Batgirl is my favorite superhero. I am partial to Stephanie Brown, but I have more in common with Barbara Gordon. The new Batgirl series, which focuses on a younger Babs, has been great. This issue opens up a new story arc, "Summer of Lies", where Batgirl and Nightwing are set up for something pretty heinous. Writer Hope Larson is setting Batgirl and Nightwing up for something big, but we just don't know what it is yet — though we do know who is behind it…
Larson does an exceptional job of creating tension between Batgirl and Nightwing. Obviously they have a past, and in one instance Batgirl comes off as jealous over an ex of Nightwing's. We can see in flashbacks how Barbara was originally a bit of a hothead (like her dad, which is the sincerest part of the whole issue), and how's turned that into something productive. Mistakes have probably been made, but she's still human. And that's what appeals most to me: Batgirl isn't Batman. She's fun and cool, and is portrayed as a complete nerd (in the best way possible) in her new school. She's an outcast trying to find her way. You can argue that Batman is also an outcast, but at the end of the day he's still a valuable part of the Justice League and DC universe. He sometimes comes off as too stiff, while Batgirl is more flexible with her personality.
Chris Wildgoose's pencils are great. The characters are a bit on the cartoonish side, but it works in their favor. Batgirl is utterly charming, even when she's kicking ass or being serious. The attention to detail in the backgrounds is also excellent.
This is indeed Gotham City, in all of it's crime-ridden glory. The book is appealing, and I enjoyed reading the heck out of it. But I'm also probably biased, since I really like Batgirl.
This post was brought to you by Third Eye Comics, Maryland's premier comic book shop!