Batgirls #19 – Becky Cloonan/Michael W. Conrad, Writers; Robbi Rodriguez, Artist; Rico Renzi, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This is the first of two runs by Cloonan and Conrad that are wrapping up this week, and this one feels like it’s well before its time. Batgirls has been largely well-received and has gotten good marks for being a rare spotlight for the two fan-favorite Batgirls, as well as letting Barbara Gordon shine as Oracle. This final arc has put the Batgirls in the crosshairs as a brutal sniper targets Gotham and demands the surrender of the Batgirls. While many in the law enforcement apparatus wanted them in custody, the people of Gotham rallied behind the Batgirls for a publish show of support—one that was targeted by the sniper. The reveal that the main villain is Gunbunny, the former partner of Gunhawk, was spoiled already, but it’s interesting to see a character who was a derided sidekick manage to cause a lot of chaos on her own. And with Gotham under fire, the Batgirls are forced to split up.
It’s an interesting choice to see Steph be the one to take on the main villain in combat, since she’s not the best when it comes with fighting, while Cass handles crowd control. It’s been great watching Steph gain confidence in herself as a Batgirl over the course of this run, in the same way Cass has learned how to be an ordinary teenager enjoying life. That’s why the balance between the characters works so well, and why so many people feel a strong connection to them. This issue is a little rushed because of all it has to accomplish, and so the reveal of the secondary villain is sort of brushed over a little, but it has time to wrap up the storyarcs of many secondary characters. There are so many great players here, like Alysia Yeoh and Grace O’Halloran, that I’m hoping find their way back to the comics soon. And most of all, I’m hoping these two continue getting the spotlight they deserve. Cass seems to be covered with Birds of Prey, thankfully, but I’ll keep wanting a book continuing this dynamic.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.