Comic Review – Batgirl #48

  • Writers: Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher
  • Artist: Babs Tarr
  • Letters: Steve Wands
  • Cover Art: Babs Tarr
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Release Date: 3rd January 2016

There’s so much going on in this issue of Batgirl that keeping up with the plot is a task in itself. Although this isn’t necessarily a negative, with the return of Black Canary to Babs life, the continuing issues Babs is having with her memory escalating to a whole new level and some truly shocking moments which will definitely have a huge effect on the title. It’s actually quite a traumatic experience for Batgirl this time round, the title is definitely retreating away from the ideas of the cheerful Batgirl of Burnside and getting into some serious drama.

BATGIRL #48 cover by Babs Tarr
BATGIRL #48 cover by Babs Tarr

Stewart and Fletcher have built a really clever narrative for this arc of Batgirl. What is Babs supposed to do when her greatest weapon is turned against her? In fact for some of the issue she isn’t even aware of the full extent of what she’s lost and the horror of the issue continues to build as she realises just how much of her mind has gone. She even forgets that she was supposed to meet Dinah at the airport. Which is a great moment of writing as it has the comedy element of Frankie and Babs walking into the apartment and finding her pinning someone up against a wall. It’s also tragic from the viewpoint that Barbara’s memory is so far gone that she can’t even remember one of her best friends. Thankfully they continue in this vein, breaking up the tragedy of the event with comedy, as Dinah and Babs try to figure out what happened with Babs memory they also have to deal with some of Dinah’s rabid fans. Who she is less than thrilled want pictures with her and get her to sign autographs, after they were thrilled she threatened them of course. It would have been good if they hadn’t seemingly spoiled part of the next issue of Black Canary which has yet to be released.

The art style of the issue, as per usual, really stands out and continues to give an incredibly unique feel to this title. Tarr jumps straight in to a costumed date on the roof between Batgirl and Batwing which is extremely surreal as a date but also manages to be oddly cute in her eclectic style. Plus, her take on Batwing looks super cool and as high-tech as you would expect. She also manages to deliver some truly chilling artwork this time round. While this isn’t fully her wheelhouse, but she pulls it off fairly well. You can really tell the horror that Dinah and Babs are experiencing as Babs realises the figure from her nightmares is real and is actually out to get her. Although the expressions are slightly exaggerated it mostly works in the framework of this issue. It gets even worse at the end of the issue when a truly worrying event happens, an event that looks like it will have some serious ramifications for the series moving forward (and that will not be spoiled her for those who have yet to read the issue) but it is one hell of a cliff hanger.

Up till now, Batgirl has been a much more lighthearted title. This issue more than proves that the creative team is more than equipped to delve into darker plots. They’ve been pulling this story off wonderfully so far and this issue is no exception, it looks like these events will be leading into the 50th special and the way it’s going is gonna make it a doozy.

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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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