Batgirl #33 (Comics Review)

Just this past week, it was announced that Batgirl would be shifting creative teams in October and that the title would undergo a major creative revamp. Goes without saying that I’m going to be really saddened to see Gail Simone, Fernando Pasarin, Blond, Jonathan Glapion and the others leave the title because I’ve really enjoyed what they’ve done in the last year, especially Gail who has shepherded much of the title since the New 52 relaunch. Thankfully, it looks like she is intending to go out with a bang if the cliffhanger ending from last month’s issue is anything to go by.

Given that Batman: Eternal is currently ongoing and that some of the events of that weekly series are beginning to trickle down elsewhere, it kind of makes sense that Batgirl too would get sweeped up in the wake of it. Batgirl #33 is quite possibly one of Gail Simone’s best issues on the title, mostly for the fact that it includes three of my favourite DC leading ladies and the ending of the issue looks set to take things to the next level. The art is slightly fuzzy at times, but the action is crisp and awesome, so I won’t complain.

At the end of Batgirl #32 we saw that the Huntress had shown up on Barbara’s doorstep and that she wanted to help her and Black Canary in the war for Gotham that is currently ongoing thanks to the events of Batman: Eternal and Charise Carnes aka Knightfall’s own bid for power in the midst of all that as has unfolded in the pages of Batgirl itself. There are a lot of great things happening in this issue, not the least of which is that the trip of Batgirl, Canary and Huntress reflects Gail Simone’s first run on Birds of Prey in which the all-female team was made up of (you guessed it, probably!) Canary, Batgirl (though she was Oracle at the time) and Huntress (though this was Earth 1 Helena Bertinelli and not Earth 2 Helena Wayne who has taken the name Bertinelli on occassion after she was stranded on Earth 1). Since I love every bit of Gail’s Birds of Prey from those days, that I’ve read that is, I seriously loved this issue for all the nostalgia inherent here.

For me, this issue is all about how superhero comics can be different and yet similar to what has come before but in a good way. The above example is one thing, and another is that after building up Knightfall to be such a major player in her second arc on this title, Gail Simone has brought her back in recent months to really provide some serious competition for Barbara. And I like that because it makes everything that happens here more than just professional, heroic vigilantism. Things are personal now. Very personal.

Gail’s characterisation of Huntress, Canary and Batgirl are all spot-on and the same applies to the villain and her posse as well, which keeps things interesting and pretty much perfect. I was totally lost in the team-up of these three women, and couldn’t really see how it could all get better, and then at the end, Gail Simone delivered the big knockout punch once Barbara started making a few calls to bring in some more heavy guns in her mission to stop Knightfall. That is when I totally began to love this issue, and that’s saying something since I’d enjoyed every moment up until that point.

Batgirl #33 is an issue that acts as the beginning of the end of Gail’s run, so it is nice to see that she is finally letting loose and going full-out with her characters. Perfect timing there.

Of course, once Helena Wayne enters the picture, it is pretty much a given that she is going to end up fighting Barbara, which makes some sense as Barbara mentions in her silent monologue, and those action scenes are really something, both for how Fernando Pasarin draw’s Barbara’s face and how he executes the beat-up. At times his characters are a bit too tall and thin but thankfully that only happens in an odd page here and there. The inks by Jonathan Glapion and Matt Ryan are really excellent here, as are the colours by Blond. And yes, Alex Garner delivers another rocking cover for this series, so really, the art was almost perfect here this time!

A great issue that I’d really recommend!

Rating: 9.5/10

More Batgirl: Vol.1, Vol.2, #23, #24, #26, #27, #28, #29, #30, #31, #32, Annual 2014.

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Posted on July 15, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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