New 52 – Batgirl #3 review

How old is Barbara Gordon supposed to be right now? I think it said in the first issue, but I forgot. She sounds like a teenager. It’s not that distracting, but it’s definitely noticeable at times. Just thought I’d open with a question before I forgot it. Another question about comics that’s bugged me is why the publishing date is so far ahead. I get why most magazines say “December” when it’s really November when the book comes out, but why are comics 2 months ahead? Anyway…

Batgirl #3 is a fun little filler episode loaded with that’s all about giving the fans what they wanted: some interaction between Batgirl and Nightwing. It’s cute and it serves the purpose of having Batgirl stand up for herself and say that she doesn’t need anyone’s help to take down Mirror. That’s been a common theme throughout the first 2 issues, Barbara’s shaky courage and by proving to Nightwing she’s more than capable she proves it to herself and now has the heart to go after Mirror and bring him down.

The flaw in all of this, the thing that makes this key moment less than compelling is that Mirror isn’t a good villain. His suit is ridiculous, his motives are nonsensical, and he’s a pretty inconsistent guy who is giving everybody way more trouble than he ever should have. He’s overstayed his welcome and it’s time for this arc to come to a close. Thankfully, the next issue will be the end of Mirror’s reign of reflective terror and we can get some answers about how Barbara got her legs back.

The art is still quite good except for a few action panels and a shot of Batgirl pulling a tag off her bike. The coloring, as always is very vibrant with plenty of pink and purple highlights. I like that, but it’s still not the level of color that you get from Justice League, which is the comic equivalent to Skittles.
My favorite moment of this whole thing is pretty easily overlooked. In issue #1 Batgirl had to leave her cycle behind. As a frequent reader of super hero stories, I could have seen her riding that bike in the next story arc and never had a problem, but Gail Simone had Barbara pick the thing up from the police impound lot. I got a kick out of that attention to detail and only wish that the bike had been under a higher level of security for a more intense scene, but that’s not what Batgirl #3 is all about. It’s about a sweet reunion between childhood sweethearts and Batgirl getting her courage up before the big fight in issue #4. This isn’t a must have comic unless you’re just a big fan of Dick and Barbara interaction and if you’re not, well, it’s just a filler episode. Oh, SPOILER Barbara gives Dick a lock of her hair at the end of the story…which seemed like a bit much. It’s not like she’s never going to see him again. She just wants to take down Mirror on her own. There’s no reason these two can’t date. And it’s revealed that Barbara’s condition could deteriorate which to me sounds like DC installed a failsafe in the event that fans preferred her as Oracle.

SCORE: 7/10