Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business written by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, illustrated by Babs Tarr
Published by: DC Comics on February 23, 2016
Review Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Graphic Novels, Comics, Superheroes
Plot: Now that Barbara Gordon has settled into Burnside she has to get into the swing of fighting crime, dealing with her roommate who knows her secret, and oh yeah, her dad is the new Batman. Ugh.
Review: This might be where I say goodbye to Batgirl for a while. I was sorely disappointed in the last volume, and when I decided to snag this one it was with the hope that DC would realize that Batgirl deserved to be more that what we were given in Burnside. It didn’t happen, and I was heartbroken all over again. I think the problem here is that DC has made a cognitive decision to turn Batgirl into a teen friendly series that wishes to cash in on a younger demographic. If this wasn’t the only Batgirl series running, but rather one specifically created as something separate to fit that, I feel that I would have at least some respect for it. It would simply not be “my cup of tea”, but I would let the younger crowd have their version of Batgirl all the same. However, to take away one of the best female superheroes and replace her with a flaky hipster, while a marketable decision, is one that robs comic readers and longtime fans of the strong and intelligent female lead we have grown to cherish.
So what do we get with the new Batgirl? Some new slang, smartphones, shout outs to Starbucks and Instagram. Is this quality? Not really. While the artwork and language used might be viewed by some as modern and more inclusive, it isn’t balanced out by depth of plot and character. There is a serious lack of substance with all of the characters involved that is only heightened by Cameron Stewarts attempt at making Babs sound cool. FYI, she’s doesn’t sound cool, she sounds like a ninth grader who is trying too hard on the first day of school. As someone who works with young adults on the regular, I can honestly say the new Batgirl would be sitting alone come lunch. Teens specifically hate a lack of authenticity, and Babs is anything but.
I might even be able to handle a fluffy Batgirl if the plot was decent, but the storyline flits about constantly with not time for buildup. It’s just an onslaught of Babs encountering new villains in between coffee breaks, wedding planning sessions for her friend, and romantic drama. The plot is pretty damn trite and the bad guys’ largest crimes are their wardrobes. I mean Velvet Tiger? Really. I’m sorry, it’s too far. She looks like an 80’s band groupie. Tarr has the skill to do better than a tight leopard print dress that came right out of Thundercats. I know it can’t be easy to create comics, but surely we can do better here?
The only two redeeming moments where when she told her dad he looked lame without his mustache, and that she should have finished her library science degree. Yes, Babs, please do so that I can get back the hero I love.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Who Should Snag It: New fans of Batgirl and younger readers will gravitate more towards these last two volumes, but be advised if you are looking for the Batgirl of yesterdays, this isn’t the one for you.
*I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*