Review: Batgirl #14

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Hope Larson

Artists: Chris Wildgoose, Jose Marzan Jr. & Mat Lopes

 

Summary

Batgirl and Nightwing are confronted with a mistake of their past.

 

Positives

The cover by Dan Mora is great. I like that Babs has a bit more muscle on her than I typically see. The contrast between the present day versions of the characters and the past versions is a nice touch. It conveys what the issue is about without giving anything away.

The interior art features pencils by Chris Wildgoose, inks by Jose Marzan Jr. and colors by Mat Lopes. It’s solid as always. Lopes’ colors stood out to me this issue; the night sky looks gorgeous. Additionally, the color scheme is different in the two time periods with the present being mainly in blue and purple while the past is in green and yellow.

I like karma as a story motif. The past coming back to haunt you can feel like a cliche but it can be interesting. These characters have flaws and can make mistakes. There’s also a mystery factor that makes the issue enticing. Babs and Dick talk very cryptically about what happened and I immediately want to know what happened. They have a secret that they never even told Batman; that’s fascinating.

Hope Larson’s dialogue is strong this issue. She’s clearly having a lot of fun writing Dick and it shows. There’s a great line about Batman as a dad that is hysterical.

 

Negatives

This is a matter of personal taste and is not necessarily a bad choice but I don’t like the dynamic between Robin and Batgirl in the past. A big part of what makes Batgirl so cool, to me, is that she is independent from Bruce and Dick. They don’t know who she is or anything about her and vice versa. They respect each other’s secrets and that’s enough. But here, and in other places, she feels too much like a sidekick for my taste. She’s wondering why Batman didn’t assign her to a case Robin is working on and Bruce and Dick seem to know everything about her while she knows nothing about them. Different does not mean bad and this is a fine interpretation. I just prefer a different take on Babs’ origins.

 

Verdict

This is a solid issue. It’s a premise with a lot of potential that excites me for the upcoming issues. The art is great and the book features cool action and fun dialogue. I have issues with the flashbacks but I don’t know if most people will feel the same way. I recommend reading the issue.

 

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.