24 March 2011

Book Review Number 49: Batgirl, Vol 1: Batgirl Rising

Jumping around in DC the way I have been, I was expecting this to be a Barbara Gordon Batgirl.  Honestly, I didn't know there were any others!  (I know, I know.  Bad comic fan!)  But this particular Batgirl was formerly The Spoiler, a character I'd read and enjoyed in one of the other graphic novels (a Teen Titans or a Nightwing, I think).  And seeing her in this new light is wonderful.

Being a Vol 1 of a (hopefully) long running series means that there's quite a bit of set-up in it.  We find out why Stephanie Brown has chosen to wear the cowl (she was given it by Cassandra Cain, the Batgirl between Barbara and Stephanie, when Cassandra got tired of it after Bruce Wayne's death) and see her growing pains in the role. Barbara Gordon isn't too thrilled with the idea, remembering the problems she had as a youth in the role.  But with a new drug on the street, Barbara needs the girl's help.  By the end of this particular adventure, Barbara has gained respect for Stephanie.

It's interesting to see the balance that Stephanie needs to make between her days as a college student and her nights as a costumed vigilante.  It's not always easy.  I was grateful to see Barbara come around in the end, even to the point of keeping an eye on Stephanie not out of a fear that she'd screw up, but more to make sure that she was there if she needed her.

This was a quick read and I did enjoy it.  But I can't say that it was one of the more memorable titles I've read.  Here, several weeks after I finished it, I was having to remind myself what exactly had been in the comic.  Still, it's a good one to pick up if you want to get a bit more into the modern world of DC comics.