Here at Major Spoilers there is a lot of love for Gail Simone, but I must admit I have never read anything from her. That changed this week with Batgirl #10…
Previously in Batgirl: The Court of Owls had one of their Talon assassins go after Batgirl and her father, Commissioner Gordon. This particular Talon entered the ranks of the Court of Owls after her family has killed by a balloon attack unleashed the Japanese in 1944. After the assassin uses the same method to attack the Gotham P.D. Barbara learns that maybe everyone under a mask is conflicted.
HOOKED FROM THE START
Let me state again that I had no previous experiences with Gail Simone’s writing before this issue of Batgirl. But after reading the first six pages I was in love with her. The opening fight sequence with a running inner-monologue from Barbra was a prime example of why comics are a fantastic medium for story telling. While Barbara is putting a stop to a car jacking she is processing the vigilante role of hospitalizing crooks in the name of protecting the cars of the rich. It is easy to tell that she is conflicted about her slot in the life, even with the past she has faced.
Barbara’s thoughts about her responsibilities to the citizen’s of Gotham are stretched even farther after a conversation with her roommate. Alysia’s words after being thrown in jail for her protesting send Batgirl back to check on the wounded car-jacker she left with building security. Her curiosity leads to some nice punch-punchy times and the revealing of a new threat to Gotham.
JUST AS VISUAL APPEALING
With Gail creating waves of emotions and thought through her words, they could have taken it easy in the actual visuals but thankfully Alitha Martinez doesn’t do that here. She expands on the words and gives them a whole new space to grow in. I went through the issue just looking at the characters’ eyes and was blown away by how much emotion poured out of every set. Martinez and the rest of the art team may be the perfect match for Simone’s words.
BOTTOM LINE: GOING BACK TO THE START
After finishing my first read through Batgirl #10 I was deeply disappointed in myself for not picking up this title from the beginning. In a single issue she presented a character with Barbara that I felt connected with and cared for just as much as any character that I have read so far. Combine that with the art coming from Alitha Martinez and you have a completely engrossing book. If you couldn’t tell from my gushing already I’m giving this issue 5 out of 5 stars. I will now go “punish” myself for not reading the first nine issues by spending my money to buy every single one.