Be warned of plot line discussions ahead, so if you haven’t read the comic yet you might want to do that first and then come back.
Issue Ten begins with Batgirl intervening in a car robbery in the run down Cherry Hill neighborhood of Gotham. The parking garage is filled with the expensive cars belonging to rich people visiting the neighborhood for an urban renewal kick-off gala. While stopping the would-be thieves, Barbara wonders if she’s doing the right thing, beating up people who steal because they have nothing. Despite her conflicted feelings, she proceeds with her efforts to stop the robbery because recently the crooks have escalated and begun taking hostages while stealing. Barbara subdues the gang, but is badly shaken when one gang member is gruesomely injured while escaping. The security people from the gala arrive and agree to stay with the young man until help arrive, but, as we later see, it turns out they are much more than what they seem.
Meanwhile, inside the gala, we are introduced to Charise Carnes, the heiress in charge The Cherry Hill Foundation and hear her speech outlining her goals for the renewal of the neighborhood. We also find out her brother and parents were brutally murdered and, in another somewhat gruesome image, we see that she is also more than what she seems.
Issue Ten also brings the return of Alysia, Barbara’s roommate, who has been missing for the last couple of issues and was last seen in the company of Barbara’s serial killer brother James. I’m sure there’s more to come in that storyline and I look forward to finding out what’s been going on.
So far, I’ve really enjoyed the New 52 Batgirl. Gail Simone writes a complex character with emotional depth. The first person narrative style conveys insight into Batgirl’s personality and it has a dry humor and intelligent wit that adds a certain verve to each issue. Of course, the attack that left Barbara Gordon in a wheelchair and her subsequent recovery is central to her personality. The psychology of her regaining strength, purpose and skills as she once again picks up the mantle of Batgirl is compelling. Personally, I think it’s great to see such a strong female hero with such well-crafted stories.
The art is also well done; I particularly find that the facial expressions (unmasked of course!) add a great deal to the narrative. Another thing I enjoy is the way in which Simone weaves current events into the background of storylines. Although some might disagree, to me, that makes for a more realistic and satisfying read.
If you’re already into the series, Batgirl #10 is a definite BUY. If you’re new to the series and don’t want to go back to Issue #1, this is a great place to begin because it’s the start of a new story arc and you won’t have much trouble catching on.
See you next month!
Recommendation: BUY IT
Story by Gail Simone
Art by Alitha Martinez
Colors by Vicente Cifuentes