Friday, 1 July 2016

Batgirl Volume 1: Batgirl of Burnside by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr

Batgirl Volume 1: Batgirl of Burnside written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher and illustrated by Babs Tarr is the start of a new story for Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. This is also the first Batgirl comic that I've read.

Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes, so when a fire destroys everything she owns, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life – and seizes it! Following the rest of Gotham City’s young adults to the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new Batgirl…and discovers new threats preying on her peers! As the new hero of Burnside, Batgirl gets started by facing twin sister assassins on motorcycles!

Although this is a volume one and a new start for Batgirl, it actually contains issues #35–40, meaning it doesn't quite work as a complete origin story for the character. I was not previously very familiar with Batgirl, and I was a little bit lost at the start when there are references made to her previous life. If I hadn't heard a Galactic Suburbia discussion about Barbara Gordon being in a wheelchair, then I think I would've been even more confused. (Note this volume actually takes place after Babs has been magically cured of her paralysis.) That said, the wheelchair aspect did become clear towards the latter part of the volume.

This is set in the DC universe, which is filled with city names that differ from the real world. There were a large number of fake social media references were actually very "now" and easy to follow. I suspect someone living under a social media rock may have felt a little bit lost, however. Another aspect I quite liked was that Barbara Gordon was doing a PhD while also being a superhero. I like the trend of clever female superheroes.

So, although the start could have been a little bit clearer more, it wasn't too bad and I would recommend this as a starting point for Batgirl. Keep in mind, though, that I am saying this is someone who hasn't read any other Batgirl comics. Having read this volume, I am interested in reading the next and have added Batgirl to my mental list of female superheroes that don't suck (which also contains almost all the other female superhero comics I've reviewed here, if you're wondering).

4 / 5 stars

First published: 2015, DC Comics
Series: Yes. Issues #35–40 of the 2011 run. Don't ask me how that logically translates to a Volume 1, although it is a sensible starting point story-wise.
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: Present or something like that

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