BATGIRL #50, available now from DC Comics, is a bittersweet issue. It brings with it closure, as well as the end to Barbara Gordon’s latest comic series. Yet her story is far from over, as she is still a hero in her own right.
Batgirl #50 is a landmark issue, in this case for a couple of reasons. The first one is fairly obvious, given the number of the issue itself. The second reason is a little harder to take, as this issue also marks the end of Batgirl’s series (for the moment). Thankfully, the issue is also a giant-sized one, giving fans more time to get a true sense of closure around this series.
Thanks to the Joker Wars, there have been a lot of changes as of late. Many characters are seeing the effects, including Barbara Gordon herself. Unfortunately, that’s far from the only thing that she’s tackling right now.
In a way, the sheer volume of change that Barbara is facing makes this a disappointing place for her series to end. On the bright side, this issue does contain three separate stories, all of which help to wrap up loose ends, and to leave hints as to how Bat Girl plans to move on from here.
The first story in Batgirl #50 is also the longest, Little Wonders. Written by Cecil Castellucci, this is the plot that picks up exactly where the previous issue left off. That is to say, it starts off on a moment of change, as well as a moment of great sadness.
Yet the plot is also shockingly empowering, as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon picks herself up and continues to carry on – just like she always does. It doesn’t matter if she’s wearing the mask or not, she’s always going to be fighting for change. This message is practically screamed from each and every page, thanks to the actions of her character.
As a huge fan of Batgirl, this issue is difficult to take in. Mostly because we never really want to see a story about our heroes’ end. Yet, if I had been asked to chose how Batgirl’s series would end this time around, I couldn’t have asked for more than this. It doesn’t wrap up every little detail, but it doesn’t need to. We all know that Batgirl is going to keep on fighting, and that means her story isn’t over. Just her series.
The artwork worked hand and hand with the writing to help tell Barbara’s story. Emanuela Lupacchino (pencils), Wade Von Grawbadger (ink), Mick Gray (ink), Scott Hanna (ink), Jordie Bellaire (colors), and Becca Carey (letters) all did a fantastic job here. You can really see the conflict, not just in the physical sense, but in the moral sense as well. Everyone is struggling to adapt after the Joker War, and it shows.
Next up in Batgirl #50 is Stay Centered. This is a plot that really hits home. Through the use of heavy narration, Barbara’s story further unfolds. As with the first plot, this one is set after the events of the Joker War.
Cecil Castellucci was once again at the helm, and she imagined how it must feel for Batgirl. To be constantly pulled in so many directions, but so infrequently seen as her own being. It juggled this concept with the introduction of a new enemy, all of which seem to fit the theme (of Batgirl continuing her battle).
Marguerite Sauvage took charge of the artwork, providing some great action scenes and bold colors. Not to mention a really interesting design for a villain and her calling card, so to speak. Meanwhile, Becca Carey was responsible for the lettering, which was an impressive feat here. There was a lot to portray, and yet it was all smooth and distinct.
The last story in Batgirl #50 is Game Night, and it’s a fun take on the theme. The inclusion of several other heroes/friends certainly didn’t hurt things. Imagine the crew that Batgirl usually hangs out with, now picture them trying to learn an RPG, and suddenly you have an idea of the fun that is to be had in this plot.
Also written by Cecil Castellucci, this story continues the overarching themes found within this issue. Batgirl is facing change, some of which she’s even seeking out for herself. It’s the lightest plot in the collection, but is still full of her vitality and determination. Okay, and a fair amount of humor as well.
Aneke (art), Trish Mulvihill (colors), and Becca Carey (letters) were in charge of the artwork for Game Night, and you can tell that they had a bit of fun here. It’s not every day you get to portray dynamic heroes in anything other than their standard garb, after all.
Batgirl #50 is absolutely the ending that this series, and it’s fans, deserved. It’s bittersweet, and yet also carries so many wonderful and empowering messages. In that sense, it really did stay true to Batgirl, and everything that she stands for.