Batgirls #2 – Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Writers; Jorge Corona, Artist; Sarah Stern, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: After a rough ten years, the Batgirls finally have a spotlight—and this new title is making the most out of it. Plunked down in a new neighborhood with Barbara Gordon watching over them, Cass and Steph are quickly settling in and causing chaos—with villains everywhere. The first of the new villains are the Saints, a trio of cultists of the Magistrate program who have built themselves robot suits and are carrying out missions for what they think is the ghost of Simon Saint—but is actually the pint-sized sociopath Seer, manipulating them from a gamer lair. The battle scene against the Saints is delightfully anarchic, with Cass and Steph bouncing all over the place as Oracle tries to keep track of them. But after the battle, when things calm down, it’s great to see these three act like a real family. Barbara in particular, dealing with chronic pain and trying to find her footing as a mother figure, is better-written here than in years.
The book’s one weakness is that it can feel a little overstuffed at points, with the mysterious cultist Tutor and a mysterious serial killer also plaguing the neighborhood alongside the Saints. But I’d much rather have an overstuffed book than one that spins its wheels, and it’s genuinely impressive how much Cloonan and Conrad are able to cram into every issue. Especially so given how many sweet character moments there are in each issue. Case in point, the little subplot about Cass being nervous about having her ears pierced for a new comm design. While Cass has obviously been through far worse as a warrior and ex-assassin, Steph and Babs still respect her autonomy and talk her through it, letting her make the decision to go ahead. It’s those little character details that make this book such a breath of fresh air. Between the organic feeling neighborhood and the great lead characters, it’s making a strong case for the best new Bat-book in a while.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.