Writer: Hope Larson
Pencils & Inks: Chris Wildgoose
Colorist: Mat Lopes
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Publisher: DC Comics
A review by Gregory Brothers
Since the Rebirth event the books within the DC Universe have gone many different directions. Some franchises used the event to completely relaunch and reboot the characters, while others have stayed the course and kept the history that was developed during The New 52. Batgirl has been one of those franchises that stayed the course and kept the history that had been created while using Rebirth relaunch more as a jumping on point with new adventures.
Batgirl #7 finds Barbara Gordon back in the Burnside boroughs after an extended trip to southeast Asia and Japan, and an eventful flight home that involved running into Poison Ivy. The return to Burnside does not mean it is time to rest or relax, as Barbara quickly finds out in her time away things have started to change around town. While Barbara was travelling around Southeast Asia trying to find herself, it turns out that Burnside has become the next hot neighborhood to be gentrified as the hipster crowd has replaced her favorite coffee shop with a “Nonconformist Pet Shop” and the new coffee shop in town charges five dollars for a cup of drip coffee.
While having to deal with high priced coffee, organic dog food, and increases in rent are not something that Batgirl would investigate, the background and motives of the creators of an app that take reported homeless people off the streets and “relocates” them, is right up her alley.
Since the Rebirth relaunch I have been enjoying the Batgirl series but it has felt like it was just a bit off while the adventures in Southeast Asia and Japan were going on. With a return to Burnside, we’re back to the Batgirl I grew to enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of changes since the end of The New 52, but bringing back some of Barbara’s old friends provides a bit of stability that the book has been missing. Benson though does not fall back on and rely on what those that have come before her have built as a crutch to build her story, instead she goes and tweaks it just enough so that you know it is an original story.
With Barbara’s friends moving on with their lives as they look at starting families and moving in with new significant others it will force Barbara to adapt and adjust and should hopefully lead to some true character development over the next few months. The addition of a new guy in town who has a connection to a classic batman villain should also provide some intrigue over the next arc as Barbara tries to figure out if he really is as charitable as he claims, or if he has a bit of his father in him.
Chris Wildgoose joins the art team in Batgirl #7, and as much that I enjoyed the art in the first six issues, Batgirl #7 is the best so far, in my opinion. Barbara looks much more age appropriate than she had before, although in some of the panels her nose does seem a little bit off. I also appreciated that Wildgoose show restraint in how he presented all the characters when tasked to draw a charity party that was also being held at a local pool. The suits where ones that you would find more at an event like this and not filled with the T & A that is could have been. The muted colors in Burnside work perfectly with the combination or new and old buildings, while the now classic purple and yellow look of Batgirl suit stands out in the muted downtown.
Buy it! If you have been enjoying Batgirl since the relaunch, then continue to pick it up as it has only improved over the last 6 issues. If you dropped off or never jumped on, then Batgirl #7 is the perfect time to return to or visit Burnside for the first time. Batgirl #7 provides enough throwbacks that people who were fans before Rebirth will enjoy it. For new readers, there is plenty of stuff to learn as Barbara must navigate the new normal of her friends and her neighborhood while dealing with finding a new apartment, changing majors in school, and a possible new flame who may or may not be who or what he says he is.