Batgirl #35 Review
Batgirl #35 marks the beginning of a new era for the character, courtesy of the creative team of Cameron Stewart (Batman Inc, The Multiversity) Brenden Fletcher (Wednesday Comics) and artist Babs Tarr. The new direction is certain to be divisive, as the tone is much lighter than what came before, and the book tries very hard to be modern.
The story finds Barbara Gordon relocating to the hip district of Burnside, where she tries to fit in with her new roommate and the rest of her young friends. It’s not long before a new threat forces her back into her costume, however, as a new villain named Riot Black is stealing girl’s laptops and cell phones and uploading their, ahem, private photos onto the internet for all to see. Though a lot has changed in Batgirl #35, the character still feels like the Barbara we know. The writers deliver a story that taps directly into her specialties, as she uses her photographic memory to track down Riot Black, and her physical prowess to dispatch thugs along the way. There’s plenty of levity strewn throughout, such as a hungover Barbara puking into a trash can after beating down a henchman.
The new artist, Babs Tarr, does a fantastic job, with a beautiful style that is absolutely brimming with personality. Character expressions and fight sequences look great, and the moments when Barbara’s eidetic memory is utilized are very cool. Her pencils make the new Batgirl costume look great – it’s vibrant and fashionable, something that I could see a young female superhero putting together and wearing with pride.
Overall, Batgirl #35 is a fun issue that goes a little too far in its attempt to appeal to a modern audience. If the creators can pull back the texting, sexting, and insufferable acronyms, they’ll have something on their hands that can appeal to a new viewership without driving the existing audience away.