Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Batgirl Goes From Strength To Strength

I picked up issue #2 of Batgirl at the weekend - having really enjoyed the first issue I could easily have been let down by the second but I needn't have worried: this was another excellent issue from the team of Brian Q. Miller, Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott.

The story picks up with Batgirl, Stephanie Brown, coming under fire in a car repair workshop. Using a combination of a batarang and a cylinder of nitrous oxide gas Stephanie manages to overcome the gangsters.

Cutting to a scene set prior to her latest misadventure Stephanie is at home and in conversation with Barbara Gordon. Barbara is offering Stephanie advice and guidance and it's clear from her reaction that Stephanie doesn't particularly welcome the advice, and she storms off, up the stairs, leaving Barbara, in her wheelchair, behind. The conversation becomes an argument, ending as Barbara tells Stephanie that she's now a target - 'the greater the fear, the greater the thrill'.

Onto Gotham University and Stephanie realises that she's managed to get on the wrong side of bitchy fellow student named Jordanna following some off-hand comments during a lecture.

At this point Barbara is back at her apartment, speaking with her contact at the morgue about a young student found dead with trace amounts of a hallucinogen in his blood.

That evening Stephanie attends a fraternity 'Harvest Festival' party only to run into Jordanna again. Narrowly avoiding a fight Stephanie is drawn away to intervene with a group of drug-dealing thugs. As a fight starts Stephanie hears Barbara's voice, who explains that she had previously installed Cassandra Cain's tech within her Batgirl suit and with Barbara's help the thugs are overcome.

Realising that her home computers aren't up to the task Barbara relocates, with Alfred's permission, to the Batcave and the Batcomputer. Joined by Stephanie they create a model of the earlier party and identify one of the thugs. While admiring the customer display cases Barbara and Stephanie start bickering again and with the job done Barbara drives off, leaving Stephanie behind.

The drug dealer, having been identified, is picked up by the police who, in turn, are ambushed - the dealer escaping and returning to his boss ... Scarecrow.

As I say, another really good issue of Batgirl: excellent writing, really nice - 'fresh' - art and another beautiful cover.

A book that at the same time satisfies and yet leaves me wanting more - highly recommended.

Batgirl #2
Points of New Origin, Part 2
Written by Bryan Q. Miller, art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott with Sandra Hope
Coloured by Guy Major, Letters by John J. Hill
Cover by Phil Noto

Published by DC Comics, September 2009, $2.99

[Batgirl #3 is published next Wednesday, 14 October 2009]