Writer: Hope Larson / Artist: Rafael Albuquerque / DC Comics

We’re back in Gotham, Singapore, South Korea – somewhere in Asia on Batgirl’s international adventure tracking down a bio-encryption formula, and pieces are finally starting to come together in this “Beyond Burnside” story arc. We know someone called the Teacher is hoping to make a fortune on the formula, we know Babs’ own friend Kai is the human mule meant to transport it in his body, and we know Batgirl has to track down the both of them if she’s to stop the formula from spreading and save her friend from the mess he put himself in. And now we finally know who these random people are who keep fighting Batgirl at every turn:


They’re desperate kids looking for a second chance at making something of their lives, which definitely helps make them more sympathetic villains, mere pawns taken advantage of by the Teacher’s quest to cash in on a chemical formula that can make you smarter, with some minor side effects like hair loss, mania, cancer, and probably death. Some Libertarian reader probably leaned into Batgirl #4 hard, coming to the Teacher’s defense talking about how it would probably be cleared by most Asian governments and eventually approved by the FDA anyway, which shouldn’t even exist because freedom, so the Teacher really isn’t doing anything wrong and Batgirl trippin’. Either way, Batgirl found her mark and knows where to find both Kai and the Teacher, so this series is progressing right on schedule.


Overall, another solid issue for Hope Larson’s Batgirl, and one that gave us some significant answers right on time. Come for the charm of Babs’ travel, and stay to solve the mystery and see what Babs learns from it all before she returns home to Gotham a stronger person.

8.2 out of 10

Reading Batgirl? You can catch up on previous reviews here.

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  • Jordan Calhoun is a writer in New York City. His forthcoming debut book "Piccolo Is Black" is a celebration of the common adaptations we made while non-diverse pop culture helped us form identities. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. He might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Find him on Instagram and Twitter @JordanMCalhoun

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