Hope Larson delivers one more one-shot story before Nightwing swings into Batgirl to work with Barbara Gordon in an extended arc next month. In Batgirl #13, Larson gets to play with Catwoman in “The Truth About Bats and Dogs,” a fun and breezy 20-page story that proves why Batgirl is one of the most relateable characters in the DC Universe.
Here’s the official synopsis of the issue from DC Comics:
When an innocent bystander close to Batgirl’s heart gets caught in between a feud between herself and Catwoman, what started as just another case could become direly important.
The issue kicks off by introducing Esme, a young girl looking for a dog named Rookie. It turns out that Rookie isn’t her dog, but is really a social media star. During her search, Esme runs into a group of punks, requiring Batgirl’s help to save her. While Esme and Batgirl search for the dog, they run into Selina Kyle, who isn’t supposed to be in Burnside. She is on a similar hunt though, as her cat Isis is also a social media star. The mystery leads the unlikely trio into a confrontation with a villain readers of the New 52 Batgirl series will recognize.
This is a really fun story and one that would only work with Batgirl, especially Larson’s interpretation of the character. Once again, Larson finds the perfect mystery for the character to solve, and pairing her with a young girl is a great move. Unlike other DC characters that can seem more aloof and detached from the general public in their own universe, Batgirl connects with them as Barbara and her crime-fighting persona.
This issue also features the art of Inaki Miranda, who also drew the story with Supergirl in Batgirl Annual #1 earlier this year. His work fits in line with the standard set by Chris Wildgoose on the earlier Batgirl issues with Larson, but Miranda still has some room to fit in his own style. It’s fun art that fits with the humor in Larson’s script.
This one-shot story was much better than the previous one-shot, which had a more supernatural and far-fetched story. Here, Batgirl deals with a very real situation and it plays directly into the character’s strengths. Batgirl #13 certainly isn’t a big part of a Batgirl arc or filled with major character development, but it’s an enjoyable issue. It’s also nice to see Catwoman around, since she has been severely underused since Rebirth started (aside from her appearances in Batman).
Savor the fun stories while they last, since it looks like Batgirl is about to get serious when Dick Grayson enters the picture in the next issue.