Cover Art: Lee Bermejo, Bryan Hitch, Alex Sinclair
A brief look at the Secret Origins of some of our favourite heroes and villains.
Each story will be treated as its own issue as creative teams are different with each story.
Story 1: Batgirl
Writers: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher
Artist: Irene Koh
The art team did a lovely job on this issue. The soft lines give the eyes an easy ride over the panels, and the colours are lovely. The panels showing the similarities between Babs and her friend were pretty and the self-defence panels with the wheelchair have good movement. Hi-Fi is just magic.
I couldn’t follow where the writer was leading. The most definitive moment in Batgirl’s life, The Killing Joke remained in the story and from there I got lost. The computer styled language of her thoughts didn’t tell me much, nor made sense. It seems that all of the earlier New 52 events were also dismissed as were all of the previous Batgirl works.
This was just… I don’t know where to begin.
As a lot of older Batgirl fans, we have come to love a mature woman who, thanks to her photographic memory and Gail Simone’s strong writing, is powerful. Not only does she have those physical skills but nothing misses her sharp mind. Even in the New 52 run she has the guts to face The Joker, the lunatic who put her in a wheelchair and put him back down. In the older series even in her wheelchair she manages to smash his teeth in. She has the mental strength to beat Brainiac from within and the personal skills to maintain strong friendships. She has a sassy attitude that suits her red hair and once she got over that first fight against a gun after getting her legs back she is all the more stronger. She is very open to all people with no hint of prejudice and definitely a woman. In this she looks like she is 14, maybe 16 at most. Too young.
This story, style, costume and behaviours are far too similar to Barbara’s fan-girl Charlotte “Charlie” Gage-Radcliffe (Misfit) and probably would have been better fit.
Many of the Secret Origin stories have included the vital and/or pivotal events from even their earlier incarnations and to see Batgirl not get that same treatment was just the biggest disappointment. Batgirl has a wonderfully long and rich history and that includes her time as Oracle.
Even within New 52 she has almost married The Joker, thought she killed her brother, almost outed by her father, lives with her transgender best friend, faced Nightwing, worked with the New Birds of Prey, Catwoman, left to help Strix and dealt with The Ventriloquist. I think that marriage is a pretty big event you wouldn’t just forget or pretend didn’t happen, not when it’s to the man who crippled you.
If you were a reader completely new to the series and picked it up from here you would probably be fine, but if you are a Classic fan or even a fan from the start of the New 52 with its darker themes, I would not recommend this.
Story 2: Firestorm
Writers: Dan Jurgens
Pencils: Sean Chen
Ink: Mark Morales
Colourist: Romulo Fajardo JR.
It’s a very solid and safe issue. The writing was clean, with enough detail to follow and understand without overloading or confusing the point of the issue. The art is nice and detailed, well coloured and not over cluttered.
Nothing really to nit-pick with this issue.
The story was safe, sound but it was not inspiring. I didn’t find myself going “give me more…. Now.”
It just didn’t tickle my interest; however I am sure that fans of the duel-wonder will appreciate this issue.
Story 3: Poison Ivy
Writers: Christy Marx
Art: Stjepan Seijic
This was just beautifully written. The dialogue, the story of her past, the seductiveness of her is just perfectly portrayed. Information without overloading, making sense and leaving just enough out to make the reader look for more.
The art is just drool-worthy in its beauty. Soft curving lines that are just accentuated by the colouring that makes you know that this is a powerful, seductive woman who knows how to use anything she wishes to get what she wants.
Not one negative.
This was what I wanted in an Ivy based issue. It was seductive to the eyes and words you could hear dripping first honey then deadly in your ear, this is Poison Ivy in a nutshell. This had me wanting more. The image of Ivy curled up among the plants would make a wall poster worthy of every DC fan’s wall. I haven’t enjoyed a comic like this little one shot so much in a long time.
This was worth waiting for and honestly makes this whole book worth forking out the money for.