Mar 14, 2010

Classic Material- Batgirl: Year One

4:50 PM

So what- so what- so what you want?!  This is more the underground classic (ala Binary Star or Afu-Ra) originally printed back in 2003 by the scribe combo of Chuck Dixon/Scott Beatty, Marcos Martin on pencils, Alvaro Lopez on inks and Javier Rodriguez on colors.  Where Beatty helps to bring the many classic Babs/Batgirl moments from one of his many DC encyclopedias-- Dixon weaves in his love and craft of portraying character growth-- as is the case with Oracle narrating how things went down for her at the start of her world-saving career.

Her first night of jumping into tights takes place at a social costume party where she helps to save the day from Killer Moth and you can't get a better response than the look of Bruce Wayne's mug on this surprising new addition to his Bat-fam.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree with Batgirl showing some of her detective skills from her father, but Gordon hints on how he is on to his daughter's moonlighting and his displeasure (just like he didn't want her to be a cop).

The book has the look and feel of a perfect flashback story, with original costumes and environments reflecting the 70s but with a fresh design especially with the use of modern colors and action back-splashes (minus the corny kaboom and pow!).  Dixon carries over from his take on Birds of Prey with the first team up between Black Canary and Babs, along with sharing the first kiss with a playful Dick Grayson.

I really appreciated how this origin story is revisited with vast layers of introspection, like how Babs was never really comfortable with the Batgirl label or early struggles with not getting the cred she deserved though that is where she thrives now as the behind the scenes, information broker for the superhero community.

The nine prequel issues (also available in trade format) are packed with action, nostalgia, romance, some foreshadowing at what we know transforms Babs to become Oracle (see The Killing Joke) and oozes of effective comedic timing like where we find...

Robin dressed as Batgirl to convince Lt. Gordon of his daughter not being the new caped crusader in Gotham. 

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big O
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