You wouldn’t call Batgirl a conspiracy theorist as she’s certainly been ingrained to use her detective skills to understand the world around her. So now that Batgirl #12 is bringing us a ghost story will Barbara be swayed by the evidence that ghosts do exist?
Writer: Hope Larson
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“Troubled Waters”! A terrifying creature is threatening members of the Burnside YMCA—but no one can catch it! It’s up to Batgirl to plunge into the unknown depths and risk being zapped out of existence to put an end to the danger!
Why does this book matter?
Hope Larson has been writing a fantastic series that feels grounded but also progressive with its ideas. Given the premise of this issue I’m interested to see how she adds a little reality to a ghost story.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Kinda odd she’d sign up to be filmed like this.
Opening with Barbara joining up with a ghost TV show crew, Larson quickly introduces the reader to the paranormal event taking place in a community gym. True, this case might seem like small beans, but Barbara is up for any challenge, especially if it means proving supernatural believers wrong. As is customary for this series these days, Larson knocks the detective angle out of the park. You’ll witness Barbara do research, follow clues, and generally be a badass when it comes to solving a problem. It’s an angle you don’t see a lot of these days given most comics are all about fighting.
That includes a satisfying conclusion to the entire mystery. There’s a science fiction angle to it all that’s probably less believable than ghosts, but Larson will make you a believer. It also helps she ties character into everything, from Barbara’s detective work to the eventual reveal of what and who is involved.
Eleonora Carlini pencils and inks this issue and the style continues the thin lined more realistic feel for the book that Wildgoose has been imploring. There’s an interesting use of Facebook like status updates in Barbara’s detective work and a great moment showcasing a schematic of a scientist that looks legit. Plus, Carlini draws a mean Batgirl bathing suit. Yes, that actually is a thing!
Everyone stay calm. Please avoid touching the electricity while you swim!
It can’t be perfect can it?
The lack of action does make the early parts of the issue drag a tad. There’s also the inescapable feeling that the mystery is solved too easily. Barbara does the work to come to a conclusion, but the fact that she’s right on and it all resolves itself by the end does seem farfetched. Given the shortness of a comic and the need to wrap the story up you can’t blame the creators, but it makes the detective angle feel a tad cheapened as it comes so easily.
Is It Good?
Hope Larson is writing the freshest most down to Earth Batgirl in ages. Read it if you love Barbara Gordon.