By Jeanette Eileen Widjaja
I remember being delightedly surprised when DC first announced a new Batgirls series back in September. I figured it had been a long time coming, especially considering the number of fans who had been asking (and demanding) for a Batgirls project for a very long time. When I heard that Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad would be writing it with Jorge Corona on art, I was excited. To say this creative team is amazing and promising would be an understatement. And when I saw the three-part Batgirls prelude in Batman #115-117, I just knew this would be a wholesome ride.
Following the prelude, we finally get to see Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain, and Stephanie Brown together again, at last, in this first issue. Cloonan and Conrad masterfully bring us into the Batgirls’ world as they struggle to lay low and make sense of the Magistrate and Seer. This first issue establishes the current nature of Barbara, Cassandra, and Stephanie’s dynamic and the overall chaotic feel of the series.
Something that stuck out to me as I was reading was how there were so many things happening in a single issue. It seems to be one thing after another with no breaks and stops but it surprisingly doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. The creative team have spun the story in such a way that shows just how packed the story is while still being able to string the readers along and convey the youthful spontaneity and wild nature of the Batgirls.
From Barbara’s role as a mentor figure to Stephanie and Cassandra’s rebellious streak, Cloonan and Conrad have done a wonderful job of nailing the Batgirls’ voices and dynamics, both of which Jorge Corona and Sarah Stern skillfully translate into the pages of this issue. I don’t think I can ever get tired of looking at their art. Corona’s expressive and fluid motions paired with Stern’s vibrant colors reflect the freshness and playfulness of the Batgirls in the best way possible and leaves you wanting more of it.
All in all, Batgirls #1 is a bright, wonderful mess that you just can’t get enough of. This issue is a great start to what appears to be a fun and chaotic ride and I would strongly recommend you to go give it a read.