Review: Batgirls #5
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan
Art: Jorge Corona
Colors: Sarah Stern
Letters: Becca Carey
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Tutor’s plan moves forward drawing the Batgirls closer and closer to the truth, but, will Barbara get caught unaware as she follows up on Dante?
It’s no secret that Batgirls works because of the correct heavy focus on character and the relationship between these three women. Barbara, Cass, and Steph all have their fans. While Barbara has been around the longest, Steph and Cass both have a strong following. Not unlike Barbara, they’ve also both been through multiple iterations and suffered under The New 52.
Continuity is always a tricky aspect of comic books, there are times when readers want specific knowledge of everything and other times when some fluidity is acceptable. It would be impossible to construct a believable timeline for any of these characters without running into some continuity obstacles.
Of course, ike the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe, it’s possible to develop the elements that work and bring those to the forefront. If the reader is invested in the characters and relationships, some continuity can be altered as long as the core recognizable elements are there. It doesn’t work when those relationships are broken and if it changes the way the reader relates to those characters and relationships.
As this series progresses it’s clear that Conrad and Cloonan understand this and Batgirls #5 continues to cement this approach while the reader is intrigued by the mystery and “crime-fighting” elements, following the lives of these ladies is what really matters.
Barbara Gordon is probably the only character this side of Moon Knight that has two alter egos. Batgirls #5 may be the first time we see her in action as both Oracle and Batgirl. Barbara’s been a special character for a long time, but she probably doesn’t get the recognition she deserves for both her intellectual/technological skills (Oracle) AND her physical/detective skills (Batgirl). Can any other character boast such a diverse dichotomy of abilities? This issue makes it clear that we’ve probably all underestimated Babs at one point.
Jorge Corona has such a kinetic style that he wonderfully captures the enthusiasm of Cass and Steph while also using some exaggeration to heighten the drama. There’s a playfulness to his style that reminds the reader that this is supposed to be a fun comic.
It would be interesting if the creative team would drop the ball somewhere so there’d be something to include in this section…
Batgirls #5 is another fine example of why this is a special title. It’s not rocket science either. Babs, Cass, and Steph are three women working together to help people. The series follows not only Cass and Steph’s maturation as women and crime fighters, but it highlights what makes all three of them special. This issue is definitely focused on Barbara, but we’ve seen that focus switch in the first five issues of the title. It’s the characters, it’s always the characters.