(Author: Cameron Stewart) + (Year: 2015) + (Goodreads)
This is a love letter.
I know that not all of you will understand my infatuation with this particular graphic novel among all the books, comic or otherwise, that I have read and reviewed. I’m pretty sure at least one of you will and that’s enough for me.
Looking back to two-three months ago, I’m pretty sure this is the first comic book issue I read in my adult life. That’s reason enough to feel strongly about it.
the list of things I liked about Batgirl of Burnside is long. Long enough, in fact, that I can dismiss some of the things that can be argued about in the comic book. For the sake of being fair, I will, of course, mention them, but first I would like to tell you why exactly I loved Batgirl so much.
- Look at the graphics, come on! I want to distinguish here the difference between the indie comic books and the DC and Marvel ones. The style is obviously completely different, with the indie books being drawn with what seems to me to be a lot more care and detail and creativity. On the other hand, from my experience, however small, with superhero comic books they work on building a bigger picture and at moments some parts of the whole seem to be suffering from it. I took a look at the previous version of the Batgirl and I did not enjoy it nearly as much. For one, the graphics were not to my taste, and for the other – although I admit I don’t know that much about it, from the descriptions and some of the panels, it seemed like Batgirl is just a random sidekick that happens to have its own story. So much for empowered women.
- Empowered women: YES, I love how most of the kick-ass characters in The Batgirl of Burnside are girls. I’m sorry if someone feels offended by that. Instead of Batman mentoring Batgirl, I saw Dinah doing it. Instead of them calling guys for back-up, they had each other’s backs. Instead of male professors coming up with great ideas, girls did it. Yes, of course it’s highly improbable that a barely-out-of-her-teens girl will be developing brilliant algorithms and saving the world and having a social life, but you can’t claim to be reading superhero comic books for realism.
- It’s funny and sunny and colorful. I think there is plenty of gloomy and dark comic books, why not enjoy a lighter one with a decent bad guy fighting and saving lives while having some humor. I, personally, don’t need everything around me to be dark and brooding and torturous.
- It’s so hilariously hipster, seriously! I spent a lot of time just looking at the pictures of big groups of characters so that I can find even one that is not painfully hipster. Guess my results. (It’s a hobby just as any other. Better this than collecting dead people’s ears or something.)
- I just really love Barbara. She is not over-idealized. Instead she is down-to-earth, sometimes under the weather, but also clever and decisive and she wants to help and she also wants to hang out with her friends or go out with guys. She is normal and yet kick-ass. What’s not to love.
As promised, I will also give some of the things that are hard not to notice and in a more negative way:
- How Barbara is the immediate center of every guy’s attention and she proceeds to flirting withe every one of them. I can see that she is hot, but if you look at the entire comic book, you’d see that all of the girls are. Hell, Dinah is hotter.
- The villains of each issue were not as threatening as I would ideally want them to be. And technically, nothing that happened in the entire issue would have happened without Barbara. Eh…
- A little bit more depth could be added without the series becoming too gritty and moody.
But none of these change the warm fuzzy ball of feelings I have for Batgirl. Sorrynotsorry.