Saturday, June 14, 2014

Batgirl #32 - A Review

Barbara Gordon has 99 problems and a bitch IS one.  A billionaire bitch named Charise Carnes, to be specific.  Carnes fancies herself a savior of sorts and under the guise of Knightfall has recruited a small army of metahumans to act as her enforcers, administering eye-for-an-eye justice on the petty criminals of Gotham City.  This is something Barbara would have issues with, even if most of Knightfall's recruits weren't supervillains she had fought once before and her semi-boyfriend weren't one of Knightfall's victims.

Throw in the facts that Babs thinks she killed her own brother, that her father has a mad-on for Batgirl because he thinks she killed his son, that her mom has disappeared, that her semi-boyfriend is now suing her father for accidentally shooting him in an unrelated incident, that her roommate is an accidental eco-terrorist and that her dad is now (per the events of Batman: Eternal) in jail awaiting trial on charges of killing hundreds of people through incompetence and it's been a bad few months.  And yet things are never so bad in Gotham City that they can't get worse.  Because Barbara has been singled-out by a shadowy government organization that recruited a former friend, who wants to recruit Babs to become a spook and is prepared to do anything to get her to enlist.

If this seems like a bit to take in, it is.  And yet Gail Simone effortlessly explains it all over 20 pages.  All of Batgirl's current subplots are run down as this issue progresses, making it a perfect jumping-on point for those who have yet to give this book a chance.  As if that wen't enough, the final pages hint at a team-up that will be a nostalgic treat for fans of Simone's run on Birds of Prey.

The artwork of Fernando Pasarin and Jonathan Glapion matches Simone's script in its high quality.  Pasarin is an excellent choreographer of action and the issue's fight-scenes are laid out well.  Glapion boasts an impressive ability to shroud a page in shadows without obscuring any of the fine details - a feat that is surprisingly rare among many professional inkers.  The artwork of this book is dark and atmospheric yet it is never hard to see the fine details of the original pencils.

Bottom Line: If you haven't given Batgirl a chance, this is the perfect issue to start with.

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