Book Review: Batgirl: The Bronze Age Omnibus, Volume 2

Batgirl: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2 Batgirl: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2 by Various

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book collects the rest of the pre-Crisis Batgirl stories.

There are two stages of these stories:

1) The rest of the Batman Famiy stories: The rest of Batgirl's solo and team-up appearances in Batman Family were actually pretty fun for the most part. The handling of the Barbara's brother Tony story is a bit weak and some of the team ups get a little goofy. The book features solo stories, stories that direct team ups with Robin, as well as stories that involve Justice League style team ups with various members of the Bat-family who handle their own chapters but come together to battle the boss.

2) Detective Comics and the Batgirl Special: A bit of a bumpy ride on these. After Batman Family ended in 1978, Batgirl got her own solo feature in Detective Comics. Bob Rozakis, who had written for her on Batman family wrote the first three stories including a two-part story that dealt with Batgirl finding Barbara Gordon's lost brother. It was okay as was a silly story about someone getting a date with Batgirl. Then Jack Harris took over...and in my opinion, he didn't get the character and the stories were just lackluster. The best thing in the Harris run was having Barbara Gordon defeated for re-election. It didn't make a ton of sense as Babs was defeated by a feminist who was a stand-in for left-wing Congresswoman Bella Abzug, but the whole point of sending Babs to Congress was the end of Batgirl. Having her be in Congress was more of an impediment than good stories.

Cary Burkett took over and he had a really superb two year run on the character. I'm a little iffy on his decision to have Batgirl decide to quit when she was nearly assassinated, but he managed to work in a lot of good character stuff and tell some pretty solid stories that approached to the height of her stories in Detective Comics in the 1970s.

The final writer was Barbara Kesel, who got to do the last two Detective Comics stories before they were unceremoniously cancelled. The story's okay, but doesn't quite feel right. I feel bad Kesel didn't get a chance to develop her vision of Batgirl. In the two Detective Comics stories, the art of Trevor Von Eeden shines through.

Kesel also wrote the Batgirl Specail which was to be published as a story explaining how she left being Batgirl. I think Kesel did the best she could with it, given that it was an editorially mandated piece which limits options.

Kesel also wrote the intro which told of the sort of her background on the book and the sort of toxic attitudes at DC towards Barbara Gordon with the Killing Joke and the discomfort she experienced. It says something about the DC staff that they didn't respect a heroine like Barbara Gordon back in the day and not something good.

Overall, this is a fun read for all Barbara Gordon fans. It's not quite as good as the first volume, but it's still a very solid read.

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Published on June 04, 2021 19:33 Tags: barbara-gordon, batgirl, bronze-age
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Christians and Superheroes

Adam Graham
I'm a Christian who writes superhero fiction (some parody and some serious.)

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