Comic Name: Batgirl (Volume 3)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ardian Syaf
# of Issues: 6
Release Date: 2012
Reprints Batgirl (3) #1-6 (November 2011-April 2012). Batgirl is back on the streets and trying to find her feet…literally. After years of being confined to a wheelchair after the Joker’s attack, a miracle cure has allowed Barbara Gordon to walk again. Trying to adjust to adjust to a new home and roommate, Barbara faces a threat in a new villain named Mirror. Batgirl also faces off against her mentor Batman when a woman named Gretel takes control of him.
Written by Gail Simone and illustrated Ardian Syaf, Batgirl 1: The Darkest Reflection brings Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl from her time as Oracle. The comic was part of the New 52 role-out and was well received by critics and fans.
Having the “original” Batgirl back was a big deal. The real first Batgirl first appearanced in Batman #139 (April 1961) and introduced as Kathy Kane’s niece Bette (to dispel homosexuality accusation in Seduction of Innocence between Batman and Robin) as Batgirl. The Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl didn’t show up until a joint collaboration between the Batman television series and comic creators to make a new Batgirl and had her first appearing in Detective Comics #359 (January 1967). In the Batman: The Killing Joke (June 1988), Barbara Gordon was crippled by the Joker when she was shot in the stomach. This left her in a wheelchair (longer than she was actually Batgirl) but Barbara soon developed into Oracle (first “appearing” in Suicide Squad (1) #23)…a computer master that helped linked the superheroes.
Many saw this new series as a shot at a positive character with a handicap. Simone (who wrote Oracle a lot in Birds of Prey) however hasn’t eliminated that Barbara was in a wheelchair and it still is an important part of the story. The whole “how Barbara is walking again” isn’t really covered in the comic storyline although it is touched on.
Ardian Syat does a nice job as artist in the series. Syat gives real life to the character. The series is a good balance of action scenes and personal moments. I would like to see how Syat does with a real supervillain…It was nice to see Batman, but I want Batgirl against a real villain with Syat’s art.
Batgirl is another one of the good New 52 series. It has a great main character with a lot of history and fun art to back up the story. Once against a Batman supporting character proves they can fly on their own, and I hope that Robin gets another shot at a series in the New 52 as a result. Batgirl 1: The Darkest Reflection is followed by Batgirl 2: Knightfall Descends.