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Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside Paperback – Illustrated, June 16, 2015
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From School Library Journal
“Not your Daddy's Batgirl.” —IGN
“The Batgirl title at DC has maybe never been better, under the creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr.” —Nerdist
“It’s smart and chic, striking yet practical—a really good look in a medium that often puts women in outfits that look more appropriate for pinups than crime-fighters.” —Entertainment Weekly, Shelf Life
“With a distinct visual style…diverse cast, and stories that effortlessly balance humor and drama, Batgirl has risen to the top of DC’s Bat-title.” — A.V. Club
“A whole lot of excitement and killer art.”—Comic Book Resources
- Item Weight : 11.5 ounces
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401257989
- ISBN-10 : 1401257984
- Dimensions : 6.63 x 0.33 x 10.16 inches
- Publisher : DC Comics; 52nd ed. edition (June 16, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #447,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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*Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Batgirl of Burnside* is not a continuity reboot, but it is a TONE reboot. Since the 2011 "New 52" reboot, Barbara Gordon, back again as Batgirl, had been quite angsty and brooding. Who could blame her? She had been paralyzed, and just recovered the use of her legs.
Through much trial and fear, Babs began to reassume her life as the hero she had been, who she was meant to be. It made for some great drama and wasn't really overly done, to my opinion, but struck the right balance.
But the writers decided to go in a different direction, and make the title more fun and less brooding. Originally, Gail Simone wanted to do so, but was told no. When she was no longer with the book, DC relented with the new writers and now so we had the "Burnside" story line.
The volume begins with a fire that destroys Dinah Lance's (Black Canary) home (and coincidentally, Barbara's Batgirl gear, which was in Lance's dojo at the time). Forced to start over, Babs *really* starts over. She had just moved to an area in Gotham named Burnside, which is a trendy spot for students and young people to live. She seems to decide to create a new Batgirl costume and persona to go with her new life and outlook.
Things seem to be going well, despite a very sinister and creepy adversary in the shadows, but Babs' arrogance and carelessness are going to bite her in the backside if she isn't careful. Dinah warns her friend of this, but she doesn't listen. It might be a fatal mistake for her.
I really was uncertain what to think of this title. It seemed to start out as some strange effort to try too hard to be somehow cool or something like that. Or to show that DC cares about or is connected to youth, or whatever. I also didn't care for the new art style at all. It was so different from previous looks I was used to that it put me off. At least at first. Now it has grown on me and I like it, though I still question if it is the appropriate art style for a Batfamily title.
But there is justification for the art style, in that it shows the changes in Barbara Gordon and her life. This is a new Babs, who wanted to be less gritty and more fun. The art reflected a change in tone as well, as the title would be more "playful" and less grim.
I do think that at times in the beginning, the writers tried to shove too many trendy youth things into the mix, as if the characters were saying "we are young and trendy, look at us". It just was trying *way* too hard. Some bit more loose and laid-back of an approach might have helped.
However, despite some minor misgivings, I was quite pleased with this graphic novel in the end, and I liked the direction the writers were/are taking the character. I also found the new supporting characters, such as Frankie, Qadir, etc., enjoyable to read about.
This *Batgirl* iteration of last year, that in some ways, I have heard, continues in the *Rebirth* era, is something I think folks will enjoy.
Rating: 4/5 Stars.
In general, I had difficulty swallowing that someone who underwent such a dark past for so long would suddenly become such a bouncy twenty-something who gives more than a second's thought to the public's perception of her, but hey, that's difficult to fault the writers for, since it says more about me than necessarily saying anything about the character. Setting aside my own personal impressions of who Barbara Gordon is as a character aside though, what really rubbed me the wrong way was the setting and the tone with which it was presented (although that affects Barbara's characterization, I think it's a little distinct). The tone of this run screamed very strongly of "look at this millennial thing! Apps! Digital talk! Social media!" Etc. It's not subtle about trying to portray Barbara as the ultimate millennial hero, and for a batbook, it's frankly quite jarring. This initial volume tries too hard, and for me at least, it falls flat. I can see the kernels of what others might enjoy, so I think it's worth at least 3 stars, but if you expect anything layered or subtle about a character with a complex history like Barbara, this is not going to be that.
The book has to establish a new creative teams style and take, while also attempting to dissect Barbara to the very core, and it just doesn't have the impact it could have if it had been a 6-8 issue arc.
As it stands, the story is still pretty good, and fleshes out Barbara in some fun ways. It's a very entertaining read, and I look forward to future arcs with this take on Babs. The book steps into its own towards the end, and looks to be going to some fun places. Highly recommended for Babs fans, although it won't set your world on fire!
Top reviews from other countries
To say I was surprised with Batgirl of Burnside would be an understatement. I really love what they have done with the character. The graphic novel starts off with Batgirl’s original costume being destroyed and another far superior one being made. The costume is a huge part of why I loved this book. I read a lot of graphic novels, and women are so often depicted fighting crime or causing chaos in glorified bathing suits with the bodies of pin ups.
Batgirl is depicted as a regular 20 something. She has not been sexualised at all, and her costume? Perfect. The whole thing looks like she could fight crime in it without indecently exposing herself. The whole art style for this book has shifted, and frankly, really suits the content. People seem to forget this is Batgirl, a young woman, not Batman – a brooding multimillionaire. This art style is perfect for the content.
While we’re on the subject of content, I can see why this comic has become so popular with teenage girls. Barbara is depicted as having the average life of a 20 something whilst fighting crime and dealing with grad school. The plots are engaging, in fact the ending of this book left me wanting more, which I can’t say has happened recently. I found myself enjoying the story the character and the art style so much, I ordered a copy for my niece.
Yes, this book is different, but I feel that is the point. This book is light and energetic, and I think this is where people are getting confused. This is Batgirl, not Batman. She isn’t meant to be a brooding vigilante. Batgirl of Burnside has taken Batgirl in a new direction, and she is all the more better for it.