Comic Name: Batgirl (Volume 3)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ardian Syaf/Vincente Cifuentes/Ed Benes
# of Issues: 8
Release Date: 2013
Reprints Batgirl (3) #0 and #7-13 (May 2012-December 2012). Barbara Gordon is just trying to make it as Batgirl after years in a wheelchair when she comes face-to-face with her past in a battle with an enemy called Grotesque. The Court of Owls also makes a strike on Gotham City, and Batgirl discovers a decades old feud might be spurring the Talon she is battling. When it seems one battle ends, another begins for Batgirl and she finds herself teaming with Batwoman in a battle against a group called the Disgraced led by an enigmatic woman named Knightfall…but Knightfall’s secret partner might cause more problems for Barbara.
Written by Gail Simone and illustrated by Ardian Syaf, Vicente Cifuentes, and Ed Benes, Batgirl 2: Knightfall Descends essentially collects three different Batgirl stories plus mixes in an origin story in the Batgirl (3) #0 (November 2012) issue as part of DC’s zero month. The series also contains part of the Night of the Owls crossover in issue #9 (July 2012) and prices on Batgirl (3) #13 jumped when it became a prologue to Death of the Family.
Batgirl is just a fun title. Barbara Gordon has always been one of my favorites through her Batgirl years and through her time as Oracle. The people who decried her magical “healing” seemed to have calm down and now Simone can focus on writing a good story. The three stories presented in this volume are fun and relevant to the character which is always good but doesn’t always happen in comic books.
The only unfortunate aspect is that there are so many stories in Batgirl right now that the flow of the comic seems a bit off. The shortened battle with Grotesque seemed a bit rushed in order to get to the Night of the Owls, and the Night of the Owls was just a tie-in issue. On the flipside, the whole Knightfall storyline seemed a bit drawn out because it had to end with the big crossover with Death of the Family and the Joker’s return. I wish Gail Simone had complete control over the events going on in Batgirl, and I would like to see a bigger story develop. Perhaps the return of James Gordon, Jr. will be the overarching story I am looking for.
Batgirl however continues to be one of DC’s better New 52 titles. The series has great art and strong writing. It is worth picking up either as individual issues or as a collection. Due to some real jumps in this title, the individual issues are a bit tougher to find as opposed to collected editions so Batgirl 2: Knightfall Descends might be your best bet for getting them (but you’ll miss out on the totally ’90s Die-Cut cover to Batgirl (3) #13). Batgirl 2: Knightfall Descends is followed by Batgirl 3: Death of the Family.