BATGIRL #48, available this Tuesday from DC Comics, continues Barbara’s epic and dangerous journey in the Joker War. Her path has been far from easy, yet she keeps moving forward.
Once again, the Joker has been tearing through Gotham – and all of Batman’s allies. This is, unfortunately, something that Barbara Gordon has seen before. Has experienced before. Yet she didn’t stop then, and she sure as hell won’t stop now.
The last issue forced Barbara to relive some of the worst moments of her life. It could have been the beginning of a downward spiral. Instead, she took charge of the situation and of her own life. It was a moment that should have been cathartic, if not for the war still ongoing.
Now she’s left to pick up the pieces and face the consequences for the tough decisions she made. Once again, fans are reminded of how she became Oracle and how Babs always finds a way to continue her task of saving lives. No matter what.
Batgirl #47 took the trauma of Barbara’s life and brought it full circle. It was a harrowing moment and a reminder that many characters in this world will do everything in their power to keep Barbara Gordon from moving away on from her trauma.
The conclusion was a win in that Batgirl took control of the narrative and made decisions for herself. Yet there’s no doubt that there will be consequences for what was done. Cecil Castellucci didn’t shy away from those consequences in Batgirl #48.
It felt refreshingly honest. This is Batgirl through and through. The good and the bad. Her history is complex, as even just this single issue reminds readers. The family drama, the bat drama, it’s all still there.
This issue weaves all of that together while setting up for something else in the future. Will it be related to the Joker War? Or will this end up being a plot solely for Barbara? Only time will tell. But even so, it’s safe to assume that whatever happens next will have that classic Batgirl spin to it.
The artwork found within Batgirl #48 is the perfect support structure for such an intricate plot. Barbara’s ferocity and determination seem to seep off the pages, alongside some more complicated emotions and concerns from secondary characters.
Robbi Rodriguez was the lead artist and provided a stark look into the calm before the storm for Batgirl. Here she is, recovering and scrambling to put everything together in her head. The conflict shows on the pages, highlighted by the details around her.
Jordie Bellaire provided the colors, and it took this issue to a whole new level. The pages are surprisingly bright at times, in a way that allows her bold red hair and glow, alongside the iconic feature of her favorite building. It’s all pointing back towards the past, intentionally or not.
Finally, Andworld Design provided the lettering. There was a lot more of that going around in this issue, courtesy of all the panic texts Barbara received. Yet it worked nicely in this issue, showcasing everything that is going on – and what Batgirl was choosing to focus on (and ignore).
Batgirl #48 told a complex story, one of recovery and determination, of history and the future. All while creating a plot that pulls readers in, and makes them desperate for the next issue. Granted, the conclusion alone might have done that part.