Batgirl: Future’s End #1 (DC)

FE Batgirl 1

CREDIT: DC Comics

Rating: 3/5 – Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain Return in a League of Batgirls.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Gabe Bustamantez.

It’s September once again. The weather gets a little cooler (in Las Vegas, anyway), Back-To-School is in full effect and for the second time all of DC Comics’ on-going titles are being released as 1-shots with lenticular covers, similar to last years “Villains Month.” This year they are not so much 3D as they show 2 different images when viewed from different angles.  All the September 1-shots tie in to DC’s New 52: Futures End event and show potential futures for DC’s characters.

Batgirl: Futures End is a flash forward that starts 2 years in the future on Barbara’s wedding day.  Barbara later ends up on a quest to find herself that ultimately leads her to Bane for training. Now 5 years in the future Barbara has given up her mantle as Batgirl and has taken on a new identity that is a mash-up of Batman and Bane called Bête Noire, aka The Black Beast. She has also set up her own Batgirl Inc. called “The League of Batgirls,” whose roster is made up of fan favorites; Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and newcomer Tiffany Fox each as Batgirl.  Artist Javier Garron choreographs very dynamic action with a smooth clean art style and great character models. Each Batgirl in the League is shown as being one of three unique women with different body types and ethnicity. Even on pages where each Batgirl are fighting from different angles you know which Batgirl is doing what. And Barbara is drawn differently during the flashback scenes where she is thinner and later much more muscular as Black Beast as a result of her training with Bane.

This issue did run into problems for me with character representation and contrived story elements. We’re introduced to new characters but then those characters are used as plot devices, which is some cases pulled me out of the story. Then there is the newest Batgirl character, Tiffany Fox–Lucius Fox’s granddaughter and Batwing’s sister, who is treated as a background character and as a nuisance throughout the issue. Even the cover image of Tiffany Fox is off character and misrepresents her.

This issue of Batgirl marks the end to Gail Simone’s run. She is one of the last original creators who launched the New 52 line 3 years ago and has written every issue of this Batgirl series. Since this issue is a part of a “potential future” we are left wondering if any of these stories will still be a part of the DC Universe once Futures End has wrapped up.  On the plus side, we have what looks to be an interesting new take (perhaps soft reboot) happening with Batgirl in issue #35.

Reviewed by: Gabe Bustamantez
(gabe@comicspectrum.com)
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