The first issue of DC Rebirth’s Batgirl series was a fun read and a good start, but there wasn’t quite anything special about it. After the previous run ended in a bit of a mess though, a good start feels refreshing. Barbara Gordon is on an extended trip to Asia, with an old friend who’s making romantic advances that Barbara’s not quite sure whether she wants to continue with or not. Dramatically speaking, it makes for an interesting premise. From the story front, a random girl attacked her friend, and fled the scene after a brief fight.
Written by Hope Larson, Batgirl 2 starts with Batgirl chasing down a probe that she caught spying on her at some point. It’s a brief yet fun action scene that shows her technical skills and ends a bit sooner than you’d expect. That makes it kind of amusing. Most of the rest of this issue is split between Barbara’s search for clues regarding the girl who attacked Kai in the previous issue and the romantic sub-plot. The romantic sub-plot is well written and kind of fun, balanced with Kai’s perhaps too aggressive approach and Barbara internally telling herself no, while she keeps going out with him anyway. The investigation meanwhile takes her to an underground fight club, where she trains as an MMA fighter for a couple weeks, fine tuning her already impressive combat skills. On my first read the ending felt like it came out of nowhere, but after a second read it made a lot more sense. Either way, it’s an effective ending in more than one way.
The art by Rafael Albuquerque is simple but good. When Batgirl kicks down a door early in the comic, the door handle’s mechanisms fly out from their socket in a fun way. There isn’t always much of a background, but when there is, there’s often some sort of visual storytelling, like a fancy hotel that Barbara and Kai are driving toward towering in the distance, or the creepy pictures on the wall of the drone’s peeping tom controller. Facial expressions convey emotions well, and the fight scene at the end feels intense. The colouring by Dave McCaig is also good. This is a bright and colourful comic, matching the tone of the writing quite well.
Like the first issue, this isn’t quite great, but it feels like it’s building up to something. It’s just as enjoyable as the first issue, but with some added dramatic weight and a building story that could get interesting down the road. So far it feels like this series will improve as it goes along. I’m not sure if I would recommend this series quite yet, but if you’re interested in checking Batgirl out, at least give this a read.