A new story arc for our heroine, and it just keeps getting better. This is the first issue of the “Son of Penguin” arc, and while I liked our jet-setting Batgirl, it’s nice to see her back in Gotham. She returns to Burnside to find that her favorite coffee shop is now a pet-supply store, her roommate is moving in with a new girlfriend, and Burnside is becoming gentrified. There’s also a new hottie in town, and his name is Ethan….Cobblepot? So Barbara has a date.
Some really great moments in this issue – Barbara reacclamating us to Burnside, a great little coms chat with Nightwing to bring us all up to speed, and a little side trip to find out what’s happening to Burnside’s homeless population. Apparently, there’s an app to get the homeless off the street – you just ping it near the homeless person, and a shelter van comes by to pick them up. Because it’s Batgirl, it can’t be a simple operation, but that’s what makes it interesting. They didn’t drag this out, and Batgirl solves a smaller problem only to discover a bigger one.
Batgirl still has that youthful voice that the New 52 wanted to bring in, but there were a couple of moments that made me, a classic Batgirl fan, squee just a bit. First of all, classic Barbara Gordon always had her hair pulled back or put up unless she was dressing up or being Batgirl, and we saw her hair up a lot more in this issue. It’s not a big thing, just made me smile. Wildgoose’s pencils and inks are right on the money, catching her youth, grace, agility, and that magic thing that makes her Babs. Lopes keeps the colors bright, accenting the lightheartedness of this title.
The other squee moment for me was Barbara’s new field of study: Library Science. If you’ve looked in to this, it is SO much more than caring for books – librarians are a font of information, and they have to be VERY up on tech in order to keep up in this ever-expanding field. I think it’s brilliant. Kudos to Larson for writing a Batgirl/Barbara who is a delicious frothy cappuccino of old and new.
Definitely pick up this issue if you aren’t already reading Batgirl – it hits all the right notes and you don’t really need to know much about her to enjoy yourself.