Review: Shadow of the Batgirl
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Sarah Kuhn
Artist: Nicole Goux
Colors: Cris Peter
Letters: Janice Chiang and Saida Temofonte
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Cassandra Cain, teenage assassin, isn’t exactly Batgirl material…not yet, at least. But with Batgirl missing from Gotham City, can Cassandra defy her destiny and take on a heroic mantle of her very own? She’ll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out.
After a soul-shattering moment that sends Cass reeling, she’ll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero—Batgirl. But Batgirl hasn’t been seen in Gotham for years, and when Cass’s father threatens the world she has grown to love, she’ll have to step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle—that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero.
This was such a smart decision to tell a Cassandra Cain story. She was always the least understood Batgirl. I know she has a role in the Birds of Prey movie so, we can assume this was excellent crossover marketing as well, but all in all, she has a great story to tell. Kuhn is a good writer and her novels are not best sellers on accident. She does both Cass and Babs justice. That is always a fine line but I think fans of both will like this story. The coming of age tale is smart as well. We need to meet and love Cassandra in a short space, mission accomplished. She is so honest and wears her heart on her sleeve.
Nicole Goux’s art is delightful and colorist Cris Peter almost steals the show. Gotham is such a dirty place and they depict that perfectly. The inside work though, specifically of the library is when they shine. There is quite a lot of action scenes in the library as well. There are places to hide and from which to jump and swing. it is really great.
The creators of Shadow of the Batgirl really don’t have a bead on who the audience is. Is this a book for tweens? Maybe. There are a lot of tweeny things going on. Is this a book for teens? Maybe, there is a lot of that going on as well. It feels like this book is aimed at kids who still giggle when they hear a swear word and are willing to try one out on their own, but who are not comfortable with it.
Cassandra is a great character and it is nice to see her in this book, and not as Orphan in the “Rebirth” world, this book is just uneven. I am glad it exists and I would recommend it for tweens who won’t freak out over a bit of real world language and violence.