The Return of Batgirl

I thought that I would not like the new Batgirl. I get it that when a new team takes over a series there are going to be some changes. What made it so difficult was that I really liked the latest series of Batgirl that began with DC rebirth in 2016 and for its first 26 issues. The series was created by Hope Larson & Rafael Albuquerque. I liked it so much, I didn’t want it to end.

Cover by Matt Hollingsworth, Sean Murphy, and Julian Totino Tedesco

As was reported back in June, Sean Gordon Murphy designed a new costume that is supposed to be a version of the costume that Barbara (Batgirl) Gordon was working on when she still lived with her dad. That is before she moved to Burnside. Now in issue #27, she has moved back to Gotham and into the apartment that she once shared with her father, Commissioner Gordon. At the end of #26, we saw that Batgirl had been severely injured by a villain named grotesque. At the beginning of #27, we learn that Batgirl’s injury was so severe that her implant had been damaged and she requires a new surgery to repair the implant. At any moment the implant could cease to function and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) would be unable to walk. This, of course, is from an injury she sustained when she was shot by Joker several years ago.

Accepting the new look was made more difficult by the fact that I really like the Batgirl that appeared in issues 1 through 26.

I liked her costume… the mask with the big eyes-holes, the boots, the gloves with cuffs, the blue overalls and the snap-on cape. I think that it was unique and a kind of a throwback to the 1940s when back in the day the mystery men (& women) would create their costumes from whatever they could find in their closets.

And Babs, as she is known to her friends, operated in her neighborhood of Burnsides, a Gotham borough, as if she were a 1940s mystery woman. Unlike Batman, Batgirl works alone (Oh, snap!).

Yet, once I got a look at the new look, I could see there was more to this than just a new costume.

Issue #26 was written by Mairghread Scott. Pencils by Paul Pelletier, Inks, Norm Rapmund, Colored by Jordie Bellaire, Cover by Matt Hollingsworth, Sean Murphy, Julian Totino Tedesco

As I was reading issues #26 and #27, I noticed something about the way the artists are using color to send a message about the scene. The use of warm reds and browns in the scene where Jim tries to get his daughter to recognize the seriousness of her condition and how she needs to rest and take it easy until she has her surgery.

The dark blues and gold in the scene where Batgirl faces off once again with the villain Grotesque.

Then there is the sickly green haze when Detective Douglas and Wyrm from the Dark Web meet.

Now I am fully on-board with the new look and I look forward to continuing to read one the best series currently in print.