Batgirl Vol 1 The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes
I do love Stephanie Brown, I do and I was sad to find out that Oracle kind of disappeared so Barbara could take Batgirl back because I love Oracle and even though she wasn’t so much with the hitting and the punching and the running around I thought she was awesome and powerful and in a lot of ways more irreplaceable than Batgirl (who was replaced twice).
But that was kind of awesome.
Between battling a crazy Mirror villain who wants to kill everyone whose ever survived a tragedy in a miraculous way, (including both Barbara and Batgirl) and a young woman with changing hair who can mind control men, Barbara is also dealing with her incredible recovery, fears of guns, of her own inadequacy and that the men in her life don’t trust her, moving into a new apartment with a new roommate and her Mom suddenly turning up years after abandoning her and her father. Yup, that sounds like a week I could handle.
Highlights include a visit from Nightwing, although mostly what happens is Batgirl beats him up and the wonderful finale which included a (not quite) brainwashed Bruce Wayne (because who does the villain think he is? Superman?), a fabulous pep talk from Bruce and then Batgirl and Batman fighting the kind of crazy but almost sympathetic villain Gretel at the end.
The story was complicated, dark and didn’t have any of the silly little interludes the other Batgirls featured – all of which was totally awesome. Barbara is cool, funny and pretty awesome but completely different that Stephanie. Her relationship with Bruce is completely different too. There’s so much more history between her and the rest of the Batfamily, and Gotham city itself, its just so hard not to feel like she’s as strong as Batman in a lot of ways. She isn’t a sidekick anymore.
I know she gets treated differently than the other former sidekicks on account of her ovaries and it still bothers me that she fights crime with her hair down (seriously, hair screws you over man) but she’s not a female Batman. She’s Batgirl. She’s awesome.
TV shows: None