I offer my thoughts on the latest Batgirl issue from Gail Simone and DC Comics, with art from Fernando Pasarin, Jonathan Glapion, with a cover from Alex Garner, which sees Barbara Gordon reunite with former Court of Owls assassin Strix as they team up against Silver, a lethal new threat to Gotham City.
With Batgirl getting involved in so many crossovers lately, be it Villain’s Month (she didn’t technically have a villain’s month issue but there was a skipped issue that month all the same), Zero Year and Gothopia we haven’t really had much Batgirl-centric issues, with the character being restricted to either appearing in an alternate reality (Gothopia) or appearing before she was actually Batgirl (Zero Year) so it’s refreshing to get the series ongoing again and now hopefully free of all the tie-ins we can see this series continue again like it’s been doing so well up to this point.
Batgirl is probably one of the four strongest books that DC are putting out right now and it shows its quality here with another excellent issue. Introducing a new villain to Batgirl’s rogues gallery, this series kicks off with a slightly different vision of the caped crusaders of Gotham. Silver, the main antagonist here – sees himself as a hero, with the Batfamily being labelled as vampires of Gotham, and it’s a move that’s actually original and kind of makes sense once you look at it from a certain angle. Silver also believes that the various criminals like Joker, Two-Face and Mister Freeze are all freedom fighters, and is intent on taking down Batgirl. The plot that unfolds here is interesting to watch and it’s great to see Simone pit Barbara and Strix against Silver, who proves to be a challenging villain that could prove very problematic for the two in future issues.
Strix has been getting poor treatment in the Birds of Prey series but it’s good to see that Simone has fleshed out the other Court of Owls member who turned rogue. When fans often bring up rogue Court of Owls members they often refer to Calvin Rose, aka Talon – and his ongoing series which sadly wraps up in April. However, Simone manages to certainly leave an impression with Strix, and her interactions with Barbara are pulled off very well and almost makes me wish that she was writing the main Birds of Prey series as well.
The artwork provided by Fernando Pasarin is on top form as usual. Unlike other artists that we’ve seen from DC, he doesn’t oversexualise women and creates a dark, atmospheric feel of Gotham City. His panels are eye catching, and the colours by Jonathan Glapion really enhance the wonderful book that is on offer here. It’s visually impressive and striking, and the series looks set to just get better and better from here.
However, Batgirl #28 is sadly not perfect. There are a few problems that shouldn’t be ignored. Silver, whilst interesting, doesn’t have the excitement that previous villains like James Gordon Jr. and company brought to the table, but then again – this is only his first issue and he has the potential to become a lot more interesting overtime. There isn’t any real background on the villain, but again – this is something that could be explored in future issues, and with the fact that #29 states that he has ties to I, Vampire star Andrew Bennett, it could be very fun to watch things play out in the future.
Overall, Batgirl #28 is a good read. It’s not quite as exceptional as the Wanted arc has been, but it’s still a damn good comic and comes highly recommended as one of the best DC books on the market right now.