BATGIRL: ENDGAME #1
Written by Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher
Art by Bengal
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: March 18, 2015
This one-shot comic ties in with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s gigantic Endgame story line (being called the Joker story to end all Joker stories). It’s so big, in fact, that it’s bleeding out into several other Bat-titles (specifically: Batgirl, Arkham Manor, Detective Comics, and Gotham Academy). Each book is written as a stand-alone story, so they can be picked up by anyone with little to no knowledge of the title’s main storyline. What readers will get from any of the four Endgame tie-in books is a broader view of the Joker’s far-reaching shenanigans throughout Gotham City.
In Batgirl, the story is told in a particularly intriguing way: silently. That’s not to say that there’s no writing, simply that there is no speech. There is a clear story being told, and though it’s a pretty simple story that we’ve all seen/read somewhere before, that it is being told silently helps to set the mood beautifully. By leaving out any speech, Stewart and Fletcher have instilled a base sense of fear and urgency into a story that could easily have been mediocre otherwise. That they were able to do so while keeping just a touch of the Batgirl humor we’ve all grown accustomed to, is like adding that dollop of whipped cream on top of a slice of pumpkin pie.
In a silent issue, it is imperative that the artwork is spot on. Thankfully, Bengal is on it. Normally, I am a stickler for complete backgrounds on panels, but in this case too much background detail could easily muddle the feeling of the story. By focusing on actions, screenshots, and the all important facial detail, Bengal made following Stewart and Fletcher’s story effortless. Taking things one step further, his use of color added to the story beautifully; his technique was similar to that of using a color filter on film to tweak a scene’s colors and set the right mood. Simply put, it worked.
As part of the Endgame storyline, Batgirl: Endgame is a good “read” that helps illustrate the scope of The Joker’s scheme nicely. If you’re not following the Endgame story though, no one could blame you for skipping this issue. If, however, you’re as big a Babs fan as I am, this issue is certainly good enough to add to your collection.
The Verdict: 8.0/10