Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Batgirls #18 Review


Written by: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad
Art by: Robbi Rodriguez
Colors by: Rico Renzi
Letters by: Becca Carey
Cover art by: Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: May16, 2023

Batgirls #18 finds the Cauldron on the wrong side of the law when the sniper issue a public ultimatum - the Batgirls must turn themselves into the police, or more people will die.
Is It Good?

Well, well. Where was this level of storytelling for the last seventeen issues?? Batgirls #18 is a pretty darn good Bat-family book cum police procedural. It's not perfect, but it's a far cry better than most of the previous issues.

When last we left the Cauldron, a sniper's attack created an atmosphere over the city and left several people injured, including Grace O'Halloran's right-hand man, Roky (No, it's not a typo. It's Roky without a 'c'). Shocked and scared, Grace approached a gang to buy a black market gun, resulting in a heavy-handed, tone-deaf lecture from the Batgirls to Grace about taking the law into her hands.

Now, Batgirls #18 shifts into a surprisingly solid detective procedural as the Batgirls secretly work with the GCPD, the public, and Batman to track the sniper down. Meanwhile, the sniper issues a public demand for the Batgirls to turn themselves in or risk more deaths.

Cloonan and Conrad have upped their game in this issue. The pacing is steady, the dialog is tight and impactful. The plot is engaging. And readers get one or two moments of genuine emotion to get them to care about the characters.

If there's nit to pick with this issue, it's in the art. Rodriguez's figure work is generally good but faces frequently look stretched, distorted, and "melty". Further, Rico Renzi's obsession with purple gives simple panels a gaudy, offensive pallor.

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 #18 is a decent little crime thriller with solid detective work, snappy dialog, strong emotional beats, and engaging drama. This issue exemplifies what the series should have been from the beginning. Conversely, the art is uneven, and the coloring is terrible.


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