Thursday, October 29, 2015

Batgirl #45 Review

Here Comes the...

Written by: Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher
Art by: Babs Tarr, Serge LaPointe and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 29, 2015

After reading this issue, I can only wonder what someone who hasn't read Batgirl in a while would think.  I'm sure the big question on their minds would be, "Where is Batgirl?"  Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher started their run with a heavy dose of Barbara, much to the chagrin of fans wanting to see her in her purple outfit, but recently this book has shifted gears.  Batgirl has been front and center, but that's not the case this month.  It's time for a wedding and while I have been waiting for this day to happen, I came away disappointed.  Why?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Babs being as good a "Fixer" as Winston Wolfe.  However, instead of cleaning up bloody messes, she fixes broken earrings and gets rid of stains.  While this is so far removed from any superhero book I usually rave about, I didn't mind this opening scene.  Babs Tarr's art and the enthusiasm that Stewart and Fletcher gave Barbara felt genuine and was rather contagious.

The fun continues as Barbara talks to the beautiful Alysia and then goes off to see her date (Boyfriend?), Luke Fox.  Okay, the last part wasn't as much fun, but mainly because it continues the forced nature of their relationship.  Things must really happen behind the scenes with these two because every new issue has them suddenly closer than before.  I have said on this site and on our podcast that I like them as a couple, it just doesn't feel like a natural progression.

This month we get Barbara helping Luke Fox with his tie (is it me or do you think this is something he should be able to do himself?) and then the sexy talk starts flying.  Actually, it fringes on being creepy until Dick Grayson arrives like Sam Anders and interrupts the two love birds.  Then everything just gets annoying.

I am a huge fan of both Dick Grayson and Luke Fox (because of Batwing) and it upsets me that they don't seem to know each other.  Luke mentions that his Father, Lucius, is a big fan and was upset when "Dick" died, but other than that...complete strangers.  Everything felt strange and only got worse when Dick and Barbara go back out the window to talk.

I can only guess that this issue was for Batgirl fans that didn't read Grayson #12.  That issue showed Grayson returning to Gotham and dealing with his loved ones (including Barbara) who thought he had died during Forever Evil.  Please go read it because it totally blows this ridiculously forced scene out of the water.  Sure, we get the bullet points just fine...Barbara loved Dick once/she thought he was dead/ she moved on/Luke is her man now/Dick is an ass for showing up at the wedding...then they chase each other across Gotham.  Huh?  I really can't stress how stupid and shoehorned in this all was.

After telling Dick what's what, Barbara zips back to the wedding and faster than you can say "Black Canary is playing the reception?", it's over.  I have wanted this wedding for so long and we finally get it and it leaves no impact whatsoever.  Some of that has to do with Dick stealing the spotlight, but the main reason is it was just emotionless.  It just happens.

After seeing the reception (the highlights were seeing Ditto and a creeper Dick Grayson), Barbara heads home for a night's rest and as she nods off, we get a glimpse of this books next villain.  At least I think we do...I was a bit confused.

This issue was a huge disappointment.  Not just because everything was forced, but because I was so looking forward to it...and yea, because it was forced as well.  I said it above, but it all left me feeling meh.  I could just take it or leave it and that's a shame because it could have been so much more.  I will tell you that I am intrigued to see who this shadowy villain is because I am really convinced that the big thing this book is missing is a kick ass bad guy.

I really do like Babs Tarr's art in this book, but in an issue with some real feels potential, her cartoony style doesn't really work.  In place of seeing real emotions, we get a bunch of cliched anime expressions and over exaggerated gags.  This is the first issue of this run that I wished she was off the book for at least one issue.

Bits and Pieces:

After waiting for this wedding to happen, I was so disappointed.  It all falls flat as Stewart and Fletcher would rather give a Grayson recap than a wedding.  When we do get the big event, the writing lacked any spark and the art didn't do it justice.  The issue ends with the promise of a scary villain (something this book sorely needs), but as a whole, I could care less about this issue.



  1. I gotta admit, for all the hype about this wedding, I really wished there'd been more wedding. It was awfully cute but I figure that was sort of the point. I think I gained an extra point or two of enjoyment knowing you were getting heated!

  2. This issue could have done a lot more, but it just kind of settled on cheap love triangle drama, with Dick playing the role of the villain. There could have been a more mature take on the Dick-Barbara conversation, or we could have seen more of Alysia (since her wedding is supposedly the big event of this arc after all).

  3. Yeah the wedding and Grayson cameo should have been seperate issues by themselves . Meanwhile this love thing between Luke/babs needs more showing than telling. Only three issues in and they are acting like they have been a couple for years(wouldn't be surprised if he proposes to her next issue wth fletcher/Stewart's new method of off panel romance)

  4. i was really on board for this creative team during their first arc.
    but they are seriously losing me FAST!!!!
    Barbara is one of my favorite characters, but i'm not sure how much more i can take before i drop this title?

    1. I think people are finally seeing this run for what it is...more glitz than substance.