12 Days of Christmas – Best SFF Characters of 2013 – Day #2: Barbara Gordon

As you may have noticed from yesterday’s post featuring Green Arrow, I’m going to be running down 12 of my favourite characters who I have either discovered or grown more invested in over the course of the past year. For the second day we return to yet another comics character, in the form of Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl.

BATGIRL

Barbara Gordon is my favourite Batgirl. There, I said it. Having read the first and third volumes of the series this year before adding the current issue to my monthly pull-list starting with #23, Gail Simone has really impressed on Barbara’s main solo title. Before the New 52 Barbara had been crippled by the Joker and turned into Oracle, an incarnation of the character who I have had only experienced in the Arkham games and Batman: The Black Mirror. Whilst the decision to un-cripple Barbara may have been controversial at the time it’s something that’s really paid off, allowing for the great talent on the series to make it an instant fan favourite. Simone has been delivering stellar issue after stellar issue and there’s a reason why Babs is probably one of my favourite characters of not just 2013, but now of all time. Her comic series is certainly among my Top 5 favourite from DC at the moment.
Story-wise, this has been a hell of a year for Barbara. Whilst she may not have been brought to the small-screen like Green Arrow, my previous entry – or the big screen, she’s certainly kicking ass with a variety of great storylines delivered by Simone. The Death of the Family tie-in was one of the best of the lot, with Simone delivering a great script over the course of the third Volume, and the return of James Gordon Jr. was fantastic to read – the ending bringing forth the best Batgirl arc yet, Wanted, which recently came to a conclusion. She also was one of the many characters to get a Zero Year tie-in, and just like with Death of the Family, it was one of the best of the lot, even though it wasn’t written by Gail Simone but by the co-writer of the Batman Annual #2, and of the Lobo one-shot for Villain’s Month, Marguerite Bennett.
And on top of it all, you can always rely on Alex Garner to produce some excellent covers for each and every issue since #22 (I think), and it’s got to the point where I could easily include any of the covers on the list they’re just that good. The interior artwork of the series is also pretty strong as well, with the artists delivering some impressive stuff over the course of the several issues even though they have not been as impressive as Garner. 
There was no way Barbara Gordon wasn’t going to be missing out on a spot on this list – it’s been a great year for the character in the comics even though she may have been dragged through one dark storyline after the next. I’m looking forward to seeing what Simone and company can put her through next as we enter Gothopia – which kickstarts next year’s Bat-Family mega arc and for once it’s not written by Scott Snyder but by the almost-equally awesome John Layman, so it’ll be interesting to see how that turns out. You’ve had a great 2013, Batgirl. Let’s make it an equally great 2014.
Day #1: Green Arrow
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