Erica's Reviews > Batgirl, Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside

Batgirl, Vol. 1 by Cameron Stewart
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This is exactly what I've come to expect from DC. It would seem Gotham Academy, Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy was some sort of bizarre fluke, after all.

So why do superheroes have to be rebooted? Because wouldn't it make more sense to just mirror the real world and bring in new heroes? Not the next in line for this or that great hero name, but actual new heroes whom no one had ever heard of before they showed up in these pages? That's just kind of how time works. I get that Batman and Superman and others want to hand their mantle to the next generation but each generation would also spawn its own heroes, right? You don't have to sign up to be Nightwing or Robin or Batgirl or Supergirl or Superdog or Batchinchilla or what have you. There would be a whole new set of heroes growing up every decade, wouldn't there be?

Pretty much, why did Babs have to become a smart-phone addicted, self-focused, ridiculous millennial grad student who is full of assholishness? What was wrong with Barbara Gordon being who she has been and still should probably be and making the irritating little twit in this book someone else entirely? Like maybe Party Girl? Or DramaDiva? Or The Millennial Monster?
Also, if DC is bringing things up to date for the social media lovin' world, why is Black Canary still Dinah Lance? Why not match up with the show and have her be Laurel? Why aren't the comics and the shows and the movies syncing? Oh. Right. Because DC is covered with MORON.

In addition to the main character being everything old women like me hate in the younger generations, the story is bad. When I say bad, I mean it's poorly-written, the pacing is terrible, it's silly, and it makes no sense. It seems that I'm late to the game so I was a little confused, at first, what with starting this show following Babs' move into a swanky condo in Burnside. Where's Burnside? Who are these girls with Barbara? What's going on? Here's the thing: Even though this collects Batgirl Vol. IV, #35-40, the compendium is called Batgirl VOLUME ONE meaning it's the first volume of these collected Batgirl stories, yes?. So it should start at a relative beginning, yes??
Apparently not.
It starts with a move. Babs has left Alysia and is bunking with Frankie, now. Frankie runs down the front stoop to meet her new roomie and give hugs and such, indicating they're good friends. Ok. Fine. I'll catch up, I'm sure. It will be explained in a flashback before the end of the chapter. Only, it's not. And later, all the girls go clubbing and someone who looks like Frankie is using crutches because her legs have been bad lately. Does Frankie have a twin who uses crutches? What's happening? You have to wait until the last part of the book to find out. I guess people who read Batgirl Vol. IV, #1-33 probably understood all that was happening but for those of us who misunderstood Batgirl, Volume 1 to be the first in this series, it was confusing.

Also confusing:
Here is Babs walking around her college campus.
 photo Batgirl1_zpsgoszwpcw.jpg

A bubblegum/manga motorcycle duo come racing through, tearing up the joint (because: Reasons) and Babs has to change into her Batgirl uniform in a shed nearby. This is her uniform:
 photo Batgirl2_zpshw4a5g4k.jpg

Where was she keeping all those clothes? They weren't in the shed. So she was carrying them all along?
Sure. The jacket and pants and gloves and even maybe the mask, they could all be some fancy, lightweight, space age material that folds into tiny packets like those big rain ponchos you can carry in your back pocket. But the boots? Where were the boots? Those soles are not made of flimsy, foldable stuff and it certainly doesn't look like it's all being toted around in the messenger bag, soooo...
Yes. Those are the types of things I notice. It's like we're watching 60's TV again. Suspend all disbelief (and intelligence), ye who enter here!
NO! I will suspend disbelief but not when it comes to purses and bags. If you can't draw those correctly, just quit the illustration business.

Lack of consistency just seems like another term for laziness to me.
For example, this spoiler.
(view spoiler)

And that bothered me for lots of reasons, not just the lack of consistency.

The worst, though?

I love the art in this thing. It's adorable. There's a problem here and there but for the most part, it's delightful to look at! I was all impressed with this Babs Tarr person, excited that maybe there's a fun, new female talent on the scene...only...
Gabe was flipping through the back of the book and suddenly went nuts, like Godzilla crazy. He was shouting about how that's not OK and back in the day, this would have been so frowned upon.
I asked him what in the Sam Hill he was talking about and he said that Babs Tarr wasn't the artist. Cameron Stewart was. He did the layouts and then Babs traced over them, adding her cuteness to each picture.
I said, "Well...doesn't that make her the inker, then? I don't know why she's being given credit as the artist, but..."
Gabe had some apoplexy and roared around, stomping, "NO! She's not the inker! She's a TRACER! She's tracing someone else's work and then that's what gets inked! She's not doing the work but she's getting the credit!"
He had righteous indignation. I thought he was going to tear the book to pieces with his teeth.
 photo Batgirl6_zpsdajco4oj.jpg
 photo Batgirl5_zpsepyyn7jj.jpg

Cameron Stewart does actually do all the work. The layout, the perspective, the...everything. She just comes and pencils over his art to make it cuter.
And then she gets the credit.
That does seem wrong.
I feel like I'm being tricked into believing there's an awesome new female talent drawring these drawrings and maybe that will make me buy this book but she's not actually drawring the drawrings. She's just enhancing them and we're not being informed. I don't even know why they fessed up to this at all. I imagine more people than just Gabe are infuriated by this and will now not support Babs the Batgirl or Babs the artist.

All in all, I'm not impressed. I won't be following this series.
I guess it's nice to be back in the Disappointed With DC boat since I've become so comfortable here.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 10, 2015 – Finished Reading
July 26, 2015 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Carmen Great review.

Erica Carmen wrote: "Great review."

It's like we're a pack of haters, all lying in wait for this particular title to be released into our hands.
But, seriously. It was bad. Soooo bad.

Carmen I am going to read Vol 2, though.

Erica You're very brave.
I hope that the illustrations are as cute so that it won't be a total bust if it's even worst than the first.

Carmen Yeah, I'm not going to pay for it, that's for sure.

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