Well, people, it’s the Batgirl everyone was waiting for — much hipper, much less grim-and-gritty, and almost certainly much more likely to make Dan DiDio and Jim Lee overdose on Rolaids. She’s got a redesigned costume, cool art, and a new creator team that isn’t beholden to stupid editors to make everything unpleasant and sad. (Gail Simone really should be allowed to make a fun Batgirl comic someday. You know it’d be keen, and she deserves to have some fun.)
Anyway, Barbara Gordon is moving into a new apartment in the trendy Burnside area of Gotham. After a hard-partying first night with the new roomies, she heads out to grab some coffee and ends up chasing down a computer thief. She comes home to find Dinah “Black Canary” Lance on her doorstep because her apartment burned down — and because Babs was storing some of her stuff there, she’s lost almost everything, too. And she and her roommates are all missing computers and phones. Can Barbara track down the thief? And can she somehow stop the mastermind, the scuzzy cyber-blackmailer Riot Black?
Verdict: Thumbs up. I get the impression that DC was a bit freaked out by Marvel’s success at appealing to markets beyond the stale old manchild gang — and it’s nice that they’ve managed to break out of their own old stereotypes so well. Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher are writing a Batgirl who’s less angsty, more realistic, and more interesting, and Babs Tarr’s artwork is definitely unlike anything else you’ll see with the DC bullet on the cover. I really do wish DC had given Gail Simone a chance to write this new more-fun Batgirl, but the new creative team has turned in a fantastic debut issue.
Astro City #16
Super-keen gimmick here and on other Vertigo covers this month — the story actually starts on the cover of the magazine.
This issue focuses on a couple high-school supers — good-hearted energy-projecting hero Starbright and bitter hyper-genius Simon Says. Simon calls Starbright out and offers him a truce — Simon will help the hero capture criminals for 24 hours, and in exchange, Starbright has to bring him the school’s outcasts for… a birthday party? What sort of scheme is Simon Says up to?
Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic characters, dialogue, plot — and a really nice twist long before the end that makes the whole story a lot more resonant and effective.
Captain Marvel #8
Well, it turns out that Carol’s cat Chewie actually is an alien called a flerken. And she’s just laid a ton of eggs with even more flerkens inside. And aliens are attacking the ship to either cat-nap them or kill them. Can Captain Marvel, Rocket Raccoon, and Tic stop the invaders, save the kitties, and get to safety?
Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a fairly straightforward story — mostly fighting and lasers and rocketships flying around — but it’s told well, and there’s something about weird alien cats with tentacles and pocket dimensions inside of them that really helps push a fun story all the way over the top.
Today’s Cool Links: