Many of the superheroes in the DC Universe are hard to identify with. Unless you’re a billionaire mastermind orphan, an alien from a lost race or a woman born of the gods, things don’t always hit home. Yet, Barbara Gordon feels like someone that you’ve known your whole life, who managed to keep this tiny little secret from you. She’s insecure, quirky and enough of a badass to fight crime. She sounds like a character that fell out of a Joss Whedon production. She makes mistakes and her humanity shines through, unlike many other current heroes in DC Universe.
Batgirl #2 starts with a high-flying chase scene that proves that Barbara’s inner narrator might be her most prominent quality. She’s reckless, out of practice, but undeniably cheeky. From a tough guy panel, where she claims that she has the drop on “Mirror” to the very next panel where she panics that she’s coming in”toofasttoofasttoofast“, Batgirl’s inner narration drives the storyline. From one panel to the very next, you can see where she transitions from over-confidence to no confidence at all. We can see the struggle of a former superhero trying to get back in action. Seeing this kind of growth is arguably more interesting than seeing a well-established hero kick someone’s ass no big deal.
Throughout the issue, the reader may feel as if they are a concerned parent to this wise-cracking vigilante. With constant thoughts of “Why are you doing this?” or “You’re going to get yourself killed!” running through the reader’s head, one starts to realize that it’s hard to have confidence in someone that doesn’t have confidence in themselves.
The sophomore issue of Batgirl gives us more back story on what’s happening in Barbara’s personal life. Between a concerned and suspicious activist roommate and a tall-dark-and-whatever physical therapist guy she’s dating, Babs has her hands full. Like anyone after a great date would and some super-sleuthing, Batgirl swings through the city with a new found confidence. She also now has information on this “Mirror” character which leads her to the big finale/cliffhanger. While we haven’t figured out what his mirror cape actually does to those who look inside it (besides create some ridiculous pants-less flasher ideas), we discover what Mirror’s main objective.
The art team does a good job as well. Though, during the date scene, Gregor, the physical therapist, looks like he’s doing a great squinty Don Coreleone impression. I’m not sure he has eyes. Even though the art in that scene is a little strange, the team more than makes up for it with the illustrations in the rest of the book.
Gail Simone does great work in this issue. I think we’re going to be seeing a lot promise from this bat-themed quipster. With Issue #2 just as good as Issue #1, I can’t wait to see how this out-of-practice crime fighter keeps us on the hook for the next installment. You’ve made me care about Batgirl, Gail. Bravo.
Paden Wyatt is a jerk. But, he’s not just any jerk! He taps into his latent journalism powers to write terrible things about your favorite comic books and video games. His strengths are making nerds cry, high fives, laughing too loudly and sometimes, but rarely, civilized argument. His weaknesses are human baby-sized burritos, ice cream, tattoos, Welsh Corgis and Doctor Who. He resides in North-Central West Virginia with his mom and dad and could totally leave if he wanted to. Sometimes Paden is not a jerk, and you can follow him on twitter at @padenw.