Still haunted by the sudden return to the walking world, Batgirl gets caught up with a new villain named Gretel. The mystery behind her and the numbers 338, with whom those she posses, seem to be obsessed with take Barbara on a hunt to save Bruce Wayne!

Cover by: Adam Hughesa
Pencils by: Vicente Cifuentes , Ardian Syaf
Colored by: Uises Arreola
Written by: Gail Simone
Inks: Vicente Cifuentes
Publisher: DC-The New 52
Cover Price: 2.99

Previously in Batgirl Leaving her wheel chair behind, Barbara Gordon is back in action as Batgirl! Her secrets have been catching up with her as well as the deadly Mirror. After fighting off both, she’s launched right back into action with this issue.


I haven’t closely followed the new relaunch of Batgirl, I have however been greatly intrigued by the return of Barbra Gordon as Batgirl. So this week I decided to give the series a try, and I wasn’t disappointed. I think the storyline has great potential to go in a good direction, bringing Barbra back gives a lot to explore. This issue in particular, vaguely touches on her dealing with being back in the game; I would have liked to read more of that. Instead, Gail Simone is more focused on the new villain, a woman called Gretel, who is causing men to mysteriously become hypnotized and then made to kill. I love the mystery of what the numbers mean and how we are right there with Barbara figuring it out. The fight scene between the two was beautifully done by Vicente Cifuentes and Adrian Syaf, it felt like a good match between the two – no ‘one hit’ knock out, just a good fight. I find myself wanting to know more about this so called Gretel and what her mysterious plan is.


My biggest problem with this issue is how confusing it gets at moments. I find myself saying “wait, what?” and having to re-read panels. I felt like the people tended to blend together. In the beginning scene it took me a double take to see that it was his sons Mr. Whittaker had killed, not the people in the car he had pulled over, because they just seemed to blend together. This happened again when Barbara was with her mother; I again had to recheck to see who was who. It just made an already mind bending read, a bit more confusing than needed to be.
I actually enjoyed that Bruce Wayne was involved in the ending of this storyline, it made for a great cliff hanger. I know people have complained that it’s just throwing in Batman for sales, but I see it as Gotham is a city with a few different heroes, of course they will overlap. It’s always great to see the two totally different personality types of Batman and Batgirl interact with each other. I mean isn’t that what we love about let’s say the JLA?


Overall this issue wasn’t bad at all; in fact I think it will really set up the story to go in a great direction. I find myself wanting to know more about Barbara and how she will continue to handle her newly restored ability to walk. The villain is also very interesting, who she is, and what is her plan. Gail Simone does a great job of making you want to come back for more.  I give Batgirl #5, 3 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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  1. LemmyCaution
    January 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    I normally would pass by a Batgirl review, but I support Ashley! Not because she’s cute and all, but because I like seeing more female voices speaking out on comics… so that one day it won’t seem so novel and I can forget about it. Her reviews so far have a very “Just the Facts, Ma’am” style that is a nice counterpoint to our beloved Matthew.

    Goooooo Ashley!

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm — Reply

      But you gotta admit, she IS cute, though! (Sorry, couldn’t resist!!)

      But I will say it is nice to see another girl’s perspective on mainstream titles without having to dig through tons of blog posts or that isn’t ranting about how “mainstream comics suck” without giving any constructive criticism.

      • TaZ
        January 19, 2012 at 8:52 am — Reply

        Said it before…Will say it again….Where the HELL were “geek girls” like this when I was younger????

        And, I may be one of the few folks that’s more interested in the Batgirl series than the Batwoman series (yeah, go ahead and throw rocks at the old school guy now). I have had a great deal of personal experience dealing with loved ones that have mobility handicaps due to disease and injury and they have often wondered outloud what would happen if one day they were “cured” and could put away their wheelchair or walk without canes or a walker. I also know what it’s like to be away from doing something that requires almost constant training, conditioning, mental focus, etc. and then suddenly trying to go back to that regimen and “mind-set”. It’s not unrealistic that it can be done but it was good to see when Barbara Gordon was in “action” in the first four issues that she did have some “battle rust” both physically and mentally.

    • January 19, 2012 at 11:34 am — Reply

      Wow thank you very much for the support guys! Its awesome to be able to write about the comics i love & hear people enjoy reading what i have to say.

      Alisha Mynx i completely agree! they can call me “main stream” all they want but these are the comics i love and i am going to keep loving :) thanks for the support!

      • January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm — Reply

        I’m with you. When I wear a “S” logo t-shirt, it’s because I’m a geek, not to be “fashionable”. I grew up wishing I had a Green Lantern ring (still do!), I tell doctors who ask my ethnicity (because I’m obviously a pale white girl) that I’m Kryptonian. I’ll take my capes and tights superhero comics over the “trendy” stuff any day.

  2. ZacTMac
    January 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    The first four issues talk more about how she feels about transitioning from recovery to full action.

    • Young
      January 19, 2012 at 11:25 am — Reply

      I was going to comment on the same point. Moreover, those are very good issues, so if you like #5, make a point of going back and catching up on what happened before. It is also good that they won’t dwell too much on the “gosh, I’m walking again” thing every issue.

      • January 19, 2012 at 11:37 am — Reply

        Thanks for the recommendations guys! I haven’t read a Batgirl issue before, so this was just my view being the first issue i have read. I am definitely going back to read 1-4 :)

  3. Phil Mikok
    January 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm — Reply

    I just wish Gail would dropped the “gurlfriend” talk that Barbra does in the book. It makes it feel like BG is a 40 year old woman wearing stuff from Forever 21.

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The Author



Ashley (a.k.a. Supergirlove) has jumped into the geek world head on with everything from coffee dates at comic book stores, to the San Diego Comic Con being the highlight of her year. Her hero is Supergirl, and was privileged enough to meet Smallville’s Laura Vandervoort. You can find her attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where she resides in the Gryffindor house, usually watching movies or reading books about love.