Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Batgirls #3 Review

When Everybody Has Your Attention, Nobody Has Your Attention

Written by: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad
Art by: Jorge Corona
Colors by: Sarah Stern, Ivan Plascencia
Letters by: Becca Carey
Cover art by: Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: February 8, 2022

Batgirls #3 begins to unravel Tudor's (gas)tly machinations when it's discovered he uses a potent mixture of Fear Toxin, Laughing Gas, and modern art to hypnotize the susceptible citizens of Gotham. What will the Batgirls do when one of their own falls under the Tutor's spell?

Was It Good?

Batgirls #3 marks another issue in the series that amplifies how odd and perplexing this arc is turning out.

As the blurb spells out, the Batgirls get up close and personal with the Tutor to find out what they are trying to do. That's a good thing because the Batgirls don't know what the Tutor is trying to do.

Therein lies the perplexing part of this issue and this series. Where are we (the readers) supposed to be focusing? The Batgirls are in hiding to get away from Seer, but we suspected and confirmed in this issue that Seer knows where they are. Cass and Steph are continually distracted with uncovering the identity of a supposed serial killer in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, a new villain named the Tutor is hypnotizing Gotham citizens with a mixture of gas and art... for some reason.

We're halfway through a 6-issue mini, and it's unclear who the main villain is or why. Seer is the more significant and known threat, but Seer isn't making any moves except intimidating Barbara remotely. Tutor is the present, active threat, but there's no hint that Tutor's done anything necessarily illegal other than exposing citizens to a strange gas that gets the citizens to listen to whatever Tutor has to say. Finally, the Hill Ripper may or may not be real, yet it keeps coming up in every conversation.

There are three threats, ranging from active to possibly non-existent, and there's no clear direction for the Batgirls. Somebody, please teach Cloonrad the meaning of the word "focus."

That art by Corona is serviceable, but the down point is the lack of coherence in the action scenes. There are several panels where the hyper-stylized anatomy and positions of the characters made it hard to tell what they were doing or how they were moving. Stylized is fine, but clarity needs to come first. So again, it's functional art, but it's a bummer when you can't tell what you're looking at.

Bits and Pieces:

Batgirls #3 increasingly shows this arc suffers from a fatal lack of focus. There are three villains at various stages of activity level, but it's not clear who the Batgirls should be prioritizing or why. Not a good place to be when you're at the mid-point of a 6-issue run. The art is fine is you like stylized anatomy, but this issue shows some weakness in the art choice due to lack of clarity.


1 comment:

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