Comic Review: Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection – Gail Simone

Release Date: February 12th 2013
Published By: DC Comics
Pages: 144
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, Barbara Gordon is finally back as Batgirl!The nightmare-inducing brute known as Mirror is destroying the lives of Gotham City citizens seemingly at random. Will Barbara be able to survive her explosive confrontation with this new villain, as well as facing dark secrets from her past? A new chapter in the riveting adventures of Batgirl continue in stunning fashion, with script by fan-favorite Gail Simone and stellar art by superstar Ardian Syaf!

This volume collects issues 1-6 of Batgirl, part of the DC Comics—The New 52 event.

Review: Barbara Gordon is the daughter of Gotham City’s police Chief Commissioner Jim Gordon. Jim Gordon forbade Barbara to ever become a police officer herself due to the level of danger involved, so going behind her father’s back she donned a mask and outfit and became Batgirl, trained by the one and only Batman. In The Darkest Reflection, we meet a Batgirl who’s confidence is shaken. It was only months before when Joker shot her in the spine and rendering the use of her legs useless. Through relentless rehabilitation though, Barbara has the use of her legs back and she’s Batgirl once more – however she’s still got her own issues to deal with.

Batgirl is trying to deal with a an evil vigilante known only as The Mirror who is crossing victims off his list one by one. He challenges Batgirl at a time where she’s mentally not at her strongest and the back and forth between the two adds to the action throughout the story. The Mirror ends up being a formidable foe to Batgirl, taunting her at every opportunity and using innocent people as pawns in his game. The thing I like about Batgirl throughout this comic is that she’s vulnerable at times. She’s not perfect and she makes mistakes.

There’s a slight hint at romance also between Batgirl and Nightwing (formally known as Robin), and I really enjoyed their flirty banter with each other. I am interested to see the progression between these two as the stories continue on in volume 2 onwards!

The illustrations in this book deserve a mention. I love the drawings and the way that Batgirl has been portrayed in this version. Illustrated by Ardian Syaf and Vicentre Cifuentes there’s some beautiful pieces in this book – some of my favourite images from the book are below.

I think the thing I liked the most about this was it was written by Gail Simone. I don’t mean to sound sexist, but in an industry so heavily dominated by men, it’s awesome to see female comic writers out there, and especially writing the voice of a female character. I think it’s her writing that was able to give Batgirl a voice that was honest and vulnerable but also strong and resilient. I am a fan of her work after reading this! Batgirl is one of my most favourite characters in the DC Universe. After reading Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection it only reinforced how much I love her character.

What do you think?

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