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Review: Bruce Wayne - The Road Home: Batgirl #1

Batgirl comes into her own.

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Batgirl skirmishes with a mysterious assailant who seems to posses all the powers of Amazo. His actual identity, though,  will greatly test her character.

The Good

This is actually pretty good as a character portrait and it's interesting to see a cape in Batman's mythos who isn't an extreme personality. I particularly liked her cute little outbursts; how she apologizes to the "assailant" while running away and then how she shouts "Don't do drugs" after trouncing the goons in an inspired Goldilocks extended metaphor. Perez is a well balanced artist for this book, giving enough sheen on the look while still keeping everything focused on telling the story effectively.

The Bad

On the other side of the positive points, I can't help reading some hard truth into Stephanie's hang-ups about Bruce's earlier dismissal.  While it's an interesting change of pace, I do wonder if the Batman would ever approve of a vigilante who's this bubbly and neurotic. Perhaps he's mellowed after his resurrection, but I'd imagine he'd deem her not serious enough.

The Verdict - 3.5/5

I could definitely get behind this characterization of Stephanie as a kid trying to define herself and trying to do right by the legacy she's taken up. I like how the thrust of the plot is about her strengthening her self-identity and, at last, not defining herself by the men in the Batman family. While I think I'll always have some issues with how Batgirl logically fits into Batman's word, this was still a well-done one-shot that doesn't require any extra reading.