Batgirl hit a bit of a bump last time, possibly destroying her newfound fame, popularity, and her own confidence after royally screwing up. However, it’s not like she hasn’t hit plenty of bumps before in the past, so she can bounce back from this… right? Is it good?
Batgirl #39 (DC Comics)
After the disaster that ended up destroying a coffee shop and wrecking her reputation, the citizens of Burnside have turned against Batgirl. A bounty has been placed on capturing her from the hooq app, Babs’ new thesis that she had to recreate in college isn’t all that great, and more issues beyond that. What is Batgirl to do… other than going to an old friend and asking for help?
Ladies and gentlemen, a prime example of ungratefulness seen in civilians in comic books!
This is the penultimate issue of this arc, building up to the big reveal of who is responsible and the true menace behind all of Batgirl’s problems. It was good, but not as great as the previous issues of the run. The story didn’t seem to advance all that much in the first half of the story, exploring how Babs has been feeling after everything that has happened and the idea that she herself is possibly the cause of all this mess (maybe some hallucination or something similar). It honestly doesn’t feel like it makes that much sense and feels like Babs came up with that theory out of nowhere. Thankfully, things step it up in the second half when she meets up with Black Canary and things start coming together into a rather interesting direction.
The biggest problem I had overall was a rather unfortunate mistake on DC Comics’ part. DC put out a preview of the book that showed and revealed a lot of the big points of the issue that happened in the second half. Batgirl and Black Canary ending their conflict and becoming friends again? Revealing or at least hinting at the true culprit behind everything? All of that was given away days before the issue came out, so the impact and potential surprise of these events are lessened. For those who didn’t see the preview, that’s fine, but for those who did, that was a real annoyance finding out.
The writing on the book was still pretty good regardless. All of the writing mechanics, the pacing, and story structure were all fine and worked. The characterization was pretty solid and there was some nice character development happening here that some fans should appreciate. The dialogue was good too, though not too many noteworthy bits outside of the exchanges between Babs and Dinah. The weakest part of the issue I felt was that the tone felt too down and not upbeat. I mean, it makes sense that the feel of the book would be more down in the dumps after everything that has happened, but Batgirl feels at its best when it is having fun and not so serious.
The art is also still doing great, though it didn’t feel like it got to stretch itself as much as in the previous issue. No intense action or eye-catching imagery this time around, besides the ending page, so that’s slightly disappointing, but everything is still looking solid here. The characters are nicely depicted and show a great range of emotion. The layouts are solid and easy to follow, especially with the minor bits of action we do get. The coloring is nice and scenery is good as well. Basically, most of the positives from previous issues can be found here. So yeah, the book continues on with looking great.
Is It Good?
Batgirl #39 was an enjoyable issue overall from the series, but not as good as previous issues. That’s not to say the book is bad by any means, just that it has been better. Either way, it still has good writing, great artwork, and some solid characterization happening here. With the finale to the first arc of the new creative team almost upon us, now’s not the time to give up. The next issue is promising a very interesting clash…