Review: Batgirl #1

After last week’s start of the New 52, we now get to take a look at Barbara Gordon stepping back into her role of Batgirl.


This is my third issue of the new 52.  Justice League was the first and though it was enjoyable it was nothing that gripped me in my seat.  Detective Comics was the second which I found very lacking.  I am very happy to say though that I completely loved this issue of Batgirl.  Something I admit I was very worried about as I loved Stephanie Brown’s Batgirl and Barbara in her role of Oracle.  Gail Simone though starts off a new number 1 in this relaunch almost perfectly.

First we get treated to the main villain of the series.  A man calling himself “The Mirror” and is going around killing people they believe should have died and his list includes Barbara Gordon’s name.  At that moment we then get sent to see Barbara working once again as Batgirl.  This first panel with Batgirl is the only part of the issue I find a little lacking.  The inner monologue is great (and continues as such through the issue).  The main thing is hearing her talk to herself almost as if she were talking to a little kid.  It feels a little off to me, but that may be I’m just use to Stephanie almost always having Oracle or Proxy to talk to as she worked.  We do get to see her pride though at being Batgirl once more as she leaps into action.

This issue we get to see Barbara leap back into action for her very first time since leaving the wheel chair.  Her inner monologue slowly giving us hints that she isn’t new to the role, just that she “missed it” and slowly gives us hints that her role of Oracle has not been erased as she begins to take on her first group of murderers.  Something I really thank Gail Simone for as I’m sure she knew many readers out there were not happy Barbara was leaving that role, so it is nice to see that history is not erased at least.  Back to the story though, Barbara soon takes the criminals down yet it is revealed of course that she is rusty and even hinted that her legs may be a bit weak still.

All hinting soon goes away as we see Barbara dreaming about the night the Joker shot her in the spine (again, thank you Simone) and is backed up by Jim telling Babs when she awakes how happy he is to see her walking again.  Not just that, but we get treated to an actual time frame of Babs being in that chair for three years – a nice tidbit of information which could help put together a timeline on how this new universe goes together later on.

Sadly for Jim, Barbara soon moves out and into a place with a roommate that sounds like she is almost never home – especially at nights.  The roommate is not given a name, but does remind me a bit of Wendy Kuttler besides the eye color.  As Barbara starts to bond with her new roommate, we see Mirror going after one of the crooks Batgirl took down the previous night who Batgirl rushes off to save.  As she comes to the rescue though, Mirror points a gun right in the same area Joker did when he shot her and we get to see a rather interesting moment of Barbara being completely frozen and unable to save the man as Mirror pushes him out the window.  This of course should lead us into a very interesting second issue to see how Babs will deal with that as well as the police officer who was there apparently blaming Batgirl for murder as she didn’t move to stop Mirror.

A very good issue with good art that feels like a true start of a relaunch to me as it gives us a very good impression of who the character is, what their past history is, and at least some of their very own fears.  Simone does this too without making any of it feel quickly brushed over.  My only hope for upcoming issues is that we get to find out how exactly she got the use of her legs back, and (assuming she is still part of DC in this series) just what happened to Stephanie Brown to allow Barbara to step back into the Batgirl role.

Action Comics #1

Animal Man #1

Batwing #1

Detective Comics #1

Justice League International #1

Men of War #1

Green Arrow #1

Hawk and Dove #1


Static Shock #1

Stormwatch #1

Swamp Thing #1

More on the New 52


About xxadverbxx

I'm a fan of comics. I use to love DC, but events pretty much starting with the New 52 had pushed me off of them for years. Lately though titles like Gotham Academy and We Are Robin have brought me back to them. I'm much more still a Marvel fan though at this moment who I moved to since New 52 slowly kept pushing me away from DC. Often a fan of X-Men titles while I've really been loving Spider-Gwen series. Film wise I'm upset at DC though I really really want them to do good. At least their TV series are mostly enjoyable (though Arrow has dipped in quality), while I'm a huge fan of the Marvel films. Also, I still really hate Dan Didio and still view him as at least most of what has been going wrong with DC comic wise lately.

6 thoughts on “Review: Batgirl #1

  1. Yeah, I’m still annoyed at it losing Stephanie and Oracle, but Simone at least really delivers and gives a great story. I would be surprised if Simone never fully explains why Babs is walking again and what happened to Stephanie – especially as she stated she wanted to use Steph if allowed.

    • I think the only real explanation will ever be Didio’s editorial mandate.

      Still, Simone has obviously addressed concerns my friends and I had, so it seems to me she is not only aware of fan concerns but willing to address them. Due to that I do believe that if she is allowed at least, she will eventually get to the how Barbara regained her legs, why Stephanie left the role of Batgirl, and why Babs (instead of Cassandra) picked the role back up. If she tried to do too much in the first issue as well, then everything would have felt rushed and we’d be left with a sub-par story.

  2. I think this was a good start, but there are a lot of unanswered questions that I hope they will answer soon. Specifically, what’s the miracle that allows Babs to walk again? I trust Gail Simone to set things up right so even if it takes time to find out the payoff will be worth it.

    • Glad you agree, as it seems most people I hear from or reviews I’ve read paint this issue very negatively. Like you I do have faith in Simone, and am glad she didn’t try to answer everything in the first issue for it wouldn’t flow and just feel rushed. I will be upset though if we never do get an answer behind those things, but if I remember right there was an issue of Batgirl (Stephanie’s) where Dr. Thompkins hinted that Barbara may be able to walk again. So if I’m recalling right, there at least is something in the past hinting Babs actually didn’t have to be confined for life.

      • Simone picked what she’d address first, and I commend her for that. Though I’ll soon go from happy to pissed if they never really get an answer. And I can’t argue with some odd choices in dialogue, especially the two parts Chris Sims had screenshots up for but I generally was able to overlook them (did I state this before?).

        In regards to the police officer, I do find that stupid but it isn’t actually the first time something like that has happened where the police in the area are sadly focusing more on the vigilante than everything else. Look at Detective Comics #1 where an entire unit is more concerned about shooting Batman than saving a girl who kind of is in the line of fire. Justice League #1 that the police actually seem to realize Batman is chasing the one guy yet they decide they need to “take them both down”. There are a lot other times things like this has gone on and a vigilante gets blamed for they didn’t manage to save the victim. Stupid, but it has happened. The thing I don’t like is that the police officer points her gun at Babs first while The Mirror is still in the room, but I hope she’ll get up and soon aim her gun at The Mirror or maybe keep moving it back and forth between them at least.

        My biggest question though is much like yours: why did Steph step down, and why did Barbara step back in? That is assuming Steph isn’t erased completely. Either way, I doubt Simone would erase the history of Oracle for two main reasons. One being Simone knows how much people loved it and generally I think at least it would be worse to erase it than it would to have Babs leave it (even if she can walk). The second is Babs isn’t the type that would just roll over and not do whatever she can to help even if she was paralyzed. Part of why her becoming Oracle in the first place makes sense.

        Oh well, just over 3 weeks and we hopefully will get an answer. Especially as Babs has dropped the ball I can see her questioning then why she came back as Batgirl.

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