Review by: keith7198

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Avg Rating: 3.6
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Written by GAIL SIMONE

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

“Batgirl” #1 featuring Barbara Gordon may have been the most talked about title coming into DC’s New 52 relaunch. As a big fan of the character especially as Oracle, I was immediately interested but concerned. It was announced that Gail Simone would write the series and her affection for the character put my mind at ease a bit. The biggest questions on everyone’s mind was how is Barbara not in a wheelchair and did “The Killing Joke” happen?

Simone wastes no time addressing it in this issue and while on the surface the answer may seem oversimplified I found it to be effective and compelling. Yes “The Killing Joke” happened and what I found interesting is that Simone didn’t try to brush it off on one quick page’s worth of explanation. Instead we see that it’s left some deep rooted aftereffects that Barbara is still struggling to overcome. This is a personal battle that I think offers up the potential for some great future moments. I particularly liked the brief but tender scene between Barbara and her father. It’s beautifully written and it’s a relationship I can’t wait to see more of. Simone also introduces us to the “Brisby Killers” and the even more menacing Mirror, a mysterious caped killer who is going around Gotham executing people and checking them of his list. I immediately bought into these villains mainly due to how Simone handles them.

I was also excited to see Ardian Syaf was handling the art. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his work in the past and alot of what we get in this issue is why. I love the way he draws his characters and more than that the way he frames each panel. He has the wonderful ability to take the tension from a particular scene and capture it on the pages. He uses several creative page layouts and his action panels are crisp, clear, and exciting. He’s a great artist who deserves more recognition that he’s recieved.

This is a rock solid first issue that really sets the table for the next book. Simone’s story looks to be a good mix of action and great character development. I couldn’t ask for much more. Syaf’s art is a perfect fit and I really hope this garners him the attention he deserves. If the rest of the issues are like this one, DC has a keeper in “Batgirl”.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good

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