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Batgirl #36 Review

A finale that is anything but terrible.

This month: a fiery last stand against the Terrible Trio!

This may be Mairghread Scott’s last issue on Batgirl, but she ties together several of the threads from throughout her run and still manages to open a few possibilities for the incoming creative team to explore.

The showdown with the Terrible Trio is equal parts exciting and heartbreaking, drawn with a beautiful sense of chaos by Paul Pelletier. The colors from Hi-Fi, particularly in the fiery battle scene, imbue each page with the exact right mood. The fights feel urgent and hopeless, while there’s an understated warmth to things when Babs gets back to sorting through her civilian life.

Speaking of which, for the first time, I completely understood the point of Jason Bard’s change of heart. This is all thanks to the narration in this issue, which really nails what makes Batgirl tick. Batgirl is a character who is always striving to be the best version of herself and this issue gives her (and the reader) the perspective needed to believe that other people are capable of making that change in themselves.

DC Comics

Scott’s run on Batgirl has been tough on Barbara Gordon, but I think much of that has been by design. In many ways, this run has been about having the guts to get back up when you’ve been kicked down. As a reader who lost their home in a hurricane this year and continues to find a new challenge around every corner, I have found myself gravitating toward Batgirl more than ever. Her struggles with identity and unwillingness to give up in the face of one setback after another has been inspiring.

For that alone, this run deserves to be remembered for having this followthrough, of showing our hero not only in a crisis, but finding ways to meet it with hope and faith. It’s not always easy for Babs. She screws up. She makes the wrong calls and sometimes people get hurt, but she’s a hero. She believes in herself and encourages others to do the same.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Cecil Castellucci does with this title, but I’m also happy to see Mairghread Scott’s run go out on a thematic high note. After a rough time for Babs, it’s good to see her flying high and smiling. I don’t know where Batgirl is going next, but thanks to Scott’s beautiful narration at the end of the issue, I know Babs will at least be going there with her head held high and a renewed sense of purpose.

Batgirl #36
Is it good?
Exciting and emotionally resonant, Mairghread Scott's final issue of Batgirl sticks the landing in more ways than one.
The final battle is appropriately distressing and exciting, not to mention drawn beautifully
Leaves the reader feeling optimistic about where Barbara may head next
Really gets to the core of Batgirl as a character and the frame of mind the sets her apart from the rest of the Bat-Family
10
Fantastic
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