Editor's Note: Suavestar has created a nice three-part piece of not only a review of Batgirl, but also of his normal comic Red Robin. He also commented on yesterday's announcement of Fabian Nicieza taking over writing duties on Red Robin starting in June. All of the pieces will post today with a four hour window in between. So be sure to tune in throughout the day to see all three great pieces.
Last month, Red Robin #9 ended saying that there would be a crossover issue with Batgirl next. Being an idiot, and interested in seeing how this would turn out, this afternoon I went out and picked up both Batgirl #8 and Red Robin #10. So, welcome to this one off double review from me of both Red Robin #10, and Batgirl #8. Usually Zaius reviews Batgirl on the site, but for one night only, I will also be reviewing Batgirl. So let’s begin with the first issue of the two part crossover, Batgirl #8.
Batgirl #8 is written by Bryan Q Miller, with art by “Guest Artist!” Talent Caldwell. We open with Batgirl training against machines and an inner monologue about her life and a bunch of other stuff. She is then stopped by Red Robin, who asks her why she is dressed as Batgirl, and where are Dick and Cassandra. I’m already going to stop with a continuity error. In Red Robin last month, Batgirl was seen just hanging out in the cave waiting for Red Robin, and smiling, in this issue, she’s approached by him in the middle of training. I’m not too bothered about this error, but it’s something worth noting. The issue continues with some funny back and forth between Batgirl and Red Robin, it’s a light-hearted scene about how much Stephanie has moved on and how Tim needs to respect her as Batgirl. Really, that is all this issue is about, Tim is back in town, and he has to get used to the status quo. Stephanie is Batgirl, deal with it, oh, and if you have time, stop Ra’s Al Ghul from destroying Gotham.
Next up we have Tim and Stephanie going to a charity event of some sort in Gotham and Tim showing that he is back and here to be the hero Bruce wanted him to be. The issue is fast paced, as we next up have a Stephanie/Tim team up against a few league of assassin nobodies, followed by the end of the issue where Tim finally accepts Stephanie as Batgirl, and says that he is proud of her. The issue ends with the pair being confronted by Prudence of Red Robin frame, and the line “To be continued in Red Robin #10!”
Right, problems with this comic first, well the main issue is the art, it is horribly inconsistent here. You can have good pages, like the opening scene between Red Robin and Batgirl, which looks almost like Francis Manapaul, which is never a bad thing. You can compare that to the second half of the book, where you can almost hear the artist say “Crap, this is due in two hours!” and rush through his final ten pages. The game changing point where the art gets really bad is during the scene between Oracle and Detective Nick, the scene seems to set the pace for the rest of the book, in that it is cartoony, and not very nice to look at.
The writing by Bryan Q Miller, for the most part, is great. He doesn’t create a well organized action sequence here, but what he does give us is a great character issue. You can almost see Tim slowly accept Stephanie as Batgirl in this issue, and although it was the first issue of the title I have picked up, I did not feel like I was left out of the loop.
All in all, I was very happy with this comic, and even though, it wasn’t the crossover I was expecting, seeing as Ra’s takeover and destruction of Gotham was secondary to building a new relationship between Tim and Stephanie, I was still very happy with this comic. It’s a real shame that the art let this comic down.
Reviewed by Suavestar