Barbara Gordon is leaving Burnside behind and embarking on a whirlwind trip to Tokyo. But is romance in the cards for our Batgirl? Your Major Spoilers review of Batgirl #2 awaits!
Previously in Batgirl: Getting away from it all, Barbara Gordon has made her way to Tokyo to investigate an old Japanese hero known as the Fruit Bat, whose career inspires her own. She also rediscovered an old friend name Kai, who is likewise searching for something (though it’s not clear what.) But what awaits her in the Lion City of Singapore?
MEANWHILE, IN SINGAPORE
At the close of last issue, Batgirl took off to track a drone that seemed to be spying on her and Kait in their hotel. Tracing the device across the city, she finds not a villain but a simple peeping tom. Following the clues, she finds herself involved in the world of Mixed Martial Arts fighting, using her superhero skillz to get an in, following the clues of a strangely tattooed schoolgirl. She also finds herself attracted to Kai, a bad boy type with whom she feels a real connection, going so far as to kiss him in a highly charged moment. As the issue ends, she is given a match against a competitor called ‘The Moth’, who is nearly as good as she herself is. At a key moment in their match, Barbara notices that Moth has the same mysterious Chinese tattoo as the assassin who targeted her, given her opponent the opening and leaving our hero flat on her back as the issue (and her consciousness) fades to black.
BATGIRL GOES MMA
I really love the art in this issue, especially the colorful, impressionistic covers, but every moment is perfectly rendered, from combat to romance to wandering the streets of Singapore. Rebirth Batgirl doesn’t jettison all of the accoutrements of the Burnside era (as I worried it would, especially given what a big adjustment that version was over the previous New 52 Batgirl take), and Hope Larson’s take on Barbara balances the young, hipster Bat of Burnside with the serious-minded Batgirl of Gail Simone’s run, as well as giving us romance, combat and superhero action. Best of all is the device she uses for Batgirl’s eidetic memory, a bit that I really enjoyed. Most impressive of all is the fact that, even though I missed issue #1, it’s easy enough to pick up on what has happened and where Barbara is, in the world and in her life.
THE BOTTOM LINE: EXCITING AND LIKEABLE
In short, this is fun, frenetic, cool Batgirl at her best, and while I’m nervous of how often her supporting cast has changed, this issue is exciting and engaging. Batgirl #2 features our hero out of her element but still awesome, with clean, exciting art, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. Also: The Fruit Bat is a great superhero name, and I want to see what she looked like in action…