Review: Batgirl #41
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Reviewed by: Sean Blumenshine
After a disastrous defeat at the hands of Oracle, Batgirl must find a way to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. But all the while Babs must ask herself how she can defeat a nemesis who knows her every move before she makes it!
Dustin Nguyen’s cover is brilliant. The contrast between Oracle and the stark white background is effective. And the colors stand out nicely.
The interior is good. The characters are expressive, the colors are nice and, as always, it’s a fun style. One thing that I was impressed with was when Babs discarded her costume. I recently had a debate with someone about the occasional overtly sexual drawings present in both comic books and their adaptions. In this, Babs has to get rid of the costume and is only wearing a sports bra and shots but it’s never sexual. There’s no weird poses or exaggerated proportions. Carmine Di Giadomenico just draws a young woman in a sports bra. Intent matters and this is something where I think lesser artists would have cheapened the tension and momentum of the story for the sake of cheesecake in a place where it didn’t belong.
I like the intensity of this story. Babs is fighting as hard as she can but still severely losing. Everything is stacked against her which is fun because I want her to win but I don’t know how she can. However, Babs is still clever and can get the upper hand in spots. Oracle isn’t completely dominating her which would be boring.
I feel like I go back and forth on whether or not I like Jason Bard. I get the idea of his character; the ironic drama that arises from his crush on Babs and his hatred of Batgirl. It feels like a classic silver age Stan Lee scenario. Babs’ secret identity has consequences. But Bard does seem a little too willing to help the maniacal robot super villain that just set a city on fire. I guess I’m just not sure on Cecil Castellucci’s intent with Bard. I can’t tell if I’m supposed to like or hate him.
This is a solid issue. Castelluci effectively builds the tension; there’s a nice forward momentum. The art is cool and stylish. I have minor quibbles and I think the pacing is just a tad slow but it’s a really fun issue.