Writer: Hope Larson / Artist: Rafael Albuquerque / DC Comics
Batgirl #3 continues the fast-moving pace it established in its first two impressive issues with Babs traveling country to country and bringing readers along for a little culture during the adventure. Issue #3, though, doesn’t do it as well as the others, and is the first issue that makes the series feel less grounded. What’s the story plot here again? You might find yourself forgetting the big in issue #3, although Batgirl’s charm still remains through Babs’ inner dialogue, obligatory food shots, and watching her maturation through all her experiences.
Babs’ detective work is back on display as she back-traces a spy cam, which brings her to Seoul, Korea after catching the ass-whupping that ended her warehouse fight in Singapore. The fight itself was great for a quick knockout, but what made it better was the sequel when Babs had her rematch with Wen Lu in Seoul, this time as Batgirl. The fight showed Babs learning from the past fight, just as we see her putting her memory to good use during her detective work, making certain scenes especially validating for readers who try to connect the dots ahead of Babs herself. The fast pace of this book makes for a lot of quick payoffs to the smaller mysteries.
Overall, the baseline is high for this comic, so it’s a fun read even if it falls short of the standard set by the first two issues. It maintains what it does well, including the artwork and panel layouts that continue to be great (despite certain exaggerated facial expressions that still aren’t my jam). If the pace stays true we can expect Batgirl to have a significant run in for issue #4, and hopefully the big picture clears up a little before Batgirl feels limited to hero’s graphic travel blog.
Reading Batgirl? You can catch up on previous reviews here.