BATGIRL #44, out this Wednesday from DC Comics, continues the dramatic tale of magical realities and fairytale plots. This is a plot that turns subtext into text, forcing emotions and fears to the surface.
Last we saw, Batgirl was battling a dragon fueled by fear and love – literally. It’s probably not what you expected to hear, but to be fair, Barbara is probably feeling the same level of surprise right about now.
The real question is; what is more surprising? That Batgirl is fighting a literal dragon, or that she is slowly falling for Jason? A man who has stood up against her family and her superhero persona? The fact that this plot arc forces both surprises together is really icing on the cake.
Batgirl #41 is one of those issues unafraid to truly dive headfirst into the plot. Here Cecil Castellucci has forced her characters to verbalize all of their hopes and fears, all as a way to stand a chance against their newest antagonist.
It’s a surprising way of handling things, yet it is quite clever. The intentional parallels between Batgirl and Jason’s confessions were endearing and poignant. They were so full of emotion, especially of fear. Specifically, the fear the comes with new love; the fear of rejection and potential pain.
It’s something the series has been dancing around a lot lately, so it’s actually quite refreshing to see it spoken about so openly. It’s not something you see in comics every day, so appreciate this moment while it lasts.
There were several more twists that occurred after the dramatic heart-to-heart that culminated during the battle. One of these twists made thematic sense for everything that has just occurred. It felt right. The other? Well, that’s the beginning of a whole new set of adventures for Batgirl, from the looks of it.
The artwork in Batgirl #44 took full advantage of what it had available. After all, it really isn’t exactly common to see Batgirl battle a dragon. Least of all a dragon powered by such strong emotions. The scenes that followed were dramatic, as one would hope and expect to see when a fire breathing dragon has entered the fray.
The colors for this issue were phenomenal, using a balance between vibrant colors and dark backgrounds. It was everything you’d expect to find in epic fantasy, with a touch of Batgirl’s classic color palette.
Batgirl #44 was illustrated by Cian Tormey, with colors provided by Chris Sotomayor, and lettering by Andworld Design. Together they’ve created us a world that is both fantastical (literally) and very much grounded in Barbara’s world.
Batgirl #44 was a highly entertaining read, one that was unafraid to address the elephant in the room: the budding relationship between Barbara and Jason. All while moving the plot forward and setting up for a whole new complication for our besotted heroine.