Review: Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf, and Vicente Cifuentes

batgirlsTitle: Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection

Author: Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf, and Vicente Cifuentes

Publisher: DC Comics

Source: Purchased

Check this book out on Goodreads.

Buy this book at: Chapters | Book Depository

3 stars

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? (Source: Goodreads)

Barbara Gordon is back in action as Batgirl after a life changing surgery gives her back the use of her legs. She begins pursuing the criminal The Mirror who is targeting people who have survived accidents and attack previously, including Gordon herself. The latter half of the comic features Gretel a mind controlling hitman.

I liked this comic, I didn’t love it, it didn’t thrill me, but I liked it and it definitely will lead to me reading further volumes of the Batgirl series. I enjoyed the stories, though I think there was a lot left unexplained. I enjoyed the art, though there were some problems with it. I definitely loved the character design overall though, which was really a high point for me.

The story arcs in this are interesting. I enjoyed both of them, in terms of villains, I thought both were interesting and had connected backstories in that they both came from personal tragedy in which they “should” have died. I think Barbara’s personal life was also interesting, I am looking forward to more about her mother’s reappearance. I also want to see more Batgirl/Nightwing because that was definitely a fun high point, if a little weirdly abusive? Overall though, with all of this, there were some problems with background and explanation. A lot is just assumed knowledge and thus poorly explained, I don’t know where to look for further information on Babs having surgery, don’t know how to understand Mirror any better because the story was rushed. It was enjoyable but I just kept thinking “explain this more please”.

I liked the art. I thought the palette was good, the red for Barbara’s hair? Gorgeous. The character design was great, I really enjoyed Barbara overall and her roommate was super cool too. The cover sketches in the back, which are always my favourite, were amazing…especially the Nightwing/Batgirl ones. I did have a few problems with the art though. There were a lot of panels where I thought placement or bodies were awkwardly drawn, like the form was just off somehow? One moment that stands out is the last panel of Barbara’s date with her physiotherapist, that panel just gave me shivers of awkward.

I think all of this made this a good volume, but it didn’t make it exceptional, it didn’t hook me in the way a first volume should. Compare this to Ms. Marvel which still has me dazzled. I will definitely be reading volume 2 of Batgirl but I’m also going to have to look at Birds of Prey to see if I can get some better back story. I think it’s a good introduction and worth reading.

Ramble on,

Have you read Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest ReflectionLet me know your thoughts in the comments!
Check out Gail Simone at her blog and Twitter.
Check out Ardian Syaf at his blog and website.
Connect with me on Goodreads, BlogLovin, and Twitter.

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