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Batgirl Vol. 1: Beyond Burnside (Rebirth) Paperback – March 28, 2017
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“If you aren’t reading this series, fix that now.”—Nerdist
“…plenty to offer Batgirl fans.”—IGN
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About the Author
Hope Larson is the New York Times best-selling author of six graphic novels, notably her graphic novel adaptation of Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). Her short comics have been featured on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times and in several anthologies, notably Flight. Larson has been nominated for cartooning awards in the US, Canada, and Europe, and is the recipient of two Eisner Awards and an Ignatz. She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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(Side note, if you're a new fan who wants to get into Batgirl, I definitely recommend reading Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey first, as Batgirl: Beyond Burnside is more of a side story, following Barbara's past.)
Batgirl: Beyond Burnside takes place before Birds of Prey. It follows Barbara Gordon's journey across the world, to fight crime, learn new skills, and to just find herself. It's a very "cute, cool, and new" Batgirl, while also having a piece of the Batgirl we know and love. If you're a fan of Batgirl, I really think you will enjoy this. Is it a must read? Not necessarily, considering it's somewhat of a side story to Birds of Prey. But it sure was a must read for me. The art is some of the best Batgirl art we've seen in a while. The style of art really sets the tone for this book. I enjoyed Barbara's eagerness to learn from a retired superhero named Fruit Bat. She wants to learn, and she's ready. This is the story of someone who wants to find herself, and this first volume chronicles her journey to learn, grow, and become a better Batgirl.
Conclusion: If you can't get enough Batgirl, this book is for you. However, if you're not her biggest fan, it then becomes the kind of book you pick up while waiting for the next volume of your favorite comic book to come out. It's a side story, but it's a good one at that.
The art is decent, the actual mystery story is, on its own, okay, and held my attention. I liked the character and the story showed some good research had been done.
My problem with the book is that I didn't see the point of it. My hope with the Rebirth books is that they would serve as an easy jumping on point for new readers. This book fails at that. Why is Barbara travelling Asia? What does she do in Burnside? Who is her best friend in the wheelchair she calls a couple of times? I've got the Burnside books on my to-read list, but if I have to read them before I know what's going on with the character, then the point of Rebirth is somewhat lost with Batgirl.
I did like the character, so I will probably pick up Volume 2, but this book doesn't work as a jumping on point.
**A review copy was provided by DC Comics for review purposes.**