Facing the New Batman in “Batgirl #41” Review
Written by Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher
Art By Babs Tarr
In this series we get to see Frankie taking on the role as Batgirl’s tech savy sidekick, similar to Proxy in the previous version of Batgirl or Barbara herself under her Oracle moniker.
We also see new the Batman, Jim Gordon, in action. This is the major conflict Barbs is forced to deal with in this issue. This issue takes place after Batman #41, where Gordon has now accepted the role of Batman and we begin to see how this affects the relationships of the Bat Family and friends. In this case, we get a glance at how her fathers new role affects not only their relationship as father-daughter but her role as Batgirl as well.
The dad-daughter aspect was the highlight of the issue. Because of Jim’s change of appearance, Barbara teases him believing that he is going through a mid-life crisis but also looking healthy. The back and forth between the two is light hearted and playful until Jim drops a major bomb on her. Jim confesses to her that he has taken up the mantle of the Batman. and that he would rather not keep it a secret. Barbara feels guilty and it is hinted that she may reveal her identity as well. Gordon interrupts that thought as he mentions that the other vigilantes are deemed “dangerous” and must be arrested. That includes Batgirl.
In this issue Barbara also faces a familiar face, one of Superman’s former foes, Livewire, who made her debut during the Superman Animated series. Livewire is a proper villain to be placed against Batgirl adding to her own version of the Rogues Gallery. The battle between the two is interrupted when Jim Gordon’s Batman appears to arrest the vigilante.
The issue overall is slow-paced, sacrificing action to showcase Barb’s relationships. The only thing that bothered me, was the fact that Batman’s “death” was not addressed. Barbs gets a run-in with the new Batman but how is she coping with the fact that Bruce Wayne is presumed dead. (Or is he?)
The winner in the issue is Babs Tarr art style, specifically in the characters facial expressions as Barb discovers her fathers dual identity. Tarr portrays these characters in this cartoonish style that manages to work with what Stewart and Fletcher are conveying. If you missed out on the last 5 issues since the debut of this new Batgirl, this is a perfect opportunity to jump in. And although this is one of the slower issues of this run, it is still an entertaining read.
How will Barbara deal with the fact that her father is the new Batman? Will she end up revealing her identity to her father? Only time will tell but its definitely worth the wait.