REVIEW: ‘Batgirls,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batgirls #1 cover image

Batgirls #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, art by Jorge Corona, colors by Sarah Stern, and letters by Becca Carey. With the destruction of the Clock Tower and the Oracle Network, it’s time for the Batgirls and Oracle to get back to basics. Moving into their new home in Gotham’s less than prestigious Hill district, the trio is looking to start over after the recent city-wide battle against The Magistrate. But settling into their new home could come with some unforeseen problems.

Before we get into my full thoughts about Batgirls #1 I have to make something clear so anyone reading this review will understand the space I am coming from. Ever since its announcement several months ago, this book has been my most anticipated coming out of the superhero genre. Steph has been my favorite Bat-Family member since before she was Robin(I’m so old) and Barbara Gordon leading the Batgirls as Oracle gives me so many Birds of Prey vibes I could hardly contain myself when I saw it was on the way. Whether my hype for this title makes it more or less difficult for me to be pleased with it I cannot say. All I can tell you is, so far, the Batgirls are looking great!

The most critical part of the story’s formula that Batgirls #1 needed to nail for me was the personality. Whether it’s Steph’s bubbling enthusiasm, Cassie’s tendency to speak little, yet say much, or Barabara’s loving exasperation with her charges, these personalities needed to be delivered in a way that is true to the characters, as well as be utilized in a way that allows them to click as a team. Cloonan and Conrad manage to land this mix of personalities wonderfully. No one’s quirks are ever taken so far as to feel abrasive to the other two but rather pushed just enough to create those colorful character moments I was hoping for.

While most of Batgirls #1 focuses solely on its characters as they settle into their new home, the story does a wonderful job of laying the groundwork for a couple of different potential storylines. Whether all these disparate threads will come together or play out separately, it was great to see several different plots getting set up while not interfering with the book’s need to simply establish itself.

If there was one aspect of this book I knew was in good hands it was the art. With Corona providing the art, this book’s visual foundation was in the hands of the artist who delivered one of the most characterful comic stories I’ve ever read. And it is largely due to his work that that series is one of my favorite reads of all time. That the skillful artist could bring some of my favorite established characters to life felt like a foregone conclusion. In this task, Corona doesn’t disappoint. Every character is captured with all the energy I could ask for. This is especially true for Cassie. Corona delivers her enthusiasm and pep with an admirable amount of gusto.

The colors throughout Batgirls #1 work perfectly with the line art’s energy. Colorist Stern leans into this energy with a palette that utilizes lots of green, purples, and yellows to help the title’s visuals pop in a way that brings characters and their world that extra bit of life.

Wrapping up our look at this book’s presentation is the lettering. Letterist Carey does a solid job of delivering each character’s voice here. Couple that with some wonderful sound effect design that melds beautifully with the art and the letters provide a strong final flourish to the visuals.

So, when all is said and done, Batgirls #1 gets this new series off to a great start. With the next issue set up in the book’s final pages, I look forward to seeing where this story will take our colorful trio next.

Batgirls #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Batgirls #1
4.5

TL;DR

So, when all is said and done, Batgirls #1 gets this new series off to a great start. With the next issue set up in the book’s final pages, I look forward to seeing where this story will take our colorful trio next.