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Comic Thoughts: The New 52's 'Batgirl' Issues 7-8

Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment

While Barbara continues to struggle with the sudden return of her mother, another menace situation wraps up nicely in just two issues again, just like Gretel.

Barbara is down in the dumps because she's still trying to get her bearings while also dealing with some stuff in her daytime life. She goes to Black Canary to blow off some steam, gets a nice little pep talk, and takes on an assignment. It leads her to Grotesque, a super-snob with a mutation which allows him to channel electricity and use it to fight.

The goon-of-the-week thing isn't what's great about these two issues. As it turns out, Barbara's mother had some real head problems when she left her family. She approaches James and names their son as the problem. When Babs goes to her in a moment of neediness with noone else around to talk to, she reveals that she was scared of her son, and left because it would keep Babs safe. While some might find this incredulous.. I just equate it to when you have a really, really intense intuition about something, and you panic, and flee. In some cases, fleeing is the right thing to do. I feel for Babs in this situation in which the mother had the perceived power to take her 10-year old son to therapy and try and make things right early on. It's a tough pill to swallow, nonetheless.

Though Babs mentioned that James Jr. was put away in Arkham, we already saw at the end of issue 8 that he's not put away at all, and his current target is none other than Babs' roomie. I don't think that's an accident. I'm also excited (isn't that weird?) to see what the drama is going to be in coming issues involving him. It feels a little weird saying that when I'm the one playing catch-up here, but so far I've avoided spoilers. Either way, I expect some great drama.

The other big story thing that happened this issue is, once again, Babs brought us back to the night she was shot. It feels like that is always somewhere close to the front of her mind, doesn't it? But this time, it's because she encountered one of the men that were next to Joker when it happened. And she could have lost it -- she could have just rammed his head in. Instead, she let him go as bait to get to Grotesque, and had enough of a talk with the guy afterward to know that he's the reason she's alive, even if he is a scumbag. It's kind of big of her, really. I know I'd want to kill the dude.

Finally, the last big thing that happened is we got a change-up with the artists. Alitha Martinez was introduced in issue 7 and worked on some flash-back pages, then stayed on for issue 8 alongside Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes. Vicente was added as a penciller for issue 8 and Alitha on inks as well. And it shows -- the panels are way more elaborate and the style changes with the scenery really make the book. It's awesome enough that another woman was brought on board for this book, but that it comes together so beautifully is even better. And of course, it wouldn't all be possible without the wonderful color work of Ulises Arreola working with the different styles of these artists.

That aside, I'm sad to see Adam Hughes go, as it looks like the trio of artists also worked on that instead of him. I stand by what I said that the covers all look fantastic, even with the artist change, but I definitely enjoyed his style quite a bit. You will be missed, Adam!

Still loving the book, and I don't see myself dropping it any time soon. I'm actually sad to know that I've only got about eight issues to go before I'm completely caught up. Then I'll have to wait a month between issues. Ack!

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