REVIEW: ‘Batgirl,’ Issue #50

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batgirl #50

Batgirl #50 is published by DC Comics, written by Cecil Castellucci, art by Emanuela Lupaccino, Marguerite Suavage and Aneke, inks by Wade von Grawbadger, Mick Gray and Scott Hanna, colors by Jordie Bellaire and Trish Mulvihill, with letters by Becca Carey, With the loss of her brother still fresh in her mind, Barbara Gordon is struggling to find her balance again. That combining with everything Gotham has been through recently has Babs more than a little off balance. Things need to change. But how does one fix a system that is so broken?

The old systems once again prove their ineffectiveness. People are marching, demanding better representation, and that their voices be heard. The heroes of the past have failed them, and they need to find their own way forward. Trying to change an entire system is hard, exhausting, and often treacherous work. Those who undertake it can be branded as criminals and disturbers of the peace. But the people of Gotham are fed up with being led to the slaughter. And at least one of its protectors are determined to change with, and support them, as it struggles to move toward something new.

Batgirl #50 presents readers with a trio of tales that highlight Barbara as she reevaluates her place in her world. Both within Gotham, as well as in the larger pantheon of Earth’s heroes. As she realizes that, while she has fought for the good of Gotham against madmen and maniacal monsters, Gotham has needs that are woefully underserved. Problems like homelessness, and the rash of big corporations trying to buy up land in the wake of Joker’s most recent attack, in a bid to bring gentrification to every corner of Gotham. She realizes Barbara Gordon, assistant to Congresswoman Alejo, is just as needed as Batgirl. Especially since so many of Gotham’s biggest problems aren’t going to see solving with fists.

Along with Gotham’s struggles, Batgirl #50 sees Barbara attempting to address some of the struggles in her own life. This is particularly true with her relationship with Jason. A lot has happened, a lot needs settling. While such issues don’t see solutions overnight, no time to start like now.

With all this soul searching and social unrest, this issue comes across as a fairly heavy read for a series send-off. At least until the final few pages. To lighten the mood a bit writer Castellucci lets Babs have a relaxing night of tabletop gaming to close out the run. Barbara steps behind the DM screen to have a fun night with Black Canary, Huntress, Orphan, and Spoiler. Seeing this ladies night deliver a few hardy chuckles was a great final note. There is still a lot for Babs to learn. And happily, she won’t have to learn it alone.

The art in Batgirl #50 does a good job of delivering its story. While most of the paneling feels fairly standoffish, keeping the reader at arm’s length, it is nonetheless clear and proficient in showing what needs to be shown. While the more basic panel design is standard across all three stories, the one big stand out element of the book’s visual presentation is Suavage’s colors in the second story. I absolutely adored what was done here. The colorwork is both vibrant and unique. Loved how it gave the middle story that extra pop to help it stand out.

Rounding out the presentation is Carey’s lettering. Just as with the art, the lettering does a solid job delivering the story it’s telling, even if it doesn’t push much beyond that.

When all is said and done, Batgirl #50 delivers a strong, socially conscious story. It melds Gotham’s struggles with the fictional realities of the superheroic, with many of the problems facing real-world society. And through this format asks, how can we, like Batgirl, make things better. Even if the visuals don’t land as well as the narrative this book remains a strong wrap up to a comic series.

Batgirl #50 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

Batgirl #50
4

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Batgirl #50 delivers a strong, socially conscious story. It melds Gotham’s struggles with the fictional realities of the super heroic, with many of the problems facing real world society. And through this format asks, how can we, like Batgirl, make things better. Even if the visuals don’t land as well as the narrative this book remains a strong wrap up to a comic series.