I had to do a bit of homework since I left Batgirl a while ago and apparently this is Stephanie Brown. Cassandra Cain passed the role to Brown when Batman supposedly bit the big one. Stephanie even used to be one of the dark knight's [girl]-wonders, Robin. So naturally it was time for a promotion.

Right from the beginning, I was captured by everything. The art is fantastic, but the storyline really manages to pull you in almost immediately (even for a guy who was jumping in at the end of the story). Basically, Barbara Gordon became The Oracle of Gotham City, a genius hacker who heads the Birds of Prey. Well she's been captured by her one of her nemeses, the Calculator and it's Batgirl's job to save her mentor and save the day.

But don't think Oracle is your standard damsel in distress. The Calculator is holding her captive inside a kind of mind-link between them. Babs is so smart, she learned how to fight back and his hol
ding her own until Batgirl comes to help her out.

What I found most appealing about this story is Batgirl's quirkiness. This is still a training period for her, even with her experience as two previous superhero identities. She makes mistakes, and Miller depicts them comically. She reminds me of my favorite super heroine, Buffy Summers (Of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame). Her inexperience will also provide readers with the opportunity of actually seeing her develop as a character.

On Oracle's side of the fight, we get a bit more gritty as Barbara delves deeper into the twisted mind of the Calculator and we discover the reason for his insanity; I'm a bit disappointed that it's pinned on women, but it's only a minor detail in the shining roles the Batgirl and the Oracle play.

Overall, I really enjoyed the comic. It was a good mixture of comedy and drama and it kept me interested and invested in all of the characters. My only recommendation is to watch for the text boxes. They're so oddly placed in certain panels that it's easy to skip one and get lost.

But other than that, I would recommend Batgirl #12 to anyone.

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