Judging by the cover of this issue it’s clearly tough dating Penguin’s son. Said son is an app developer, meanwhile Batgirl is teaching coding to kids, and the overall feel of this series has a modern feel that should be on everyone’s radar. We check out the latest issue and answer the question, is it good?
Batgirl #9 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“SON OF THE PENGUIN” part three! Meeting your boyfriend’s parents is always stressful. But when by “parents” you mean “the Penguin” and by “meeting” you mean “punching in the face”…well then, you must be Batgirl! Babs gets to the bottom of Penguin’s involvement in Burnside and decides once and for all if Ethan is a hero or a villain.
Why does this book matter?
Aside from it having a modern feel most comics don’t these days, it also does a fantastic job developing its characters. Artist Chris Wildgoose delivers a more realistic look and feel that helps sell this as a series that’s grounded in reality.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Love the energy in this scene.
This issue opens with Batgirl arriving to stop a new tech-thief and writer Hope Larson gives said thief an interesting trick of the trade. This allows Batgirl to use some of her detective skills–more on that later–which reminds us of one of her strongest hero traits. Larson plots this issue well, flowing the opening scene into Batgirl’s gig teaching coding to kids, and from there into a new app that ends up being a clue later. Along the way she checks in with a friend who is having relationship issues, uses her ability she learned in China to calm her mind to and even goes on a date with Penguin’s son. Overall there’s a lot of content in the issue and once again it feels like this book holds a lot of value.
Wildgoose draws another great issue here. I’m starting to wonder if he’s getting better each issue because this one is fantastic visually. From Batgirl using high tech binoculars to see in radio waves, or a visualization of a new dog app everyone is playing with as Barbara walks on the street, there’s some innovative visual ideas at work. In a double page spread I particularly liked, Barbara walks with Penguin’s son through a party. The scene is drawn as one setting with the characters walking through interacting with guests. It’s a cool way to show the space but also where the characters move in the scene.
Someone needs to fix that building.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Along the way Batgirl checks in with her friend Alysia, who’s having relationship problems over how to proceed with getting a kid. Adopt, or inseminate? It’s a heavy topic which has been more of a side subplot more than anything. The scene is perfectly fine, it takes up about two pages of the comic, but it feels somewhat dropped in out of the blue. The plot moves forward, cuts to this scene, then gets back on track. It’ll be interesting to see how this weaves into Barbara’s life moving forward, but as is it sticks out as a random aside more than anything else.
Is It Good?
Batgirl continues to be one of my favorite comics on the stands due to strong characterization and a plot that ties well with new tech. Well written, well drawn, and a story for a modern era? Hell yes.