C’mon everybody it’s time to admit that Batgirl is a good comic

Most websites won’t tell you this, because they’re not keen on Oracle being un-crippled and returned to the role of Batgirl. And also because while Batman and Nightwing have started off brilliantly, Batgirl hasn’t kicked down the doors upon arrival. But it’s time for us to stand up and admit that Batgirl, by Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf, is actually a pretty decent comic.

Issue #3 is where things settle down and start to fit into a rhythm, which is perhaps another reason why people have been a little unhappy with the series thus far. Simone’s take on the character requires the reader to spend a fair amount of time with Barbara before she starts to properly sink in and flourish as a superhero. The writing also seems to set out to encourage female readers, instead of male readers, to enjoy the character. Which explains why Nightwing shows up this issue, because women love Dick Grayson. He’s DC’s version of Gambit, except he washes.

That’s not to say the comic is excluding male readers, but more to suggest that the tone and style of the comic – more narration than story – inherently appeals more to girls than to boys. Like Mamma Mia! And it’s nice to see a comic book courting a different audience, with a different approach to storytelling. Batgirl comes across as a likeable alternative to grim Bruce Wayne, extrovert Dick Grayson, and moody Kate Kane. She’s a realistic enough character that you can make her fight a bizarre character called ‘Mirror’ who likes blowing up trains and it doesn’t seem strange. Syaf’s artwork is a big help, as his sequences are striking and graceful, mirroring Barbara herself – who points out several times that she used to be a ballerina, the athletic equivalent of a chess-club member.

Let’s just get that out in the open, guys. Ballerinas are geeks. Mila Kunis was the exception to the rule.

So Batgirl stands as a unique, interesting take on the idea of the Batman format, light-hearted and unafraid to be goofy. We don’t really know why Batgirl decided to start punching Nightwing in the face, but it’s probably something to do with the fact that girls are an eternal mystery. We came to the comic not expecting to like it, but there’s something charming about the central character, and that carries even an issue where not a lot of plot goes on.


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