Things get electrical in Batgirl #42 by Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher, Babs Tarr art, Jake Wyatt and Michael Lacombe on breakdowns, Serge Lapointe on colors, and letters by Steve Wands.
Babs and Jim face down and tea up against Livewire this issue, while Babs tries to reconcile the new status quo of working with her father, as Batman, and him not knowing she’s Batgirl, and also getting used to Frankie now in on her Batgirl activities. Livewire is causing trouble but she’s only an obstacle in the true threat; the Gotham Police force want to round up all the “old Batman” proteges and have “official” sanctioned heroes like the very much watched Jim. Considering we do have one Julia Pennyworth on his team I’m sort of curious how that would play out ultimately. Babs gets help from Qadir for a way to disarm the new supped up Livewire and does so with Jim’s help. A pop-in from Alysia tops off the issue announcing she’s engaged to be married and wants Babs to be a maid of honor (oh wow has Babs really been that great of a friend?)
This has a lot more action than last issue and for what is is (rather than what it’s not) it’s fun. Babs Tarr does great, cute cartoony faces and it’s a animated show or movie ready look and feel. She’s getting better and better at action and flow, though it’s not always the strongest.
This issue is more balanced than some of the previous ones. I like it a lot better and I feel like it has the right balance between action and personal. This is still not my Babs but I can see why people would love this new version. I am sad she still hasn’t really solved things independently much, I feel there is an uneven display of her tech skills and intelligence though this is much better than Gail’s run in that regard. I’m also seeing less cameos of Babs Tarr’s friends which got cloying after a while. I also have to say I do love the coloring on this, the art doesn’t “look” colored and rather part of Tarr’s own work so I think that’s a general huge compliment to Serge, who really fills everything in nicely .
Was Babs really that close to Alysia in Gail’s run? That part seems sort of forced but that’s just me being a curmudgeon. It’s a very cute moment and I really do actually like the fact they continue to bring Alysia back as a reoccurring character when she easily could have been swept under a rug. So positive and just dry observation. I do think Jim not realizing she’s Batgirl is just ridiculous. Her current cowl is more revealing than ever it’s not a secret at all. He’s a terrible parent. That’s why I really liked Year One; he knew she was Batgirl more or less but was mum about it. This not knowing is so…unnecessary.
Better action. Better Batgirl this issue. I’m still not 100% for this version, I think she comes off as a bit too young, but it’s definitely hitting all the right notes for those that are or are lining up for her. As far a comic I really can’t complain too much, it’s at the least well made and for that it scores highly.