GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Comic Review: The Batgirl of Burnside DC Comics (2015) | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Comic Review: The Batgirl of Burnside DC Comics (2015)

The Batgirl of Burnside
DC Comics (2015)
Art by: Babs Tarr
Cover by: Cameron Stewart
Written by: Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart
On Sale Date: May 27 2015
HardcoverBarbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes, so when a fire destroys everything she owns, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life – and seizes it! Following the rest of Gotham City’s young adults to the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new Batgirl…and discovers new threats preying on her peers! As the new hero of Burnside, Batgirl gets started by facing twin sister assassins on motorcycles!

Because I don't pay close attention to superhero comics, the first I'd really heard about the current iteration of Batgirl was when folks on social media got their knickers in a twist over the alternate cover for an issue that featured an homage to The Killing Joke. The crux of the outrage stemmed from the helpless expression on Batgirl's face which was in stark contrast to her otherwise defiant and indomitable spirit in the comic series. Well, after checking out The Batgirl of Burnside, while I might not share in the outrage, I can certainly appreciate the sentiment behind it because Batgirl is badass.

This is not the first volume of the series since the New 52 got underway, as Gail Simone was writing for Batgirl before Cameron Stewart took over. Doesn’t really matter if you’re a newcomer like me though, as Burnside offers itself as a great gateway for new readers to hop on the Batgirl bandwagon. After some big brouhaha in Gotham, Barbara Gordon opts to move across the river to the hipster side of things in Burnside and start fresh, away from her father and away from Batman. She’s got friends to room with, meeting guys, attending university, and smoothing things over with Black Canary by letting her crash at her apartment in the wake Canary’s digs getting wrecked.

It’s not all rainbows and lollipops for Barbara though, as a series of crimes break out in Burnside, forcing her to suit up once more, this time in a more functional and self-styled Batgirl costume than before, which I actually found better personified the character than previous iterations.

The villains, however, that’s where things feel a little ... out of sorts? They’re fun, that’s for sure, but there was this dichotomous blend with them, like a cross between ‘The Warriors’ and a Saturday morning cartoon. Where Barbara Gordon’s regular life seems firmly rooted in a modern realism, the villains felt like they were plucked from an episode of Power Puff Girls. Albeit, a foul-mouthed, slightly psychotic episode.

Still, each chapter was enjoyable and ramped up the stakes for Barbara when it’s revealed someone is posing as her and doing what they can to subvert what it means to be Batgirl. The identity crisis played out well and I’m quite keen on seeing where Batgirl goes from here.

If you’re looking for something fun and a little off the beaten path from the usual Bat-related fare, this is a pretty good place to start.

4 sheep

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