Rating: 5/5 – Batgirl Takes On a New Look, From the Boots Up.
by guest reviewer Kevyn Knox.
I’ve always been a fan of Barbara Gordon, as well as her ass-kicking alter ego, Batgirl. I’ve had a crush on her since I was a kid when I first saw her on the 1960’s TV show version of the Caped Crusader. That crush has stood all this time, through all of Babs’ incarnations. And even though I have been rather critical of the direction of some of DC Comics’ New 52 titles, including Batgirl, I have been a fan of most of Gail Simone’s run on the title. But now Gail has moved on to other things, and we have ourselves a brand spankin’ new creative team, and a brand spankin’ new direction for the title.
Giving Barbara, and in turn Batgirl, a more age-appropriate look and style (she is supposed to be a college age young woman, after all) writers Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart and artist Babs Tarr have given the character the revamp of all revamps. Obviously going a more youthful route, with a younger, hipper verbiage and lifestyle, our intrepid bat-suited crimefighter finds herself newly ensconced in the trendy Gotham neighborhood of Burnside, an obvious allusion to the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. We get to see Barbara attend parties, get wasted, and make out with guys. We get to see Barbara go on coffee runs, have her face in her smart phone, and even set up her own online dating profile. Sure, we still get to see our heroine kick the ass of the bad guys, but now we get a more fun-loving off-duty Babs, as well.
And speaking of a more fun-loving off-duty Babs, even beyond the fresh new storyline crafted by Fletcher and Stewart, it is the art by the appropriately named Babs Tarr, which turns what could have been just another character reboot, into a thing of visual succulence, worthy of our praise. Along with colorist Maris Wicks, Babs gives Babs new direction a brilliantly bright and beautiful new look. From the unique panel construction to the visualization of how Barbara’s photographic memory works to the actual basic color choices, the art in this issue is downright delectable. Ever since DC released the first look at Babs’ new look Batgirl costume this past Summer, the comic book corner of cyberspace has been all abuzz, and now that we finally get to see it in use, as well as Barbara creating the costume in a great full-page montage followed by the big reveal itself, I was mightily thrilled.
What Batgirl #35 is, other than an obvious attempt at luring in a younger and more female-centric crowd (which is not a criticism, mind you), is a fresh take on a long-running beloved comic book character. This new youth-centric turn-of-events may end up putting some readers off, but the scripting by Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart and the art by Babs Tarr and Maris Wicks, is in pitch perfect unison with the story. This isa grade A reboot, revamp, retooling, or whatever one chooses to call this issue. In fact I would say that Batgirl #35 is off the Hooq. Trust me, once you read the issue, that last joke will become all that more hilarious.
Reviewed by: Kevyn Knox