“Batgirl Rising” (part 2: The Flood)
Plot: The Calculator continues his quest for revenge against Oracle.
Comments: DC editorial made the absolute right choice when they permitted Stephanie Brown to inherit the role of Batgirl. She has a fun personality and thrives on the cowl and the adrenaline kick that comes with the territory. More importantly however is that she certainly has her fair share of flaws which seems to be an essential factor in being part of the Bat-family.
The second of a four part arc, issue #10 is primarily an issue that builds the impending confrontation that will inevitably occur between Calculator and Batgirl. The Calculator’s main beef is with Oracle, who had managed to get Wendy (Calculator’s daughter) taken away from him. As he enacts his revenge Stephanie gets caught in the crossfire leaving her in a bad situation and potentially having to face off against the mind controlled likes of Catwoman and Huntress.
Writer Bryan Q. Miller has done a good job in portraying all of this to the reader in his short time on the book. He has also allowed Stephanie an opportunity to grow as a character and under his nurturing pen she has proved that she rightfully has earned the title of Batgirl. There is a good balance between hero and civilian and the decision to highlight that aspect has been one that has worked well. And it is a nice change of pace to see Stephanie’s softer side outside of the Batgirl persona.
The art team of Lee Garbett & Pere Perez provides visuals that fit in nicely for the character and the tone of the title. It’s not overly dark or bubbling over with brightness but rather maintains a decent mixture of both styles. They also utilize their panels very well and don’t resort to any wasteful filler. I like the subtle emotional visualization that they allow Stephanie and it reads true to the figure.
Final Thoughts: I would have never thought that I would be so enamored with Batgirl but here I am gushing over this title. There really isn’t much to dislike either. Granted, this isn’t literary high-brow type of comic that people gush over but it is a very good display of superhero comics. Definitely the most under-rated Bat book on the shelves.
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