Batgirl 1: Batgirl of Burnside

batgirl volume 1 batgirl of burnside cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Progressive, fun, and different

Tries a bit too hard at points

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batgirl (Volume 3)/Secret Origins (Volume 3)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Cameron Stewart/Brenden Fletcher

Artist:  Babs Tarr

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2015

batgirl #37 cover disco barbara

Batgirl (3) #37

Reprints Batgirl (3) #35-40 and Secret Origins (3) #10 (December 2014-May 2015).  Barbara Gordon is making a change.  She’s going back to school to work on her programming and moving to Burnside.  Unfortunately for Barbara, it seems like someone is out to get her and predicting her every move.  As Batgirl adjusts to fighting crime in Burnside, she finds herself at odds with the police for the first time and she’s beginning to suspect that they might be right about her vigilante nature.  Burnside needs a superhero, and Batgirl is here!

Written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher and illustrated by Babs Tarr, Batgirl Volume 1:  Batgirl of Burnside represents a new direction for the New 52 Batgirl series.  Following Batgirl 5:  Deadline, the series maintained its original numbering but recruited a new art and writing team.

I commend DC for not relaunching Batgirl.  It is a little thing, but there is no need to restart series every ten issues.  If a series isn’t selling, it probably deserves cancellation…relaunching with a new #1 to attract attention isn’t the right idea.  If you are going to change creative teams, change creative teams…give a series some time to breathe.  Batgirl’s decent sales probably saved the title from a relaunch and the new direction is a fun one.

This series of Batgirl capitalizes on the fact that Batgirl is a very rounded superhero.  She has personality, she’s fallible, and she’s intelligent.  It is a very “girl power” series with a modern twist.  Barbara is more tied in to the community…she chats, Tweets, Instagrams, etc., etc.  The series also smartly criticizes and critiques this behavior.  Batgirl doesn’t get a pass.

batgirl #39 cover vs burnside

Batgirl (3) #39

The series manages to look at the superhero genre without losing its fun.  It takes on some very heavy issues and it does it with universal appeal.  One of Batgirl’s best attributes is that both men and women can read the series and not feel that Batgirl is simply a “girly” Batman…she’s her own character.  This is aided by the great art of Babs Tarr which keeps the series light.

I will say that Batgirl sometimes tries a bit too hard, but it manages to do it in a way that isn’t jarring.  Much of the criticism of DC and Marvel is that boil it down, it is generally white men and women saving the world with little diversity.  I feel that comics are generally pretty progressive (particularly look at some of Marvel’s choices in the ’70s and ’80s involving race).  Barbara new best friends are transgendered and a friend with a handicap…it is a good effort to diversify comics, but I also feel that something like Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman that have more eyes on it would benefit from diversification more than Batgirl who already seems pretty diverse (and I’m not slagging the characters because both Frankie and Alysia).  I do feel making Black Canary essentially Jem is a bit of a slam to a character who is more than a singer.

Batgirl 1:  Batgirl of Burnside is an exciting new direction to a fun character.  I like what DC is doing and I hope that it doesn’t get bogged down in its own political correctness which could scare off some borderline reads.  Batgirl 1:  Batgirl of Burnside is followed by Batgirl 2:  Family Business.

Related Links:

Batgirl 1:  The Darkest Reflection

Batgirl 2:  Knightfall Descends

Batgirl 3:  Death of the Family

Batgirl 4:  Wanted

Batgirl 5:  Deadline

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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