Barbara Gordon is Back as Batgirl! - Batgirl: Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection Review

This review was first written for my Special Topics in Librarianship: The Graphic Novel class in October 2014.

Cover of Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection
Title: Batgirl: Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection
Author: Gail Simone
Illustrators: Ardian Syaf, Vicente Cifuentes
Published: 2012 by DC Comics

I've wanted to read a Batgirl comic for awhile, because I heard that she was a librarian in her origin story!

This Batgirl volume was published in 2012 and is a part of the “New 52” universe. It brings Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl, which was a controversial move since she had been paralyzed since the 1980s “Killing Joke” storyline (which was also controversial itself). Between this time, she had come into another persona, The Oracle --an expert computer hacker and information specialist, proving her value even as a “handicapped” individual. This was one of the reasons why some objected to her mobile return as Batgirl: there are not many wheelchair bound comic book characters and as Oracle she was a role model for others like her.

One of the things that kept me away from Batman titles is that I didn't know how “dark” the titles are … and the 1980s-current titles seemed kind of dark to me. This volume was right at the edge of my tolerance level (violence-wise, language-wise, situation-wise, etc.) … Anything more I don't think I could enjoy, but the story was pretty interesting and I ended up enjoying most of it.

In this volume, Batgirl’s back on the scene and determined to prove to her mentors and to herself that she is ready to rejoin the fight for justice as she works to take down the mysterious new villain, Mirror. She isn’t a librarian (apparently that’s from her Silver Age origin), but has a degree in forensic psychology and an eidetic (“photographic”) memory.

I personally would recommend it for high school and up … unless a younger audience watched a lot of Criminal Minds or CSI types of shows, then perhaps they could handle it. If someone liked this title, I’d recommend one I’d like to get to eventually myself: Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey run which starred several female superheroes (Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress, etc.) and is considered one of the best from that series (though it’s previous to the New 52 era).

Who's your favorite super-heroine?  Why?

Barbara Gordon is Back as Batgirl! - Batgirl: Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection Review Barbara Gordon is Back as Batgirl! - Batgirl: Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection Review Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 5/11/2015 05:36:00 PM Rating: 5

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