It’s time for another graphic novel review! Wow, those are taking over Cat’s Shelf! Anyway, I’m here to talk about Batgirl Vol.1, The Batgirl of Burnside by Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr and Brenden Fletcher.
Get this book from Book Depository
I’ve read the first Batgirl book from the Gail Simone’s run a while ago (review here) because I wanted to have a good insight on the character before starting this title. I’ve been a fan of Tarr’s for a while and that’s basically why I wanted to get into these books.
Batgirl is the “code” name of Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon and, after being shot by Joker, an apprentice of Batman. She leaves the center of Gotham to go to Burnside, although the villains and danger don’t run from her.
This story picks up on issue #35 so there’s obviously a bit about Barbara that is set already. But, that doesn’t stop the writers from explaining some things, for those who just started Bab’s story. So there’s really no reason for those that, like me, where drawn in by the art, to get the previous Batgirl volumes. Everything will be clear. There are a few references to past events but you’ll get the story just fine either way.
While reading this, I couldn’t help but feel like something was off. I mean, I loved Babs, she was so cool, intelligent, funny. And so badass! Just my kind of girl. Yeah, the villains where kind of silly and they were defeated very easily but you know, this is a superhero graphic novel: that’s the most likely thing to happen. But I don’t know how to explain what was weird to me because I still can’t pull my finger on what it was. I enjoyed this. At least I think so, but something was just not right. Maybe it’s just me being weird, as usual.
The cast of characters is really diverse. There’s literally one of each race and sexuality (even thought I can’t help but feel like they were just checking off things from a list at times). And they all have a little arc and enough “screen” time to really show off their personalities and roles in the story.
But oh man, let me talk about the art!!! I’m still blown away by it. Not only is Tarr a great artist, the girl knows how to draw comics!! Every panel is drop dead gorgeous. The fight scenes are amazing, so detailed and dynamic. Every character has their style, which is consistent and beautiful throughout the whole story. The villains are all very unique and extravagant, which I loved!
There’s a bunch of character studies and other progress sketches at the end of this volume. I particularly liked the ones of Batgirl’s costume, which was really though from a usefulness point of view, instead of just sexy.
I will definitely continue with this series. I mean, even though I found it weird for some reason, I liked the story, the characters and the mood enough to be very excited to pick volume 2. Which I was approved for an ARC of and will soon share my thoughts since it comes out next week! I don’t usually like yellow but I love how it looks with purple and how Barbara rocks it! These sketches are both from Babs Tarr and Cameron Fletcher, who is also an artist.
Have you guys read this book? Please please let me know if there was something weird or if I’m the one weird here!
See you soon,