Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown leap from a building as the Batgirls.

Batgirls #1 Review

Written by: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad

Art by: Jorge Corona

Coloring by: Sarah Stern

Lettering by: Becca Carey

The Batgirls are surrounded by green smoke as Stephanie Brown says, "I think... we might have messed up, over."
Time for a fight!

The Batgirls finally get their own book! They’ve been in the corners of other Bat-books since the start of Infinite Frontier, and it’s about time that changed. As a first issue, it’s about what one would suspect. It sets up the status quo for the series going forward, including the setting, the characterizations, and the relationships. It’s everything you would expect from a new #1.

There were a lot of worries that the aforementioned Batgirls, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, would be playing sidekicks to Barbara Gordon. The original Batgirl (in continuity) has always been a mentor to both of them, arguably a mother figure to Cass, but post-Flashpoint that’s not true anymore. All three have been aged down, so the old dynamics people are clamoring for isn’t quite possible. That being said, it feels like the creative team is trying to meet fans halfway.

Who are the Batgirls?

Barabara is set up as Oracle and feels a decade older than the Batgirls, which is good, but she’s not in her wheelchair. That representation for the physically disabled isn’t here. Cassandra is still the best fighter around, struggling with speech and her childhood trauma, but she feels like a teenager rather than a scarred young adult. Stephanie really has regressed the most though. This is a character who post-Flashpoint, had already given up a baby and fought crime as Batgirl. She’s lived life as much, if not more than a lot of adult superheroes. Hell, she was technically already college age with Tim back in Detective Comics, but now she feels like a high schooler at times.

Cassandra Cain, Barbara Gordon, and Stephanie Brown, walk side by side.
This art style really is something else.

If you’re looking for the Batgirls you know and love, they aren’t exactly here. At the same time, the characters we do get are fun to be around and can make you laugh if you give them the chance. This is definitely a soft reboot of all three of the characters but it’s not boring or bad at all. The tone perfectly matches the art style. Mere facial expressions had me laughing because the art captures so much in every panel. This doesn’t feel like a story that’s going to end in a destructive event for Gotham, but it’ll be fun. Sometimes that’s all we need.

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