Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Batgirls #6 Review

Oooohhh! So Close!

Written by: Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad
Art by: Jorge Corona
Colors by: Sarah Stern
Letters by: Becca Carey
Cover art by: Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: May 11, 2022
Batgirls #6 concludes the current conflict against Spellbinder with a pitched battle to save Gotham's hypnotized systems. Can Batgirl and Batgirl (and Batgirl) stop Tutor from enacting his final performance?

Was It Good? 

Well, knock me down and call me stinky. Batgirls #6 is almost a kickass issue. Almost. Some wonky flaws pull you out of the proceedings, but if you turn a blind eye to the wonkiness and a bait-and-switch that took away the potential power of the ending, this is an excellent issue.

Look, nobody is as shocked as I am how well this issue turned out. So let's get into it.

[Spoilers Ahead]

When last we left the cauldron, Spellbinder captured Babs, and Steph and Cassie were duking it out with Tutor as the hypnotized mob started closing in. Now, Barbara escapes her bonds to take out Spellbinder and sends a transmission that exposes him to the world. Again, Steph and Cassie take out Tutor and restrain the mob long enough for Barbara to arrive with an antidote Spellbinder kept in his lair. But when the day seems saved, Tutor activates a bomb with a timer strapped to his chest. With minutes to spare, Steph tosses the bomb in the back of Bondo and drives off the nearby pier to explode in a blaze of glory... or does she?

By and large, it all works. The pacing is excellent. The plot developments are solid, albeit a bit predictable/convenient. You feel a genuine sense of urgency as each battle takes place. And the writers managed to sneak some honest-to-goodness emotion into Steph's final moments.

Corona's art can be an acquired taste, but it's effective here. The high points are the race/chase scenes where corona uses cape movement to create striking imagery against the night sky. The action scenes are packed with energy, so it looks great if you can accept the mid-Century post-modern aesthetic.

That said, the flaws almost killed this issue. For example, Barbara leaps, tumbles, and spars with  Spellbinder while still tied to a chair. Comics rely on a suspension of disbelief, but the physicality in Barbara's fight scene verged on the ridiculous.

Next, Steph drives off a pier in Bondo with a bomb inside. The bomb explodes with Steph inside. You'll have to check out the issue to see if she gets out of this alive, but you might be able to do the math yourself without it.

The last few pages turned into a tedious news report monologue about the danger of influencers, mob mentality, and thinking for yourself. In and of itself, the message is OK, but it was too on-the-nose and came across like a PSA. The message should have been clear thorough the story and action.

Bits and Pieces:

Batgirls #6 is the best issue of the series. The stylized art is an acquired taste, but there were plenty of visually striking moments in this issue. The central conflict with Tutor and Spellbinder ends satisfyingly, and you have a couple of moments of genuine emotion. However, Barbara's fight scene was ridiculous, some bait and switch went on, and the closing pages turned into a heavy-handed PSA.



  1. Yeah I have to agree with most of your points. I had to do a bunch of re-reads to see how the exploding Bondo scene made any sense. I got out a magnifying glass to see if there some teeny-tiny detail of her trying to get out of the car. Didn't see it. I'll break out my electron microscope and take another look :)