Batgirl #23 Review
Written by: Hope Larson
Pencils by: Minkyu Jung
Inks by: Mazán Jnr
Colors by: Mat Lopes.
Release date: 05/23/18
Barbara Gordon continues to fight a battle trapped inside of her own mind in Strange Loop part 2. Part one had seen Babs returning from a trip to Asia, meeting old friends Kai and May and trying to juggle her life as both Batgirl and Barbara. Her insatiable thirst for the truth had led her to follow May to an underground fight circuit that would leave her questioning more than she had hoped for. Will Barbara be able to uncover the truth and survive? Or will she become a memory of reality never to return to Burnside?
By the the closing of Part One both Batgirl and myself had realised all is not as it seems. The issue was a dream taking place inside of Barbara’s consciousness and Part 2 sees her trying to find a way to escape. This issue opens directly after one with Batgirls “spirit” looking over herself unconscious. She realises she needs to wake up or become trapped permanently leading to her death. Its a fight she has to go back into the dream to beat and it will challenge her to do so. Batgirl delves deeper inside of her mind returning to the underground fight circuit from part one. A mysterious phone call reveals someone close to Barbara has been kidnapped and by an all too familiar name. The race is on to find a way to escape but will it be as Barbara or as Batgirl?
Her realisation this is all a dream makes her question both what is right and wrong. Is what she is doing every night right or has this become what she feels she has to do? It’s an interesting way to approach the subject with the dream giving Babs enough challenges to test this. She is forced to put aside what she would usually jump straight into with a dilemma of if it’s personally right for her. I liked this a lot and it was written perfectly by Hope Larson here. I love this writing from Hope and it’s one of the reasons I love this current run along with its brilliant artwork. The artwork is fantastic as ever from this series and close-ups of Barbara and the skylines of Burnside really stand out. The colors compliment the panels according to the content and it’s some of my favourite artwork at present.
Its an excellent part 2 and there’s a very cool reference to another hero I won’t mention as it’ll spoil. There’s a lot I want to say but it will ruin the story and the surprise that’s revealed midway through. The end panels and text made me feel inspired and looking forward to reading more of Hope Larson’s Batgirl. And that’s exactly why I love this character and the run, to be reminded that heroes are just people too. Choosing to be better for the greater good. Loved this issue and I highly recommend both part 1 & 2.