Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Batgirls #13 Review



Written by: Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad
Art by: Jonathan Case
Colors by: Jonathan Case
Letters by: Jonathan Case
Cover art by: Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: December 13, 2022

Batgirls #13 continues the Freaky Friday adventure from the Batgirls Annual when Steph enjoys Dinner with Siva and Cass plays a game of Daddy Dearest. Meanwhile, Barbara and Bruce call in a favor from a magical friend.

Is It Good?

Riddle me this, Batgirl fans: When is a plot device not a plot device? Answer: When it serves no purpose. If you don't believe the answer, Batgirls #13 will set you straight. Oy!

If you read the Batgirls Annual, you know Cass and Steph switched bodies, ala Freaky Friday, after flipping a magical coin given to Steph by an old woman as a 'thank you for saving the old woman's cat. Why and how that sequence of events played out is shrouded in a series of convenient contrivances that come out of nowhere, but here we are.

Now, Steph (in Cass's body) has a one-on-one dinner with Lady Shiva, and Cass (in Steph's body) wakes up after being kidnapped by her no-longer-dead father, Cluemaster, for a clumsy attempt at a family reunion. Meanwhile, Bruce calls in Zatanna to help figure out what's with the coin that created the body swap.

You get the feeling that story might be going somewhere unusual or intriguing until it doesn't. The coin's spell stops at the 24th hour because the Batgirls wished to switch places "for a day," and Batman and Batgirl Sr. find the old woman, who turns out to be Madame Zodiac in claiming she gave Steph the coin for a bit of good-natured fun.

What was the point of the body swap? What was the point of giving Steph a magical coin that grants a wish without telling her it's a magic coin? Batman and Batgirl Sr. simply leave after Madame Zdoiac's ruse is discovered, so what was this point?

None. There was no point in the body swap. It didn't go anywhere. It didn't create a problem, and it didn't solve a problem. Cloonan and Conrad created a body swap plot device, only to resolve it in the following issue with nothing to show for it.

Stranger still, the art team is wholly swapped out in favor of Jonathan Case, whose style differs from Jorge Corona. That doesn't mean it's terrible, but the difference is noticeable. The case employs a mid-century retro vibe to the pencils/inks that look similar to a Darwyn Cooke comic. The panel compositions and facial acting look great, but the action scenes are flat.

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 #13 wraps up the body swap adventure by waiting for the spell to wear off. You get the impression Cloonan and Conrad are throwing in goofy developments to pad space and bide time while DC figures out if the title will continue after issue #15. In effect, this title is quickly devolving into a timewaster.


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