Batgirl: Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf, Vicente Cifuentes, Ulises Arreola, Dave Sharpe, Adam Hughes
Mad props, yo. This is the best issue yet, I think. There’s a little bit of weirdness going on in the writing of Gretel’s character, but it ends up working very well anyway. Let’s start with Adam Hughes’ fantastic cover. I’ve been a fan of his for a while, and this one looks great with the darkness of Batman behind the lighter color of Batgirl’s cape and armor. And then there’s the white background - to which I’m partial. Complete the look with falling snow, and a glowing hue at the edges, and you’ve got a thing of real beauty. I’ve been loving Syaf’s pencils on the interiors. He gives Batgirl such a unique look that I really like. But I think it’s incomplete without Vicente Cifuentes and Ulises Arreola on inks and colors. The coloring in this book is so fantastic. It’s so bright and vibrant…and it almost gives the book a cartoony feel. But at the same time, the colors really help nail some realism down because of the real definition to the clothes and other elements that we see in the panels. This is probably one of the best books in terms of color. Simone has been doing a knock-out job with writing this series. This issue is probably my favorite so far because of the interaction between Batgirl and Batman - and Batgirl and Bruce. We get to see Gretel’s background here, which is good. It’s nice that the story moved right along without wasting any time. Two issues…and we’re good. We’re not dragging things out for many issues at a time. DC had said that they were going to move away from multi-issue arcs…but it looks like old habits die hard. Except here! The Mirror arc lasted a while, but we’re picking up speed and momentum. I liked how tragic Gretel was, and I dug how the 338 finally came out. What was even better, though, was how Batgirl was able to relate to Gretel and talk to her. I like that Batgirl is still aware of how fragile she is, and how new she is back at this whole gig. She recognizes how this could all go so poorly so fast. The piece with Batman visiting the injured Barbara in the hospital was really touching, and - like I said - the scenes between Batgirl and Bruce were really awesome. I love how, after Batgirl helps save him from Gretel’s hold, he says that she was always meant to be Batgirl…especially after Batgirl was questioning and remembering how she just soared onto the scene, with Batman never having wanted a Batgirl.
Batgirl #6, the verdict: Gail Simone continues to just absolutely nail it with a book that not only delivers in the action but on the emotional level as well. I’m really excited to see what happens when Barbara really starts to face her injury and recovery. The tease at the end of this issue is “The Joke Revisited,” complete with Joker colors. This…is completely exciting, in such a way that I cannot fully express. I’m also interested in getting a full admittance or denial that Barbara was Oracle after getting shot. I think if we start dealing with the Joker…that’s bound to come out (along with a lot of other things).
(Photo Source: iFanBoy)