Comic Review – Batgirl #44

  • Writers: Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher
  • Artist: Bengal
  • Colours: Serge Lapointe
  • Letters: Steve Wands
  • Cover: Babs Tarr
  • Release Date: 23rd September 2015
  • Publisher: DC Comics

This issue is the end of another arc of Fletcher’s and Stewart’s and just like any of their arcs so far it ends with a lot of drama, and more than a few changes to the status quo of the lives of the characters in Batgirl. However unlike Dinah leaving to get her own book (which is also covered by Fletcher) the changes this time round look like they’re going to have long-lasting effects upon the book as a whole as one character features heavy change and another looks like they’ll be leaving the book from this point on.

Batgirl #44 cover by Babs Tarr
Batgirl #44 cover by Babs Tarr

The story for this issue is pretty basic: Fletcher and Stewart give us the second half of a pretty odd arc with their usual comedy, fun and dose of soap opera that follow Batgirl in her adventures in Burnside. This time around she’s being hunted down by a woman who dresses up as a tiger and goes around calling herself Velvet Tiger. She existed Pre-New 52 but these issues of Batgirl feature her reintroduction, and Fletcher and Stewart manage to make her quite a real threat. Batgirl only manages to narrowly escape from this deranged villain, and she doesn’t do it on her own merits, the way she does is a great twist from the writing team that the fans will surely enjoy. However the Luke Fox sub plot of the issue feels more than a little unnecessary; it comes off as a way for DC to simply find a place to put him to use since his own title ended.

This time around the art duties are handled by Bengal instead of Tarr, which isn’t really a bad thing as his work on Batgirl Endgame #1 was pretty amazing work in its own right.  The presence of Tarr is of course missed, as Bengal has to attempt to imitate her distinctive style in some places and although still good the sudden change in some characters does feel a bit jarring. However what Bengal loses in some places, they more than make up for in others! Bengal’s action scenes are an incredibly dynamic affair. They practically pop of the page, whether it’s Barbara crashing through the ceiling or going blow to blow with Velvet Tiger, Bengal doesn’t miss a beat on managing to make it look absolutely stunning. 

Batgirl as a whole continues to be a breath of fresh air from most of the DCU lineup. It is by no means a perfect book, but it’s certainly one of the best books they have out of the moment, and with each week the creative team continues to deliver dramatic, fun and engaging storytelling that leaves the reader wanting to come back for more. Not just that, but it manages to constantly have shocks that the fans don’t see coming, which for comic fans is a pretty big deal.The ending of this issue features a dramatic scene focusing on one of the core characters that will shock the fans, most likely excite them too, will make Barbara Gordon’s life even more complex than it already is, and also most likely infuriate her. Which at the very least means that the next few issues will make for some really good storytelling.

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About the author

Harry Roachford

Harry is a Literature student in york who's possibly unhealthily obsessed with comic books. He started blogging because he loves to talk about comics, but mostly because his friends were getting pretty close to killing him for never shutting up about Captain Marvel. So it worked out better for everyone this way.(and definitely a lot safer)

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