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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Comic Book Review: Batgirl Year One

Batgirl: Year One
Writers: Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon
Artists: Alvaro Lopez and Marcos Martin
Number of Issues : 9
Published by DC Comics

Girl power has never been this good.

And seriously, I never thought I would ever enjoy reading a Batgirl story, but I did. I really did enjoy the darn book. 9 issues, 226 pages of full kick-ass Barbara Gordon aka  The Original Batgirl. Its an origin tale, which means it tells us how did Batgirl became hero that she is. 

As the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon, she wants to follow her father's footsteps and be a cop, but he (Commish Gordon) doesn't want his little baby girl meddling with thugs and thieves. Babs tries to apply for a protection agency, but is rejected again because she didn't meet the minimum height requirements. She feels frustrated about it because every body thinks that she is nothing but a pretty, intelligent girl who should just go to law school and be a successful lawyer someday.

She doesn't want any of that. So our heroine decides to do something more than just become an ordinary citizen. Wanting to prove to everybody that she is just not your typical girl-next-door figure, she uses her wits, fact finding abilities, improvisational skills, computer wizardry and physical prowess (Barbara is an exceptional martial artist - she knows karate, judo  etc and is also proficient in gymnastics) to help save Gotham from its "freaks", and creates a costume that resembles a bat then starts fighting crime,  beating lowlife thugs and petty thieves. But she instantly finds out that it takes more than just imitating Batman - donning a cowl and putting some yellow bat logo on her chest - to become a full-pledged hero who wants to make Gotham a better place.

Batman and Robin also appears in this comic book, and we see them meeting Batgirl for the first time. (take note that Barbara Gordon has not met them before and that she knows nothing about them). They are both cautious about her, especially Bats. And over the course of the story, he tries to tell our red head heroine that this whole thing is not a game and that she should stop doing the whole vigilante thing before she gets hurt real bad. Of course Barbara doesn't listen to what he says, and it now its all up to her to show the Caped Crusader that she deserves to be  part of the team.

Artists did a good job of illustrating all the action, and I love the vintage style they used on the characters.  Its always good to see the Golden Age art on Bats. Such a classic.

Another great aspect of the comic would be the focus on Barbara and Dick Grayson's (aka Robin The Boy Freaking Wonder, or Pixie Boots as Babs would call him here) adventures and err.. blooming romance.I would have to say, that angle worked for me. It added a somewhat lighthearted tone to  all of  the crazy action.

Oh and the dark, murky, crazy Gotham. Superb.

The verdict: What can I say? This is as good as any DC story out there... no wait, its one of the better comic book you will read in a while, considering that the spotlight here is on beautiful red headed chick. I  definitely enjoyed the ride with Batgirl and she really shined all through out in this series, proving that she is just as important as any character in Batman's fight against crime. The perfect example of girl power. Not even the Powerpuff Girls can beat Babs here.

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