Batgirl #5: Gentlemen prefer Blondes Bats on the other hand...
Does the Bat-universe have to be about doom and gloom all the time?
When you boil down this issue of Batgirl, it’s an internalized conversation with Bryan Miller about what we are accustomed to expect out of the Bat family titles and how he wants to distinguish his title and more importantly, Stephanie Brown from her predecessors.
Miller is not trying to say the new Batgirl will be better than her predecessors. In fact, she’s not. She’s still learning and growing. Even Damian Wayne, Stephanie’s perfect foil keeps regurgitating that she doesn’t belong in the field with the rest of the jaded Bat screwy family.
He’s right but this title isn’t about a new tragic dysfunctional character that obsesses about the darkness in her life. This is a perky adventure-craving blonde who wants to count for something in her life. Like the architect Louis Khan once said, “A brick wants to be more than just a brick.” Hope is Stephanie’s motivation.
She is equal parts Buffy and equal parts Babs, which is why Barbara Gordon is well cast as her mentor. This is the most light-hearted fun Bat-title you’ll ever see in your life (Yes, light hearted and bat-title were said in the same title). The humorous finishing touches are almost Joss Whedon-esque.
The plot of this issue is not unlike something you’ve seen before in a comic book. Arson to a rich man’s plight to do some good leads to an escalation of violence that includes kidnapping and ransoming his son. The irony being he goes to Stephanie’s college.
The real delight in this issue is the frigid moments between Damian and Stephanie. Boy oh boy, Damian HATES her. Stephanie so wants to be accepted that she is beginning to be frustrated by the little one’s disapproval.
This is the little bat title that could end up being a diamond in the rough. Sure, Stephanie is not YET an ass kicking fiend like Cassandra Cain but she is more authentic in terms of her emotions, limitations, and her motivations to be a super hero.
Rating: BUY IT! This is the title that I am saving for my 7-year-old daughter to read when I feel a little more comfortable giving her violent material.