DC Reviewer: Mister Grumbles
It has been just three years since the Joker rang Barbara Gordon's doorbell. Let that sink in for a minute. This series is about Barbara Gordon, not Oracle. Come to terms with it. Okay, now go buy this book.
Gail Simone has crafted a brand new version of Barbara Gordon. This may be off-putting to long time Oracle fans who aren't used to such a "fresh" and optimistic take on the character, but if they can overcome the initial shock, fans will find themselves even more pleasantly rewarded than new readers. Barbara may be younger and more hopeful but she is also deeply scarred. This juxtaposition makes for a fascinating character. Gail Simone undoubtedly has a unique vision of the character. This is not Oracle, but this is also not Stephanie Brown with red hair. I won't give away any details, but suffice it to say that this Batgirl will have a journey unlike any DC hero in the past seventeen years. Her natural fears and hesitations temper her optimism, but they don't weaken her. Instead she's bound to become stronger for having to overcome them. And we get to go along for the ride.
The art and coloring is perfect for balancing the grit of Gotham with the optimism of Batgirl. It also conveys the action quite well. The issue is very well paced. It doesn't waste time but doesn't rush the action either. There is more than enough story here to be satisfying as a single issue, but the lead in for the overall arc left me wanting more Batgirl and more Barbara.
Score: 70/100 (80/100 for New Readers)