Batgirls #8 – Becky Cloonan/Michael W. Conrad, Writers; Robbi Rodriguez, Artist; Rico Renzi, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: For most of this series, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown have taken the lead in the field while Barbara Gordon guided them as Oracle. That’s my preferred dynamic, so seeing Barbara take the lead this issue is basically guaranteed to make it my least favorite arc. That’s not to say there’s anything really wrong with this issue—we can just get Barbara in the field, especially teamed up with Nightwing, in other places. They’ve infiltrated the Iceberg Lounge, with Dick’s newfound fortune opening the door for them, in search of the enfant terrible hacker Seer, who was captured by the Saints. With Cass and Steph keeping watch on the rooftop and occasionally bantering, the happy couple attempts to avoid the eyes of Penguin and his guards and find the young hostage—as well as determining if she can actually be trusted after seeking out their help last issue. Magic eight-ball says… outlook cloudy.
Mostly a locked-room search with a whole lot of chaotic action, this issue is a lot of fun. How much you enjoy it will depend on your tolerance for Dick and Babs’ couple banter—which can lean a little too heavily on the cutesy side at times, as they bicker about him sneaking advanced looks at their favorite streaming show. The issue introduces a new villain of sorts in a sword-swallowing beauty from Europe who puts on a show for the Lounge—and then proceeds to start yanking out swords that she proceeds to try to decapitate the heroes with. The Saints are visually exciting villains, although they don’t have all that much characterization—which means a lot of this issue’s success is going to come down to the character of Seer. She was intriguing as a villain as well as a potential ally, and this issue makes pretty clear what we can expect from her in the future. It wraps up the arc nicely, and hopefully the girls take back the lead next month.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.