Since the launch of the DC Comics’ New 52 initiative, much of the DC Universe has been a little grim and gritty. Although grim and gritty works in the context of the Batman-related titles, it was beginning to feel a bit tonally similar. Gail Simone, who had been writing Batgirl from the beginning, was able to take this tone and make it her own – writing a Batgirl who was relatable and even introduced a transgender character. With Simone moving on to other projects, Batgirl #35 will see a new creative team consisting of writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher and up-and-coming artist Babs Tarr. This new creative team sees a tonal change in both art and story which makes this the perfect place to jump on.
After a fire destroys everything she owns, Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) takes advantage of this unfortunate event to rebuild her life. She sets up shop in the hip corner of Gotham City and decides to have some fun and enjoy being a young person. But don’t worry, she hasn’t given up being Batgirl. When she moves to this new corner of town she discovers that someone preying on her peers. Who? You’ll have to read to find out.
Not only has Batgirl moved to a fresh location, but she is getting a fresh look. While her old costume was iconic, this new costume is more practical, modern and reflects the youthful and fun tone of the series. I think yellow DocMartin boots are a nice touch.
Overall, the tone of this new direction is a welcome change. All the Bat titles were grim and gritty, which works in context, made for a line of books that felt a little the same. The inclusion of Babs Tarr on art duties should support this new tone. Through her feminine stokes and brighter colour palette makes Batgirl stand out from much of input from DC, and worthy of your attention. The injection of fun in Batgirl works well for the youthful character and should appeal to a broad audience of both male and female readers.
If you have never read Batgirl before then this issue should be a great place to jump on. With a new direction, you won’t be required to read the previous 34 issues.
Take a peek at the variant covers from Cameron Stewart and Kevin Nowlan as well as a 6-page preview below. (Source The A.V Club)