Writer: Hope Larson / Artist: Christian Wildgoose / DC Comics
“Summer of Lies” ends this issue, wrapping up a fun tag-team arc with Batgirl and Nightwing facing off with the Red Queen. The arc’s charm comes more from the relationship between the two heroes than the plot mystery itself, which is right where I want the focus to be – two heroes exploring romance and friendship, and what they look like to them both. Batgirl #17 continues to use flashbacks to slowly enlighten the present, this time showing a rift in their relationship where Batgirl gives reason not to be trusted after going too far. When she goes too far though? A savage scene of beauty.
On confronting the Red Queen everything is resolved at a rapid pace – finding her hideout, the final pinch point when Nightwing and Batgirl must turn on each other, the teamwork overcoming to win the moment. It is still satisfying though to see them work together and learn the balance of their friendship and trust in one other with or without the romance.
Artistically, Wildgoose made a fun comic with fast-paced scenes. While not a fan of the Red Queen mech warrior – in neither art nor story – Batgirl and Nightwing’s scenes of triumph were enjoyable and with appropriate tag-team grandiosity. In trademark fashion, they use their wits and trust in each other as much as any brute force or fighting technique to win the day.
Overall, Batgirl #17 is a friendship-inspiring conclusion to what is the most fun arc since the beginning of Larson’s run. Whatever comes next for Batgirl, we will miss Dick Grayson. I vote for a tag-team spinoff series right away.
Reading Batgirl? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.