If you want a comic book read with modern ideas look no further than Batgirl. Using an app-related criminal plan (with some fun ideas like an escape room in Gotham), Hope Larson has been infusing this series with a fun element that’s believable in the digital age. That story continues, as Penguin’s son utilizes the app for no good!
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Chris Wildgoose
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“Son of the Penguin” part four! Ethan Cobblepot has shown his true colors: he’s a Penguin, through and through! Or is he? Can Batgirl turn his ambitions into a force for good—before he can turn Burnside against Batgirl?
Why does this book matter?
Larson and artist Chris Wildgoose have given this book a realistic touch that makes it all feel believable. On top of that, Batgirl’s supporting characters/friends are dealing with real life issues who also happen to be a gay couple. That gives the book a bit of additional progressiveness not to be missed.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Penguin vs. Batgirl…who ya got?!
Opening with Penguin and Batgirl going at it via ping pong, this series continues to be a lot of fun. As they discuss Penguin’s son, they work out a bit of aggression on the table and it’s nice to see a villain written like a normal person. This leads to a detective case that naturally flows from their conversation and further confirms Penguin’s son’s evil ways. Larson progresses the evil usage of an app very well here and everything starts to fall into place. At the same time, it becomes very clear tapping into our personal information via an app can have very dangerous results. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the ideas in this issue pop in a movie sooner than later.
There’s a good check-in with the supporting cast which helps make the previous check-ins in issues past feel necessary. I was struck by some of these interactions feeling forced, but clearly that subplot is developing nicely after reading this issue.
Wildgoose continues to impress here. Don’t be surprised if you see Wildgoose’s art in primo titles in the future as he handles so many things very well. A panel of Batgirl simply zipping up her jacket for instance, looks cool, realistic, and helps convey a sense of determination that adds to the moment in the story. The art has the ability to capture smaller moments in a big way too. In one scene for instance, Batgirl gets dumped via an intern’s message, which ends up getting someone punched in a surprising and funny moment.
Killer slam by Penguin!
It can’t be perfect can it?
Barbara uses her hyperfocus, which was introduced a few issues back, in a way that’s completely unbelievable. Before she could work out a problem and basically meditate until she finds a solution. In this issue though, she goes all Matrix and basically does the impossible by seeing into a computer. I think? Either way, it makes her less of a human with street smarts and more superpowered being.
Is It Good?
Another good issue in a series, dare I say, everyone should be reading. This is a modern take on Batgirl that’s excellent in too many ways to list.