Batgirl’s first story arc in the Rebirth universe comes to a close and she’s got enemies on all sides in China. Can she win the day and save her best friend? Is it good?
Batgirl #5 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The full summary reads:
“BEYOND BURNSIDE” conclusion! Batgirl faces down Teacher in the streets of Shanghai, but will fists be enough against the intelligence-enhanced foe? Babs will have to conquer the pathways of her own mind in order to defeat this vicious predator once and for all!
Why does this book matter?
Rafael Albuquerque dazzles with truly unique layouts and art with Hope Larson delivering a fish out of water story that feels unique. Batgirl is learning things about combat along the way, which makes the narrative more meaningful.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Cool use of streaks of color.
Once again, the art by Albuquerque and colors (by Dave Mccaig) are something special. The use of Ben-Day dot backgrounds, a swoosh of color over the top of them, and a good mix of contrast and silhouettes makes the entire issue jaw droppingly beautiful. There’s plenty of life in these characters too, due to the very expressive expressions. If you like color and a fun pop to your comics you will love this. You’ll never be left wanting more flair because every panel has it in spades.
The story concludes wonderfully too. Things get wrapped up nicely and Batgirl must use newfound skills further reminding us the character has developed over the last few issues. Larson does well to remind us of key detective details as well as make sense of the bad guy’s plans. The biggest win story wise comes when Batgirl receives a lesson from the Chinese Batgirl of old, and there’s a fun reaction after this ability is used. It’ll be interesting to see if Batgirl develops and continues to exhibit this ability as it’s a cool power, yet still remains in the realm of reality.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a meaningful dream sequence in this issue that does well to set up the big climactic scenes, but how or why this sequence kicks in is a bit confusing. Did Batgirl actually communicate with the characters, or was she just unlocking something in herself? It’s a bit confusing and reduces the effects later.
Imaginative layouts within.
Is It Good?
The character grows while the art dazzles combining to create a series you won’t want to miss. If you’re interested in reading comics that do things a little differently you’ll want to read Batgirl.