Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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

Summary (from Goodreads):
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!
This was kind of a disappointment for me. I’ve had such great luck with amazing graphic novels and comic books this year. So many great girl heroes to read about now! But, this one just wasn’t doing it for me.
I did love the art. The reason I picked it up, besides my love of Gotham related things, was the cover. The art was seriously what kept me going and allowed me to finish the book. I hope the artist does more work. The story just wasn’t as good.
I’m not a Batgirl expert. So maybe I’m wrong on this. But, I always just saw Barbara as being super strong, independent, and intelligent. I loved how smart she was always portrayed. This Barbara gets drunk at parties and doesn’t remember the boys she brings home who can roam her apartment where important things about her secret identity are kept (this was like the first few pages). She also doesn’t know to back up super important research. And she doesn’t pick up on any of the obvious clues laid out for her about each villain she faces or her friends who are trying to help her. I guess my biggest problem was this version of Barbara.
I’ve read reviews that talk about how childish some of the story is, which doesn’t mix well with all the adult behaviors. This didn’t really bother me too much. I kind of loved the idea of technology based super villains and bad guys dressed as Manga characters. I like this Gotham 2.0 stuff. I thought it was fun getting something new. I liked the bad guys. And I liked seeing Barbara be a realistic young person of today.
I just wish this version of Batgirl could have held on to that intelligence that I really loved about the character. I’m not saying Barbara isn’t allowed to have a random hookup or use the Gotham version of Tinder (like she kind of does later); I just wish she was smarter about the decisions she made through it all. Like maybe when there are strangers over at your apartment, you shouldn’t leave out important things. Maybe I’m too attached to an older version of the character, I don’t know.
All in all, the art was amazing. I liked the technical makeover Gotham received. I found the villains fun and entertaining. Also, seeing Black Canary was super cool. I just found this version of Barbara to be kind of dumbed down. I wished she made smarter decisions and or that she grew through out the stories and learned from her mistakes. But, she really didn’t. All in all I guess I give it a 6/10. I don’t think I’ll read more.

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