First post in awhile! Apologies, I got distracted by other projects and actual comics!
So… Batgirl: Rising
I’ve been avoiding a lot of post-RIP bat-comics lately, due to lack money and my dislike Grant Morrison’s writing. So when my musically-inclined neighbor told me that the new Batgirl series was awesome I was a bit wary. Stephanie Brown (when written well) is one of my favourite characters, but Batgirls seem to have a long and glorious history of being shitted all over and I didn’t want to read another War Games style shitting on. Still, he insisted on lending me Batgirl: Rising, the first trade of the new series.
I was then a little reluctant as Bryan Q. Miller was someone I’d only heard of attached to this and Smallville which…well, has anyone other than Ollie Queen come out of Smallville looking good?
Fortunately everything that I love about Stephanie has nailed in this series. The similarity to Huntress in her determination and lack of Bat-vigilante approval is there, but without the ‘killer’ instinct that Huntress has. The girl is bloody stubborn, and doesn’t let fuck-ups slow her down, and most importantly doesn’t let any other character intimidate her into not being herself.
Miller manages to handle her rather mixed background well. The comic refers to her past enough to be believably the same character as Spoiler, but there are some changes for the better: her relationship with her mother and the college start are quite sweet. Her relationships with Tim and Cass are absent but obviously things that were there. The ‘re-adoption’ of Steph by Barbara is also handled well, and they have a snarky, fun dynamic.
Occasionally it does fall into some tropes that are irritating and a little old. The most obvious example being the melodrama around Steph hiding her Batgirl identity from her mother – like we haven’t already seen this storyline play on and on and on… with a bat-sidekick *cough* Tim Drake *cough*. Still, Miller’s fun writing style tends to mean you forgive the weaker points, focusing instead on Steph’s flirtation with that detective, and her fucking wonderful dialogue with Damian and Babs.
I have one real complaint with Batgirl: Rising though. What the hell is with the penis vehicle? I mean, duh, she’s always had more balls than male characters like Drake, but does she really need that added level of visual Freudian compensation?
Anyway my entire point of this review? I realise I was slow to here but: Go. Read this. Now. If you don’t read bat-comics, find a good starting point. Read that. Then read this.