In the face of danger, the people of Gotham have taken to the streets and it’s up to the Batgirls to make sure they’re safe. Your Major Spoilers review of Batgirls #19, awaits!
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Becca Carey
Editor: Jessica Chen
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 20th, 2022
Previously in Batgirls: A sniper has begun terrorizing the citizens of Gotham demanding that the Batgirls turn themselves in. In response to this, the citizens have taken to the street in support of their favorite masked vigilantes, even while the gunman remains at large.
ONCE A BATGIRL…
Batgirls #19 opens up in the middle of a demonstration led by podcaster Grace O’Halloran, with Stephanie and Cassandra hiding in the crowd. The shooter is spotted by Barbara and Stephanie leaps into action. She manages to knock the gun away but not before Grace is shot in the chest. The shooter is revealed to be Gunbunny and the two duke it out. Grace then appears, having survived her gunshot due to a bulletproof vest. She has a gun and is prepared to kill, as Stephanie tries to talk her down. Before things come to a climax a second shooter is revealed. Cassandra goes after him. The issue wraps up with all the characters dealing with the events of the issue as the narrator waxes poetic about what it means to be Batgirl.
A NICE SEND OFF, BUT A LITTLE ROUGH IN HANDLING OF THE SUBJECT MATTER
Batgirls #19 avoids the temptation of going all out simply because it’s the last issue of the series. Instead, it sticks to its roots and remains a story not just about three Batgirls, but also a grounded tale about the people they watch over. For most of the series, Becky Cloonan has found a nice balance between superhero action and making the neighborhood of “The Hill” a character itself. It’s this balance that solidifies this issue as a solid one. There’s something very heartwarming about seeing the people out in support of the vigilantes, while also wanting to protect their homes and community. This is best embodied by the character of Grace O’Halloran, who has become somewhat radicalized by the recent sniper attacks. Even though she supports the girls and wants what’s best, she’s shown to be acting out of rage and is willing to take drastic steps, until Stephanie can talk her down. It’s a great example of the dual roles that superheroes have to take, one being a protector, but the second being an example. The elephant in the room though, is the topic of gun violence and self-defense. As this arc has gone on, the role of guns has become more and more prominent, with citizens arming themselves in order to go after this sniper that’s been shooting at them. This situation ultimately gets solved not due to any sort of heroics or morality, but instead by the intervention of another shooter. Then, it’s never touched on again. The final pages of this issue have the traditional comic book sendoff, which might be a bit saccharine for some, but it feels genuine and does a good job of not bringing the characters full circle, but establishing that their journey is ongoing, this is just the end for now.
VIBRANT AND KINETIC
Like the rest of the series Batgirls #19 features an art style that features intense, deeply saturated colors, mixed with character models that make everyone look like they’re constantly in motion. While the series has played pretty fast and loose with character proportions and the limits of the human body when it comes to flexibility, it’s always been a stylistic choice and the same can be said here. There’s nothing too egregious here, but if you’re looking for a comic that favors realism, it ain’t this one. Which, I feel is a benefit, this issue and series as a whole has a unique look that gives it an identity that separates it from the rest of the comics out there.
BOTTOM LINE: A NICE SUBDUED FINALE
Batgirls #19 could have handled the subject of guns with some more finesse, but this doesn’t stop the issue from being a satisfying way to end the series. Rather than making something uncharacteristically bombastic and grandiose, this issue keeps things grounded, which is in keeping with the series’ tone. 4 out of 5 stars.
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Batgirls #19 wraps things up in a pleasant way that doesn’t dictate the future of any of the characters involved, allowing the series to stand on its own as a complete story.