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Gordon is Batgirl again. And no, she’s not Batgirl in a wheelchair. She has
full use of her legs now as a result of the relaunch (I won’t spoil the
quagmire of a plot structure that is Flashpoint).
What is important to know is that the events of Alan Moore’s fantastic book The Killing Joke still happened. The Joker
did shoot her in the back in her own home, and it’s clearly still a defining
moment for Barbara. Whether you like the change or not, this is an incredible
start for the character’s return as Batgirl.
Gail Simone took on quite the controversial book in Batgirl #1. Babs Gordan has been paralyzed for two decades, and the Oracle’s influence on the DCU has reached nearly every hero currently working. When Batman goes to someone for advice, you know they must be pretty smart. Simone handles the transition well, as it seems that Barbara hasn’t lost any of those smarts, nor any of those memories of the Joker.
Not only is the backstory and transition covered well, but Barbara’s future is laid out as well. With a new roommate and villain, Batgirl already has quite a bit on her plate from the start. Barbara’s roommate is actually hilarious, and I’m looking forward to the dynamic these two will have with each other. The new baddie, The Mirror, is a huge hipster. He loves to find ironic ways to kill people. It’s creepy as hell and should make for some interesting and twisted encounters.
Ardian Syaf is one of my favorite comic artists, so I’m glad he’s handling art on such a highly controversial title. Whatever qualms you may have with Barbara ditching her wheels and donning her cowl, you can’t argue with the design of this one. The variety of the panels and pages make this a fun one to read, and match Simone’s writing very well.
I’m sure there are some Stephanie Brown fans out there wishing she was still Batgirl – and I think I may agree – but it’s hard to miss Steph when Simone and Syaf make Barbara’s return so damn entertaining. Set aside your concern and give Barbara another spin as Batgirl. Heh. Spin. Like wheels. Wheelchair. Goodness.