Batgirls #10 – Becky Cloonan/Michael W. Conrad, Writers; Neil Googe, Artist; Rico Renzi, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Things are heating up in the Hill—both figuratively and literally, as a heat wave rolls into Gotham. The Batgirls are busy investigating the murder of Mr. Greene, local grouch and former suspect turned victim of the Ripper. The old grouch turns out to have more layers than predicted, and Cass and Steph are determined to find his killer—which means a visit to the library to investigate the killer’s clues. While there, they meet Kyle Mizoguchi—missing in action since the conclusion of Gotham Academy. He didn’t seem to be at the school in the recent anthology story, so maybe he’s graduated. Steph is immediately smitten, Cass is less impressed, and a potential flirtation is kicked off before the Batgirls find themselves distracted by an attack by perennial annoyance of Batgirls Killer Moth. The fast-paced battle sequence is a lot of fun, hitting just the right balance between action and slapstick.
Cass and Steph are great as always, but it feels like the creative team doesn’t quite know what to do with Barbara yet. She works in the mentor role and taking on her classic role as Oracle, but she seems to suit up as Batgirl surprisingly often—making the wheelchair she’s seen in once this issue seem like little more than an accessory. A conversation with Renee Montoya that indicates tensions between the new GCPD boss and the Bats doesn’t really seem in character for the former Question, and Barbara running over to see Dick afterwards feels like a scene that belongs more in Nightwing than here. None of this stuff is bad, but it feels a little generic—while Cass and Steph bring such electric energy to every single one of their scenes. They might be the only DC teen heroes who are actually allowed to feel like teens at the moment, and that helps this book stand out from the crowd. It should stick to its strengths.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.