DC Comics 2021
Written by Becky Cloonan & Michael W Conrad
Illustrated by Jorge Corona
Coloured by Sarah Stern
Lettered by Becca Carey
Um, hello-you didn’t actually think we’d keep you waiting this entire year without giving you the Batgirls series we’ve all been wanting for forever, right? No way, we love you too much-just like Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, who are only able to navigate the dark, gritty, and oftentimes scary city of Gotham by leaning on the bright light that is their best-friendship. Mentored by Oracle, the Batgirls move to the other side of town where Barbara Gordon can keep a better eye on them while the hacker Seer is still invading their lives. Steph may be too rash sometimes, and Cass doesn’t speak much-but what they lack in similarities they make up for with their mutual respect and love for each other…and what makes them stronger together as Batgirls! And they may be good at kicking ass, but they are just trying their best to be normal teenagers-who’ll borrow the keys to a muscle car that belonged to a bad guy and perhaps give it a joyride around town without a driver’s license, then race to get back home to Oracle by curfew…!
I’m going to start off with a few criticisms so sorry about that. The opening page the narration boxes are pink with white writing, this is a massive mistake. Sure it is girlie but it’s so hard to read, if the writing were black, purple or blue even it would’ve been so much easier to read and much less of a headache when words get lost as the white kind of blends in too much.
The writing here is utterly fantastic! The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in establishing and fleshing out their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story the more we want to see.
I am very much liking the way that we see this being structured as well as how the layers within the story begin to emerge and grow. That the layers open up new avenues to be explored as they add this great depth, dimension and complexity to the story is marvellously rendered. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how we see it move the story forward is impeccably handled.
I am not a fan of the interior artwork here. There are a lot of inconsistencies in the work where faces and especially eyes are concerned. It very much feels like an unimportant YA series and that to me isn’t what this is about. It’s just not my cup of tea and with everything we see here shows the girls looking like they are twelve half the time and then there are the panels that feel extremely cluttered or too blank. This is where I drop a book because the art doesn’t seem to go with the writing. Thankfully we do get some astonishing colour work here. Those graffiti murals are spectacular to see. Hey you may like the linework and how the book looks visually so by no means am I saying don’t give it a shot because you should and you can decide for yourself.
After Fear State and the Clocktower having been destroyed and that they are trying to find The Seer and thwart her from whatever nefarious scheme she is cooking up, this is the girls gearing up for some new adventures. A fresh start in a new space in a different part of town and it should be a time for celebration. This is extremely well written with some great characterisation with some ho hum interiors and again this is just my opinion.