Batgirl Year One #5 Review

Reviewer: Mathan Erhardt
Story Title: Moth to a Flame

Written by: Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon
Penciled by: Marcos Martin
Inked by: Alvaro Lopez
Colored by: Javier Rodriguez
Lettered by: Willie Schubert
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher DC Comics

I know that the title says Batgirl Year One, but this issue is about two guys, Killer Moth and Firefly. No, wait! Keep reading. This was actually a great read. We get to see all of Killer Moth’s plans come crashing down. We also get to witness the birth of Firefly. Plus two characters get a great deal of fleshing out.

The story is great. But when you have Dixon on a “Bat” title you have to expect that. Beatty is proving to have a talent for showcasing a villain’s drive, as witnessed in last month’s Green Arrow. I couldn’t put this book down, and I didn’t even miss Batgirl, who makes the briefest of appearances. Dixon and Beatty make you feel sorry for Cameron Van Cleer, a loser with a dream. They also re-imagine Garfield Lynns as a frighteningly dangerous rogue. This issue makes me miss Dixon on Nightwing all the more.

The art is perfect. It begins as all comics do on the cover. Thus far all of Batgirl’s covers have been nothing short of spectacular. This one is no slouch either, perfectly capturing both of the main characters fixations. I appreciate the effort of DC to give all of the Bat Year One books (Batman Year One, Robin Year One) a unified look. Martin and Lopez embody the “Year One” feel. They also convey Lynn’s obsession with fire, and Van Cleer’s lameness. DC needs to give these guys a regular book, soon.

When I first heard about this series, I honestly had no interest. I picked it up on a lark. But the combination of the consistently great stories and art keep me coming back month after month. This is my favorite issue so far, it issue made me care about two sixth tier villains and made me forget about the title character. This issue is flawless.