After a short break, I’m continuing with my comic reviews with a look at the first trade of another New 52 book.
Title: Batgirl – The Darkest Reflection
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ardian Syaf, Ulises Arreola, and Vincente Cifuentes
Published by DC ComicsPublished in July 2012
Available from Amazon.com
Barbara Gordon has regained the use of her legs thanks to a neural implant and has returned to the cape and cowl of Batgirl. Her first case back features a killer called The Mirror, who targets people who should have died, but didn’t.
Rather than ret-conning “The Killing Joke” from the new continuity, they acknowledge it and us a fairly fitting alternative to Barbara’s tenure as Oracle – along with using the technology you expect in a superhero universe to have her injury repaired in a fashion that makes sense.
The other new villain introduced this volume, Gretel, could have gotten more time. She’s basically the DC Universe’s version of the Purple Man, but possibly more dangerous. Because of this, I was kind of disappointed when the character was wrapped up in basically two issues. Fortunately, she’s bound for the tight security of Arkham Asylum, so we’ll hopefully see more of her in the future.
Originality: The story is fairly original, in part due to how tightly the story is tied to Batgirl, and the establishment of Barbara’s new back-story in the new DCU. 5/6
Story: The story is fairly well written, and is tied incredibly well with setting up the new universe. 6/6
Artwork: The art looks great, with the fight scenes in particular having a real sense of intensity. In particular note, this volume has one of the best panels of someone getting socked in the jaw I’ve ever seen in comics. 4/6
Characterization: The characters are fairly well fleshed out, though Detective McKinna’s hate-on for Batgirl is a little excessive (particularly considering that it’s reserved solely for Batgirl and not any other members of the Bat-Family). 4/6
Emotional Response: This is intense and exciting, with some suspense provided by McKinna, and the threat of Barbara’s activities potentially putting her at odds with the GCPD and her father. 5/6
Overall: This is a great re-introduction to Barbara for this new universe. 6/6
In total, Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection gets 36/42.