Review: BATGIRL #10

BATGIRL #10
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Christian Wildgoose, Jon Lam, Mat Lopes
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: April 26, 2017

This comic is just so damn fun.

The banter, the pencils, the colour work…Batgirl #10 is practically flawless. This creative team is on fire with the Son of Penguin arc and this penultimate chapter is one of the best issues yet.

Hope Larson’s writing is absolutely fantastic. Her voice for Barbara, Jim, The Penguin…they are on point and, most important of all, fun. There is a lightness in the banter in this issue that is delightful without being fluff, and I find that Batgirl is hitting the same sweet spot that I love in comics like The Unstoppable Wasp and Invincible Iron Man from across the aisle. These characters are strong and don’t take any crap, but everything isn’t so bleak and dark and hopeless and painful. There can be humour. There can be a ping pong game. There can be fun. More than anything, that is my takeaway from Hope Larson’s writing: you can tell a good story that is filled with important concepts like relationship troubles, crime, the influence of technology in our world today and still have it be fun.

Christian Wildgoose and Jon Lam are fiends on the art front, setting a visual tone that is full of clean, crisp lines that are filled with personality and heart. Wildgoose’s pencil style is inked perfectly by Jon Lam for a final package that is concise and well crafted. Unlike some of the bi-weekly titles that are being produced right now, Batgirl feels like it has the proper amount of time to be crafted well and there is not a single panel in this entire issue that I would consider “rushed” in any way. This team is putting together stellar work that deserves more buzz than I am seeing out in the internet-sphere, and I loved every single page. It’s not easy capturing the tone that this title does, with humour and action and some great “super hero” moments.

Mat Lopes’ strong colour work ties it all together, taking the vibe of the writing and art and giving it an electric punch with a dynamic palette that is unique in DC’s line. His colour work in Batgirl is some of my favourite in the industry right now and I love how each page “pops”. In case you haven’t noticed by this point, I really like the aesthetic the art team has crafted here!

As somewhat of an aside, all of this is why I think this is the perfect Batgirl series for DC to be publishing right now. This is like the “slightly older than DC Super Hero Girls” comic that younger readers can transition into the larger DCU with, without being hammered by the bleak and terrible Gotham, for example. The same spirit of DC Super Hero Girls can be found here, but aged appropriately for a somewhat older reader (or much older reader, in my case) that loves the characters but isn’t looking for the bleakness found in so many other comics. That’s a difficult sweet spot to hit, but this team knocks it out of the park.

Batgirl #10 is an excellent chapter in what has been a fun, entertaining arc. Babs & Oswald is a dynamic I hope gets revisited in the future often by this creative team because their on page chemistry is amazing….like every other panel in this comic. If you aren’t reading Batgirl you are doing yourself a disservice as this is one of the best comics being published today.

The Verdict: 10/10

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