Today’s Super Comic — Batgirl #16 (2011)

Batgirl_Vol_3_16This Batgirl was such a fun series before the New 52 killed it.

It starred Stephanie Brown, the former Spoiler, as the new Batgirl operating under the guidance of the original, Barbara Gordon. As written by Bryan Q. Miller, this Batgirl’s personality leapt off the page and set her apart from DC’s ever-growing cast of Batman-related characters. She’s a fantastic lead.

Issue #16 is a typically solid example of what made this book a joy to read. Batgirl is wanted for a crime she didn’t commit—murder, specifically—which of course turns the police and public against her. And that plot serves the character; the situation highlights Stephanie’s drive to be the best Batgirl she can be, perhaps for a mix of altruistic as well as selfish approval-seeking reasons.

But it never pulls her down to a dark or brooding place. For the most part, she retains her lighthearted demeanor, and the book retains its strong sense of humor.

Example one from Stephanie’s first-person caption narration while she’s falling through a roof:

And it was only then that young Stephanie truly realized gravity would forever be her enemy.

And example two, this exchange with her police officer friend/crush:

“Your boomerang—”

“—batarang.”

“You realize that sounds more ridiculous, right?”

“Ridiculously awesome.”

Truly one of the most purely fun Bat-books in recent years, and one cancelled much, much too soon.

Writer: Bryan Q. Miller

Penciler: Dustin Nguyen

Inker: Derek Fridolfs

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Batgirl vol. 3: The Lesson (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 12 and up