Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Another month, another awesome issue of Batgirl. I like the way that sounds, I really do. This is the first real issue of Batgirl, in her ongoing, since Bruce returned (The Road Home was a one shot), so it’s the first foray into the future of Stephanie Brown as it relates to the Batman family of titles. And how does Miller go about doing this? He emphasizes that this is Stephanie’s book, and that Batgirl is still the star of her own title.
The book opens up with the wonderfully drawn origin of the Bat family as told by Stephanie, which, if anything, is just plain awesome. With Wendy “Proxy” Harris having joined the Batgirl team, someone has passed the orders down that she be filled in on everything pertaining to the Bat family. Now, while I can understand this, part of me is wondering who would insist on this? I mean, it would be Babs or Bruce because Steph was told to do it, but why would either of them want the daughter of Calculator to know that Bruce Wayne is Batman?
We do quickly get to see Steph in action though, after a failed attempt at a study session she winds up trying to save a man from a bunch of hooded bad guys. Ass kicking turns to hilarity and then back to ass kicking though, as a familiar face from my child hood makes his comic book debut, as Steph teams up with….The Grey Ghost! I mean, it’s by no means the character from Batman: The Animated Series, but the look alone is enough to get me smirking like an idiot with memories of Batman from when I was a kid.
The situation as a whole amps up though, as Steph finds herself in an awkward and accidental position come the end of the issue, one that sets up next month pretty perfectly as a chase issue.
Out of costume she’s been getting her fair share of love to, as there’s a nice scene with Steph and her mom in this issue that relates to their relationship, as well as her moms desire to only do right by Steph. Of course, her moms version of doing right is to talk about bailing on Gotham, and Steph’s version of doing right by her mom is secretly being Batgirl, so the dynamic is pretty interesting. Especially when you take into account that her mom is well aware of her Spoilerific past, as well as her presumed death. Miller has done a good job thus far in crafting their relationship coming out of that.
Now, the real news is that this is the first issue where superstar artist Dustin Nguyen joins the creative team, bringing his awesome visuals to this already awesome book. Now, normally I’m a bit wary when a book I like brings on a new artist, especially when I’m not sure who in the rotation is getting replaced (and don’t you dare ask me to choose between Lee Garbett and Pere Perez, because it can’t be done), but this issue didn’t do that to me. I mean, I own Streets of Gotham, and I’ve read Batman, Detective Comics, Authority: Revolutions; Dustin Nguyen is like an old friend that I’ve never actually met. He brings a lot to this book, and if he’s setting in for an extended run then it can only be considered a good thing.
Another month, another awesome issue of Batgirl. This is one of DC’s best books, and as far as the Bat franchise goes it’s one of the best books. Sure, it’s not a Grant Morrison epic mind fuck masterpiece, but you know what it is? A solid super hero title about a character growing into her own identity, saving the day, and still trying to have a normal life. It’s well written, looks good, and has a lovable main character. And hey, I even interviewed the writer, so look out for that in the next few days!
Tags: Barbara Gordon (Batgirl II / Oracle), Batman, bryan q. miller, Dustin Nguyen, Reviews