BATGIRL #39, which is set to release this Wednesday from DC Comics brings the tale of two Oracles to ahead. And to think, one of them doesn’t even know the gravity of the situation yet.
Once again, an issue of Batgirl has been split in twain. The Year of the Villain event is still going strong, and it doesn’t think twice about steamrolling into Batgirl’s territory. Fans that haven’t been following the event might find themselves a bit confused here – but don’t worry, Batgirl doesn’t know a whole lot more about what is going on. So you’re in good company.
Thanks to the unique way in which Batgirl has been handling crossovers, that means that there are essentially two plots running through this issue. It’s quite clever when you think about it.
Not all fans enjoy crossovers, and not because they can be challenging to keep up with. That’s why it’s always a relief when a series handles them in a different fashion. Batgirl mashes the elements together, rather than giving over the reins entirely. It’s the best compromise fans are going to get. And it can have some interesting side effects. Such as a Batgirl who has no idea what has gotten into the minds of the people around her.
Cecil Castellucci is the brains behind that shrewd move. One would argue that she’s taken the writing style to a whole new level; throwing enemies and diversions at Batgirl from every level and direction.
Batgirl #39 is full of lots of minor events for Batgirl to deal with – all while she is forced to cope with something much more significant and harder to explain. The sense of grief and loss is palpable in these moments, all while the foreshadowing builds.
This whole plot has gone a long way in reminding us that behind every mask, behind every cowl – is a human being. One who has a life, has the right to feel emotions, and sometimes will even break down. We all know what it feels like when we’re juggling too much at once – but the superhero life is basically that emotion on steroids.
Barbs has been down in the dumps for several issues now, a fact that the series has not made any attempt to hide from us. It’s a poignant reminder of her humanity, while also likely building up to a higher peak in Batgirl’s plot arc. Tear them down to build them up, and all that jazz.
The real question is; how far are they going to push Barbara? How much can any hero take, before feeling the need to walk away? And when is the showdown happening? Because we all know that there is one on the horizon.
The artwork within Batgirl #39 did a pretty solid job of supporting all of the events and emotions crammed within its pages. Barbara’s grief and depression are respectively shown, portraying all of the nuances to the point where it seems like there’s almost a literal weight on her head and shoulders.
One of the true highlights in this issue comes from what should have been a casual little jaunt around Burnside. Here the past and the present merge, with phantoms of Batgirl’s battles running through the streets. It’s both a beautiful and heartbreaking sight, especially when coupled with the works of her companion. And when one considers the vast array of emotions she’s been dealing with.
All of these emotions and different points can be laid solidly at the feet of the creative team involved. Carmine Di Giandomenico was the lead artist – and the one responsible for drawing out all of these powerful moments. Jordie Bellaire’s colors were vibrant when the occasion called for it, but also not afraid to be subdued as needed. And finally, Andworld Design provided the letters, without which we surely would have lost a lot of the impact of this tale.
Batgirl #39 is a somber issue, but it’s also setting up for something more. It feels like something horrible is about to happen, while also oddly giving readers the impression that Batgirl will be better off when it’s all said than done. Or perhaps that’s just the optimist in the readers talking.