Review: Batgirl #2 (Simone & Syaf)
You can stop reading this review right now, because you are going to want to run to your local comic shop - and get in line to get this book!
I've read all 52+ of the DCnU, and Batgirl hands down is the best of the bunch. Yes, this comes from a "cosmic" fan who wouldn't have dreamed of picking up a Batgirl title if it landed in his lap. And that's what I love about this new DC, it has given me a chance to jump onboard something I wouldn't ordinarily give two seconds of my time to.
Batgirl #2 is another well written issue by Gail Simone; I think it might even be better than the first, if that's possible. This issue has it all, it is a complete read in and of itself. You know how "they" say every comic might be a reader's first? Batgirl #2 is that definition. Now, I am not saying it is a rehash of the first issue, because it is not. Simone incorporates the previous events of the story into a smooth transition between this issue's happenings, and for what's to come in issue #3.
This issue continues from where we left off from Batgirl #1, with Barbara and Detective McKenna face to face with The Mirror! While last issue saw Batgirl seemingly frozen cold by the threat of the killer, here we see an action packed Barbara Gordon, with Batgirl narrating as she pursues The Mirror across Gotham. We are witness to a very human, very relatable Batgirl as she tries to take down the assailant. Likewise, we observe The Mirror as he goes about justifying his insane actions. The supporting cast is developed as we get more from Barbara's new roommate, Alysia, more from a new love interest, more from Detective McKenna, and this wouldn't be Batgirl without more from dear ol' dad, Commissioner Gordon! While the issue was 20 pages, it read as if it were 32!
And for those complaining about how DC treats their female characters - read this issue! Batgirl is a strong, smart, yet vulnerable - super hero! Not every issue has to have T&A for guys to like it. Heck, I loved it!
Syaf provides another outstanding issue. We are given very detailed panels filled with background and raw emotion. As Batgirl attempts to break The Mirror, you can't help but feel as Batgirl gets it thrown right back at her. Ouch!
I do have one request, and I do not know if this has merit, but I would like to see Batgirl incorporate some kind of fighting technique. I assume she was trained by Batman? As Batman is a master at many martial art techniques, I would assume he would have trained Barbara in a style suitable for smaller frames. Ju-Jitsu and Judo come to mind, with the latter being especially useful as smaller frames tend to off-balance their larger counterpart, with the result being quite the devastating throw. I remember a scene from last issue where Barbara's wrists were grabbed and she did some kind of somersault maneuver, which looked a bit impossible. Instead, she could have simply clapped her hands together, stepped toward her assailant and came up with an elbow to the chin - or simply escaped. But then again, if Barbara is a lone-ranger type, and not trained by Bruce, all bet's are off!
Another sure sell out for the New 52, you are going to want to get your hands on Batgirl #2, if you can find a cop!