Thursday, August 25, 2016

Batgirl #2 - A Review

Continuing her travels around Asia, Barbara Gordon travels to Singapore following the advice of a vigilante called The Fruitbat. It is here that Barbara elects to train as an MMA fighter while searching for the origins of the criminal gangs that seemed to be after her old friend Kai. She also begins to consider the possibility of a romance with Kai, who seems to be having similar thoughts about her.

I don't know if the creative team on Batgirl is intentionally trying to evoke the feeling of a Shojo Manga.  All I know is that they're succeeding, whether that was their intention or not. And the book is fantastic as a result!

Ironically, by taking Barbara Gordon outside of her usual environment, Hope Larson has cut to the core of the character in a way no writer on this series has managed since Gail Simone's run. Larson's take on Barbara is a genius detective akin to Sherlock Holmes and we get a few neat sequences of Barbara accessing her "memory banks" in order to recall specific clues. At the same time, this Barbara is also somewhat socially awkward but in the manner of someone who prefers computers and forensics to small talk rather than the cliche shy, stammering geek girl.

I was somewhat concerned about Rafael Albuquerque being the artist on this series, being familiar with his work on American Vampire. Albuquerque's style, however, proves surprisingly well-suited to Larson's scripts and the action of the issue. Dave McCaig's color art is also praiseworthy, lending a bright, kinetic aura to Albuquerque's inks and pencils that completes the Shojo aesthetic.

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