Batgirl (2000 Series) #53
Quick Rating: Very Good
When Batgirl needs some help on a case, Batman sends in his newest operative… Robin, the girl wonder!
Writer: Dylan Horrocks
Inks: Jesse Delperdang
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Michael Wright
Cover Art: James Jean
Publisher: DC Comics
Well, Stephanie Brown has been Robin for two months now, so it makes sense that it’s time for her to start encountering the rest of the Batman family. When Batgirl runs into trouble chasing down some arms smugglers working for the Penguin, Batman sends in the new Robin to help her out. The case turns out to have more layers than meets the eye, and the truth is something that hits Stephanie pretty hard.
The actual plot in this issue is little more than an excuse to put the two bat-girls together, but as such, it serves up a pretty satisfying done-in-one. Dylan Horrocks gives us a nice take on the new Robin, mining parts of her personal history to create a story that can believably have real resonance with her instead of just throwing the two of them into a generic slam-bang, “let’s beat up some drug dealers or something” action fest.
I am starting to worry a bit about the tightness of the Batman family editorial staff – nearly every title seems to be having continuity glitches these days. When Batgirl first meets the new Robin she is surprised, which clearly means Steph hasn’t been on the job that long – but why hasn’t Batman informed the rest of his team that Tim Drake quit and there’s a new girl in the cave? And if this is so soon after the change that he hasn’t had time to inform them yet, would he really send her out on a mission without his direct supervision? It’s kind of like the now infamous Tim Drake segment of Identity Crisis number one – a small tidbit that just doesn’t add up but you’ve got to just swallow and accept in order to enjoy what is, in fact, a very enjoyable story.
Ross and Delperdang are a very good match for the art chores on this book, doing great action shots and drawing teenage girls who look like they actually are teenage girls instead of vapor-thin waifs or bulging supermodels. I rather wish Ross was doing the pencils on Robin’s title, because this is the best interpretation of Stephanie in the costume that I’ve seen yet (I’m finally certain that she, in fact, is wearing a skirt – in her own title it could go either way).
This is a good standalone issue that fans of either series can pick up without worrying about getting sucked into the other book – although if it garners a little crossover readership for two solid titles, that’s good too.