Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Batgirls #11 Review


Written by: Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad
Art by: Neil Googe
Colors by: Rico Renzi
Letters by: Becca Carey
Cover art by: Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern
Cover price $3.99
Release date: October 12, 2022

Batgirls #11 take a research trip to the Gotham Zoo with Kyle and Maps to fall the trail from the Hill Ripper's latest clue. When a GCPD leak puts all of the Hill Ripper's investigation in the public's hands, Mr. Fun finds himself having a bad day.

Is It Good?

Batgirls #11 continues the cauldron's investigation into tracking down the Hill Riper with the most YA-toned, kid-friendly issue so far. The mission is accomplished if the Scholastic crowd is the target audience for this comic.

Recasting your expectations for this title as a thinly-veiled Scholastic adventure on par with Scooby-Doo may be the key to this comic's success. There's no sense of urgency, drama, stakes, or danger on a single page of this comic. Everything about the execution of this story screams "safe for kids."

The plot centers around Steph going on a first date with Kyle at the Gotham City Zoo while Cass and Maps track down the latest kill left by the Hill Ripper. Kyle and Maps don't know the real reason behind the Batgirls' desire to go to the zoo. In effect, Maps and Kyle are unwitting covers. Later a GCPD officer hands over the Hill Ripper case data to the Batgirls in the hopes that they can help with the investigation. In turn, the Batgirls release the data to the public, hoping that the Hill Ripper will panic and make a mistake.

The plot sounds simple enough, but you have to wade through pages of first-date awkwardness that has nothing to do with the plot, a strange visit to the Zoo's bat cave that unbelievably leads to another clue, and a last-page reveal about a certain Batman villain's involvement that doesn't quite make sense.

Somewhere amid all the fluff is Mr. Fun. Is Mr. Fun the killer? If he is, why is he killing random citizens? What does Killer Moth have to do with any of this? What does the Batman villain reveal on the last page have to do with any of this?

When you try to put the plot pieces, you wind up with a contrived, convoluted, confusing mess. But again, if this comic is targeted at the Scholastic children's book crowd, the interesting visuals are all you need.

Speaking of visuals, Googe's art is fine. The characters are distinctive, the line work is clean, and the panel compositions are adequate, albeit lacking in energy. The coloring, however, is the art's big weak spot. We've noted in previous reviews how Rico Renzi has a bizarre obsession with overdoing pinks and purples, and this issue is no exception. The amount of purples and pinks is off-putting, but your tastes may vary.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Batgirls #11 is a light, fluffy, non-serious, non-urgent murder investigation that puts the cauldron one step closer to catching the Hill Ripper. This issue is the closest yet to a Scholastic Scooby-Doo mystery with friends being friends and kiddish hi-jinks at the zoo. Not a recommendation unless you like something to read while you drink your juice box during recess.



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