Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Batgirl #14 Review and **SPOILERS**

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A Dick’s Life

Script: Hope Larson 
Pencils: Chris Wildgoose 
Inks: Jose Marzan Jr. 
Colors: Mat Lopes 
Letters: Deron Bennett 
Cover: Dan Mora 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Batgirl has been a pretty dopey book, but I have been enjoying the last few issues for their dopiness. And this issue has Nightwing making an appearance! This is sure to get awkward and goofy as hell. Let’s find out together in my review of Batgirl #14, right now!


Explain It!

That “will they/won’t they” romantic tension between Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon and Dick “Nightwing” Grayson has been waxed about more than actually written into comic book lore. Sure, there have been implications, stolen kisses, lingering looks—even during a nebulous period that would have made Barbara several years older than Dick—but by and large there’s a supposition that somehow, some way, these two Bat-extras will connect in a meaningful way that will transcend their shared obsession of wearing wrestling costumes and flinging themselves into the heart of danger; that curious disease we know as heroism.
The conceit, normally, is that Barbara Gordon is the Straight Man to Dick Grayson’s flippantly dismissive quippiness. That changes here, however, when Batgirl is written as somewhat clueless and wrought with a Cathy Guisewite style anxiety while Dick has been a secret agent for a clandestine and world-dominating organization. In previous continuities, being that Robin was held between ages 10 to 13 for several decades while other characters matured around him, it was assumed that Babs was older than Dick. Now, the situation seems reversed—though it’s expressed that they’re about the same age in flashbacks, he comes across as more resolute and adult, while Barbara does her usual recent routine of grasping at straws.
The story here is that Nightwing has been summoned to the same location in Burnside as Batgirl, a trap that winds up with twin weirdo women falling to their deaths off a rooftop—twin women that looked like someone named Ainsley that Barbara knew in her high school days. It was right around the time she met Dick as Robin, and it was cool to see Batgirl in an old version of her costume during these scenes, and to see Dick characterized in this more knowing, grown-up way. We’re going to learn more about this Ainsley character as time goes on, but whatever happened leads Nightwing and Batgirl to hunt down the Mad Hatter, who lies battered in a hospital room. He’s comatose, but springs awake to warn them of the real culprit in this crime: the Red Queen!
Chris Wildgoose has definitely found his “sea legs” with this title, and he stretches out a bit in his exaggeration and action scenes. The story is intriguing enough, though there’s not enough there to make a sound judgement about it; what happened during this flashback Summer seems to be the real yarn here. For now, I’ll say this is a fairly decent issue, particularly for Barbara and Dick “shippers,” with the caveat that this is the Barbara Gordon that huffed paint as a teenager, and not the brilliant strategist you might have seen years ago.

Bits and Pieces:

The sparks don't exactly fly when Barbara and Nightwing meet for the first time in this post-Rebirth continuity, but there are some sweet interactions and nice combo action scenes that make for a pretty satisfying read. The usual status quo where Barbara is serious while Dick is a goofball is sort of flipped here, so long-time readers might find the new dynamic interesting to observe.

7/10
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4 comments:

  1. Strictly speaking, Batgirl and Nightwing have already crossed paths in Rebirth Holiday Special #1 (2016).

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  2. I flipped through this at the store and remember really liking the art and thinking the Batgirl & Robin scenes were cute. I love that the artist chose to draw Nightwing as lithe, relatively non-muscular, and feminine. I much prefer the look of femme guys to the typical overly muscular way American superheroes are typically drawn. As for Babs, I liked her costume in the flashbacks more than her current one.

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    Replies
    1. the art is really good in this issue..probably my favorite art Batgirl has had in years

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