Comic Book Storytelling: Batgirl #35-#36

Its time to talk about Batgirl again.

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As you may have heard DC has put some new people on Batgirl and they are taking her in a new direction and even giving her a new costume.

Barbara Gordon starts off moving to the Burnside neighborhood of Gotham.  Apparently Burnside is the young/college/hipster part of town and Barbara is going to school somewhere there for something.  So Batgirl is young enough to be a college girl now, or maybe she is a grad student which means she could still be older but that is not the impression I think they are going for, more on that later.  She moves into a new place and her new roommates have a party and Babs gets drunk and makes out with a guy and this all leads to her investigating the case of people having their electronic devices and information stolen.

Also Black Canary shows up because her hideout burned down.  It seems that Batgirl and Black Canary were on bad terms for some reason but they do not go into details.  Batgirl had stashed her costume at the hideout so now she needs to make a new one and so we get what will be her new modern look for the foreseeable future.  Later it turns out that Batgirl was also stashing some experimental explosives at the hideout so now she owes Black Canary for causing the fire and has her staying at the new place.

Batgirl tracks down the electronic info thief to the douchiest looking DJ with a cybernetic eye ever.  She tricks him into downloading some code that erases his hard drive so he can’t be a douche and exploit people anymore.  And in the last panel it sets up a story arc about someone knowing she is Batgirl and wanting her to stay out of Burnside.

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The next issue features a new one off villain.  This time it is a pair of crazed anime fans who steal high tech motorcycles.  Batgirl defeats them by remembering a cartoon she watched when she was a child.  It is this weird thing that I think is supposed to illustrate that Barbara has a photographic memory but ends up looking like a hokey dream sequence.  It turns out someone hired the anime motorcycle thieves and tricked them into thinking that Batgirl hired them to kill herself.  The fact that they bought that story shows they are incredibly stupid criminals.

 

So far there are things that I do like about this new direction for Batgirl.  I like the overall more upbeat attitude and the new costume looks good.  But so far her adversaries have been kind of lame.  And overall it is walking a fine line between telling a relevant story about digital age issues of over-sharing information and how it can be used again you and trying too hard to achieve that relevancy.  I will keep up with the series for the time being to see if this story plays out into something worthwhile.

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