New is Old Again
Yesterday I talked about my favorite book of the relaunch. But what was my least favorite? That might be too easy... While there were certainly going to be good books there was no question that there would be some bad comics in the relaunch. It's a bit more fair if I discuss the comics that were the most disappointing.
I think that answer to that is, sadly, Batgirl. Now, you know I love Gail Simone deeply, and it pains me terribly to say that. I don't thing it's a bad book by any stretch of the imagination. But I just don't think it's what I wanted from a Batgirl book.
The first Batgirl comic starred Cassandra Cain, and it was about her trying to figure out how she could fit into a world that she wasn't trained for while at the same time trying to create a family out of the misfits that inhabit Batman's world.
The second Batgirl comic starred Stephanie Brown, and it was about putting a girl in a batsuit and letting her have as much fun as you possible can while dressed like that. And boy, if we didn't get that. I still think the most recent run of Batgirl was one of the best (and most overlooked) books DC was publishing prior to the New 52, and it's a real shame that Bryan Q. Miller isn't writing anything for DC now.
So what is this third Batgirl comic about? I'm not entirely sure yet, and I think that's some of the problem. This version of Barbara Gordon doesn't really seem to be having any fun yet, though she is certainly dealing with a number of issues. Indeed, right now The Killing Joke is looming large over everything that happens in the book.
That may simply be because this is the first issue. But honestly, we didn't see this much of a focus on The Killing Joke in Barbara's entire stint as Oracle in Birds of Prey. It was made clear that it happened and then everybody moved on.
I have enough faith in Gail Simone to expect that the book will improve. She's undoubtedly got to get some of this stuff out of the way so she can move forward with the story. But if this comic becomes a lot of looking backward at bad Alan Moore stories, then I may have to drop a Gail Simone comic for the first time ever.