Comic Name: Batgirl (Volume 3)/Batgirl: Futures End
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Gail Simone/Marguerite Bennet
Artist: Fernando Pasarin/Jonathan Glapion/Robert Gill/Matt Ryan
# of Issues: 10
Release Date: 2014
Reprints Batgirl (3) #27-34, Annual #2, and Batgirl: Futures End #1 (March 2013-November 2014). After battling vampires and monsters under the floor, Batgirl finds herself in a greater battle to save her section of Gotham. Knightfall has a plan. Operation: Rebirth is going to destroy the criminal element in Gotham, but at the cost of innocent civilians. Batgirl must call upon her friends and allies if she hopes to stop Knightfall…but will it be enough?
Written by Gail Simone, Batgirl 5: Deadline also features a story written by Marguerite Bennet (Batgirl (3) #30). Following Batgirl 4: Wanted, the collection also contains a story from the Batman crossover series Gothopia and Batgirl: Futures End #1 (November 2014) which is part of the bigger DC Comics’ Futures End storyline.
Batgirl has been put through the ringer over the years. She was shot by the Joker, paralyzed, became Oracle, regained her ability to walk (facing controversy for that move), and then made publishing news by the firing and rehiring of Gail Simone. This volume represents the end of Gail Simone’s run after her rehiring and the set-up for a new direction for the character.
I have never really been a big Gail Simone fan. It is unfortunate that if you say that as a male reviewer you sometimes get labeled as a “fanboy hater” or anti-women. I don’t think she’s the worst writer by any means, but I also don’t feel that she’s very good. I did enjoy the fun little “Silver” storyline in this volume but I felt most of the other issues were pretty standard fare. I concede, however, that Batgirl was one of Simone’s better runs…it just isn’t a very satisfying ending because it feels wrapped up quite fast.
This is too bad because I really enjoy Batgirl’s character. I liked her as Oracle, but did always enjoy her as the “fun” Batman (Robin never felt as Batman as Batgirl did). I also can really understand how a well-rounded character like Oracle who really was able to still be a hero with a disability was a bit of a slap in the face when she regain her ability to walk while those struggling with true disabilities don’t have that option.
The culminating “battle” to stop Knightfall is too quick, too easy, and rather a letdown. This is followed by a future look at Batgirl which is also pretty miserable. I love some of the book’s art, but the writing doesn’t live up to it.
Batgirl is deserving of a series and is good for DC and the superhero world. She’s vulnerable but also accessible for readers. Simone tried to balance this and did it sometimes more successfully than other times. Batgirl goes in a whole different “modern” direction in the next volume (which I applaud DC for not “rebooting” and just continued the original comic book numbering). Batgirl 5: Deadline was followed Batgirl 1: Batgirl of Burnside.