Robot 6

Your Mileage May Vary: Batgirl #1

All summer, we’ve been wondering about the identity of the new Batgirl. And now we know, thanks to Batgirl #1, which just came out. Naturally, everyone has something to say about the issue.

It probably goes without saying that the following links and excerpts contain spoilers.

The blogger at What Is Techno Again? liked the art but didn’t connect to the character:

I wasn’t terribly impressed with Batgirl #1. Although I like the character—she does share my first name, after all, and therefore is cool in my book—it’s hard to get behind someone as reckless as her, especially when Brown’s nightly activities endanger others. Lee Garbett’s pencils, Trevor Scott’s inks, and Guy Major’s colors make a good combination for the comic, though. The almost simplistic, adventurous art style reflects the story well, and the shift to the flashback with Spoiler and Batgirl (Cassandra)—which I particularly enjoyed—acts as a well-illustrated contrast against the book’s present events. However, at this point it’s unclear where the comic will be going, and or if the character will take a perhaps much-needed change of pace.

Seb Patrick wasn’t surprised by Batgirl’s identity but found the comic decent and enjoyable:

Having been generally unimpressed with his work on his two-parter for Grant Morrison’s Batman, I’m surprised by Lee Garbett here – an energetic style with slightly cartoony facial expression, reminiscent of Todd Nauck and the like, suits the tone of the book well. Steph is appropriately youthful out of costume, and fairly dynamic in it; and in the cameo appearance from Dick and Damian (in Da Bungalow) he nails those characters pretty well, too. There’s nothing spectacular or experimental, it’s just decent and solid.

Which just about sums up the book, really. There are a lot of comics like this out there, doing an acceptable job even if only appealing to people with a bit of affection for the characters in question – but that’s not to say there’s not room for them, as it’s not as if everything can be Captain Britain or Batman & Robin. I may not have enjoyed this if I didn’t already like Steph as a character, but there’s nothing about it that stops me enjoying it considering that I do.

Livejournalist the_narration thought the comic had some serious flaws:

The artwork also has some serious problems. Lee Garbett draws all the individual objects and characters quite nicely, but seems to have serious trouble with spatial relationships and panel-to-panel continuity. A batarang in the first fight scene seems to come in from a angle nowhere near Steph’s position, and although this may have been Dick interfering (since he was watching the fight from afar) Steph’s inner monologue doesn’t match that. Steph, in a rush to keep her mother from looking in her closet, drops a plate of waffles with butter on her bed. I pity the bedspread! But Mrs. Brown doesn’t seem to find anything strange about this. Is she on the pills again? In the fight with Cass on the docks, the enemy that Cass warns Steph is “behind you” is in fact not behind her and seems to be rushing at Cass, not Steph. No one is behind her, and the guy she backfists in the next panel is someone else entirely. And what is with this apparent tendency for Steph to stand with her arms crossed when people are behind her with guns?

There are things I like here. Steph and Babs are both characters I’m fond of (both characters I became fond of, in fact, as the supporting cast of the first Batgirl series) and I wouldn’t mind seeing Babs mentor Steph. It would be nice to see somebody mentor her, considering that every time Batman said he would he never actually bothered to and kicked her to the curb whenever the mood struck him. Steph being torn between her need to help people and her insecurities makes sense to me given all the things that have gone wrong for her lately. But this book needs to find its footing and improve if it’s going to hold my interest. It’s dragging around some serious problems.

So what do you think?

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Comments

6 Comments

From what I’ve seen popular opinion seems to be that the book was surprisingly decent, but was incredibly run-of-the-mill.

It’s hard to take Scans_Daily’s opinion on anything seriously though, because the community is just filled with the whiniest most entitled fanboys/girls on the planet.

It really wasn’t a good issue. The art didn’t make sense and the characterisation of one batgirl quitting and another starting looked very forced. It was all a bit lame.

I thought it was an excellent episode of Buffy.

I’m not all that familiar with the Batgirl story. I am also getting pretty tired of the constant flashback sequences in comics today. So when the flashback scene started, I thought, “Oh, f***, here we go again.” But I rather enjoyed that part of the story, slight though it was.

Both the writing and the art had some obvious flaws, but I liked it well enough to get the next few issues.

I haven’t picked it up yet, but one review I read at Examiner.com said the characterizations of all the Batgirls, past and present, were off substantially. That was particularly true of Babs, who he said was gloomy and dperessed about her handicap, even though she’s never really been portrayed that way in the past.

That, plus the characterization that they’re giving to Tim is making me believe that the editors aren’t doing their jobs; either they’re mandating these things that are out of character, or they aren’t catching things the writers are putting in that are out of character. Either way, the editors need to step up their game.

You can read the whole review here:

Latest Batgirl reboot qualifies as guanor

Shoot. The link didn’t show up for some reason. Go to Examiner.com and search for Batgirl, you’ll find it.

It’s a letdown because of it’s predictability. Not to slam Bryan Miller, I love the guy, his work on Smallville, and Teen Titans hasn’t been bad, I mean, no, it’s been really really good. But no doubt, Steph Brown behind the cowl was an executive decision, and not Miller’s own. But Steph’s been Spoiler, she’s worked with Robin, she’s her own aspect of the Bat-family. What kept me looking forward to the book was the idea that we weren’t sure who Batgirl was going to be, something they (DC), maybe, should have held off on revealing. In my head I was looking forward to seeing Misfit in the bat-suit. But no dice. She’s got red hair just like babs, she’s kind of been out of place in the DCU, she wants to join the Titans. Misfit, would have fit. That would have been kick-ass. So, in short the book didn’t make my pull-list. But that’s not to say I won’t give it a chance.

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