Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Batgirl #30 Review and **SPOILERS**

Pick a Side

Writer: Mairghread Scott 
Penciller: Paul Pelletier 
Inker: Norm Rapmund 
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire 
Letterer: Deron Bennett 
Main Cover Artists: Pelletier, Rapmund & Bellaire 
Variant Cover Artist: Joshua Middleton 
Editor: Brittany Holzherr 
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: January 2, 2019


It’s Batgirl, swinging into action! With no hat, girl, her hair is free-flowing satisfaction! She’s keen and cool and something-or-other alright I’ve got nothing this month. Exceeept a review of Batgirl #30…now, where did I put it? Oh yeah, right here!

Explain It!

Alright, let’s not kid ourselves and say, up front, that the character Batgirl is liberal. An “SJW,” as the kids (read: crabby adults) would say today. I put this out there because there’s a lot of contention in comics today about how certain characters are “s’posedta” behave, and that the stories contained within the saddle-stapled four-color booklets have gotten “too political.” Well, if you’ve come to a Batgirl story looking for purportedly apolitical, beat-em-up fun, then you’re barking up the wrong tree. Batgirl has always stood up for the common folk, whether as a librarian or a senator, when swinging across Gotham rooftops or controlling the action remotely while confined to a wheelchair, Barbara has always been compassionate. One might, if one had a thesis to write for their undergrad social sciences or psychology degree, compare Batgirl’s hopefulness to Batman’s dark sense of duty, and illustrate how she has provided levity where otherwise was morbidity, particularly from the Bronze Age on. One could also make an allusion to Robin fulfilling much the same roll for Batman, and then point out their will they/won’t they romance that is as much about pulling Dick Grayson from the darkness, as it is about Barbara Gordon, uh, getting her smooch on. One might bother to make this comparison and others, if the book wasn’t so aggressively dull. 
The whole thing looks flat and lifeless, nothing like the exciting panels we saw in the first story arc. Gotham City congressional candidate Luciana Alejo is campaigning on a platform against racism and xenophobia. Jason Bard and assorted bigots decide to break up her rally by disguising themselves and provoking violence against the police. Batgirl swoops in to calm things down, but Commissioner Gordon is very snarky, calling her “vigilante,” probably with a sneer and a voice dripping with sarcasm. That’s when Batgirl realizes that he doesn’t know she’s his daughter, so their usual snippy relationship doesn’t apply. Uh, just now you figured that out, Babs? I know you’ve been away a while, but one would think that when the hero togs go on, she’s no longer behaving like the commissioner’s daughter. 
Jason Bard and his hoodlums run off, and Batgirl catches Jason Bard, discovering his involvement. She’s so stunned, he pepper sprays her and gets away, but the next day when trying to volunteer for Alejo’s campaign, she finds Bard already there, threatening the candidate with violence from a Deathstroke knock-off known as…the Cormorant! And that’s it, really, it wraps up super fast once Barbara finds out Jason Bard is involved. There’s a little breakfast-time disagreement between Jim Gordon and Barbara over Alejo, and Barbara meets a purple-haired volunteer named Izzy, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more than her. There are really no great complaints about this issue, except that it was wholly uninteresting. And that might be a bigger crime than the claptrap that came before this run.

Bits and Pieces:

A flat, uninspired story that is offensive only in its tedium. Sensitive, bigoted types need not apply.

No comments:

Post a Comment