Batgirl 2: To the Death

batgirl volume 2 to the death cover trade paperback cassandra cain
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Good development

Issues sometimes feel too nicely wrapped up

Comic Info

Comic Name: Batgirl (Volume 1)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer:  Kelley Puckett/Chuck Dixon/Scott Peterson

Artist:  Damion Scott/Alitha Martinez/Marco Martin

# of Issues: 13

Release Date: 2016

batgirl #15 cover joker batman

Batgirl (1) #15

Reprints Batgirl (1) #13-25 (April 2001-April 2002).  Cassandra Cain continues to hone her skills as Batgirl, but a mission could prove to expose her identity to the world.  With the Joker releasing criminals all over Gotham and Bruce Wayne being accused of murder, Batgirl finds that being a superhero isn’t always easy…and the fight to the death with Lady Shiva grows closer!

Written by Kelley Puckett, Chuck Dixon, and Scott Peterson, Batgirl Volume 2:  To the Death is a DC Comics collection.  Following Batgirl Volume 1:  Silent Knight, the comic books feature art by Damion Scott Alitha Martinez, and Marco Martin.  The volume contains crossover event series issues Batgirl (1) #21 (December 2001—Joker:  Last Laugh) and Batgirl (1) #24 (March 2002—Bruce Wayne:  Murderer?) which was previously collected in Batman:  Bruce Wayne—Murderer.

I enjoyed this iteration of Batgirl.  It wasn’t simply a Batman spin-off with a character like Barbara Gordon doing the same thing as Batman but with a different personality.  The Cassandra Cain Batgirl was truly different and the writing and the storytelling is also different than Batman stories.  With a compelling lead and a decent overarching story, Batgirl continues to win.

batgirl #20 cover spoiler cassandra cain

Batgirl (1) #20

Batgirl actually evolves in these issues.  Unlike some stories where the characters simply do their thing over and over again, Batgirl is learning and growing as the comic book progresses.  She started out a mute, (potentially) deadly assassin, and now she is talking, honing her skills, and gaining friendships.  With a set “end” in this volume (aka the showdown wish Shiva), the collection is a solid rounded story with individual stories making it up.

As with any series involving bigger event series, there are some problems in that you might not always know what events led up to the crossover issue.  The Last Laugh issue feels like a stand-alone and doesn’t need too much context and the Batman:  Bruce Wayne—Murderer? issue is early enough in that storyline to also stand by itself.

Batgirl is a nice break from the typical Nightwing-Batman-Robin circle.  It is a character that doesn’t have deep ties to anyone and is forming ties herself at an age that is important for a young woman.  She is a strong character that I feel did not get enough recognition or use (especially after Flashpoint).  Sometimes the stories are wrapped up a little too nicely, but overall Batgirl moves.  The character feels independent and strong but also has a softness to her that makes it easier to connect with than some other characters who have had paths to enlightenment.  Batgirl 2:  To the Death is followed by Batgirl 3:  Point Blank.

Related Links:

Batgirl 1:  Silent Knight

Batgirl 3:  Point Blank

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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