[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Hope Larson
Artists: Chris Wildgoose, Jon Lam & Mat Lopes
Batgirl continues to investigate Ethan Cobblepot’s new tech company.
I like the cover by Chris Wildgoose. My favorite aspect is probably the purple smoke. I don’t know why but I think it looks cool. I like the confidence in Babs’ smile; that’s a nice touch.
The interior art features pencils by Wildgoose, inks by Jon Lam and colors by Mat Lopes. It looks really strong. The faces are expressive and engaging which I have a tendency to look for. The backgrounds all look great too which gives Burnside a lot of personality. I also like a lot of Lopes’ color choices; he really gives the scenes a solid tone and atmosphere.
Hope Larson adds some nice touches to the culture of Burnside that I absolutely loved. There’s a neat ride that Barbara and Ethan go on as well as an interesting bar that Babs goes to later. They’re both weird and a little absurd and I love it so much.
I like Ethan’s backstory. It fits perfectly with Penguin’s character and is interesting. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has several kids somewhere. This scenario has probably happened to him before. I am also interested in what is secretly going on with him.
I like how Barbara responds to her friend’s experience of being misgendered. In these situations, people often say “that sucks” which is an understatement in a lot of situations. That was a really human moment for Barbara in which I could tell that she did not know what to say. I also appreciate that Larson brings up that this character was misgendered because I did not know that was a phrase. I didn’t know that happened enough to require a phrase. Seeing that brought up made me Google search and learn a little about something important. I also like that couple so I welcome more material for them.
I like Barbara interacting with the kids even though there is not a lot of it. I think teacher/mentor is a good role for her.
This really feels like a set up issue. It’s an unfortunate consequence of how the industry works right now. In context, this will read just fine. But on its own, I don’t feel like I get enough out of certain concepts such as Barbara in the classroom or Alysia misgendered. They’re good concepts and I’m intrigued but nothing really happens with them. I understand why and I don’t blame the creative people but it is a little tedious until I can the rest of the story. It’s a first world problem; I know.
This is a really solid issue. Larson is writing great material for both Barbara and the supporting cast. The art is really strong as well with Burnside really coming to life. I wish there was more room to handle certain plot elements more but the issue still works well.