By: Bryan Q. Miller (writer), Lee Garbett (penciller), Trevor Scott (inker), Guy Major (colorist)
The Story: Core Requirements, Part Three of Three: Batgirl and Robin aren’t getting along well enough to rescue Batman, so they split up. Robin has got his own set of wheels, so Oracle loans Batgirl something suitable. Then, it’s Batgirl, Robin and a wounded Batman against a bunch of killers intent on collecting on the Batman’s head!
What’s Good: As always, Miller delivers a fun, fun Gotham story. Batgirl owns the book with her hapless, enthusiastic quirkiness, but she does her best to share the stage with “Never-Plays-Well-With-Others” Robin. I love when Batgirl referred to Robin as “Little Lord Fauntleroy”. I also loved when Batman congratulated her on something and, in typical self-deprecating Batgirl-way, she says it was “…in a shocking twist, totally on purpose.” And of course, you can’t have a classic Batgirl book without a waffle scene. And, to cap off the fun side, I don’t know if it was Miller or Garbett who designed Batgirl’s new ride, or if the fact that she rides inside a giant wheeled sausage is coincidental or Freudian, but it is original! There are also great moments in this book for Babs fans and those who really wanted her and Dick to get together.
On the art side, Garbett and Scott continue to refine their style. You may recall I pointed out in my review of issue #5 that now that Scott was the only inker, the lines had become lighter. I’m seeing progress over several issues towards figures that are lighter and slimmer. Robin actually looks like he’s ten years old. Batgirl has become thinner, taller and more stylized. It’s not a bad effect. On the contrary, I find myself slowing to appreciate things more because Garbett and Scott are doing some really interesting things with the proportions of the figures. I have to also take my hat off to Guy Major. The issue is worth checking out, if only for the brilliant color effects used to make Phosphorus come alive on the page.
What’s Not So Good: I checked back through the book and nowhere, before the panel where Robin draws it, do I see a sword. I guess Robin got his cape from Marvel’s original Devil-Slayer. Other than that, it’s really tough to find much to complain about a book produced by this all-star team.
Conclusion: Go out and buy this issue and this series, whether or not you’ve been following it up to now. It’s a series that takes a lighter view on a dark world. It’s youthful enthusiasm and irreverence in a girl growing up. Miller has cornered the market on an authentic teenage nerd-girl becoming a superhero!