Batgirl: Batgirl Rising and Batgirl: The Flood
Bryan Q. Miller, Lee Garbett, Pere Perez, et al., 2010, 2011
I have been collecting Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl since last summer with Issue #13, and I finally got my hands on the trades that collect the first 12 issues.
Premise: Stephanie Brown has been a junior vigilante for a while. Like many a young female hero, her father was a supervillain. I swear it's so common it's become a cliché. First she was a solo agent as the Spoiler, then started working with the Bat-family. She even briefly went by Robin, before she ended up rather dead. But this is comic books, so she faked her death... or something. It was all rather complicated and I didn't follow it. Now she's rebuilding her life, both as Stephanie, college student, and as the newest Batgirl.
Batgirl Rising runs through how Steph starts fighting crime as Batgirl (as opposed to her previous Spoiler persona), starts working with Oracle again, navigates around Dick (Batman) and Damian (Robin), who are less than thrilled that she's active in the superheroics, and is finding her way in life in Gotham.
The Flood is the next section, primarily revolving around Steph, Wendy Harris and Barbara going up against the Calculator (Wendy's supervillain father. I told you it was a trend.) during a major rainstorm.
I really enjoyed both volumes. I like Steph's attitude, I like her tactics, I even like her crush on Detective Gage. I like the sense of Batgirl as a legacy character (including the lovely Cass) almost completely independent of Batman. I love how this series balances between being tied to the larger DCU and being its own little corner.
The art is fantastic. Evocative, clear and dramatic, gorgeous, and never exploitative.
Also, The Flood includes the fantastically fun issue in which Batgirl and Supergirl team up to fight Dracula. It rocks.
Team Batgirl FTW.
4 Stars – Very Good Books
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