Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Review: Batgirl #19-20


By Philip Schweier
May 11, 2018 - 13:08

It’s a simple two-part story, in which Batgirl faces down the Penguin. Boy, the Master of Fowl Play certainly gets around these days. I credit Gotham’s Robin Lord Taylor for turning the Penguin from a ghastly grotesque to a formidable crime boss. I haven’t been following the more modern Batgirl too closely, so forgive me if her presence in Burnside is news to me. Like Nightwing, she’s found her own city to preserve and protect.

So when a freakish snowstorm – hey, we had one in the Southern U.S. last January – immobilizes Burnside, Batgirl can’t help but believe that the Penguin’s presence is more than mere coincidence. This leads to a series of puzzles as to why the weather forecasts failed to predict it, and who is responsible. Mr. Freeze? The Penguin? But he’s being so generous, opening his club as a shelter from the storm.

What Batgirl learns is there is true evil afoot, and Penguin has his eye on something far more nefarious than crime boss **COUGHpublicofficeCOUGH** But the whys and hows are way more insidious than she initially suspected.

Rather than simply be a female version of Batman (no, that job belongs to Batwoman), Batgirl does some subtle character exploration here. It’s not preachy, nor is it obvious in a-very-special-episode sort of way. It’s simply there as thread running through the story, but in the distant background for you to appreciate. Or not.

The art is wonderful. I really enjoy the illustrative styles of Chris Wildgoose and Sam Basri. They are comparable but not identical, giving Batgirl (the comic) a consistent visual appeal, while enabling the talents of both artists to shine.

This is a fun comic book, but it also has some meat on its bones that elevates it above the typical audience-targeted title. Well worth checking out.

Rating: 10/10

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Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 - 9:28

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