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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

BATGIRL RISING TPB :Review BATGIRL #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 2009

RATING 4.5 out of 5

This series just gets better and better with every issue. Stephanie Brown, as the new Batgirl, was the best move that DC has made in a long time. The series reminds me so...much of the original Batgirl, when she first appeared in the comics.  Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, wasn't always confident, and sometimes acted before she thought, and her detective skills increased as time went along, but most important she had excitement for what she was doing. I see all these things when I read the new Batgirl with Stephanie Brown. This storyline is complete within the TPB of issues 1-7, but I have a feeling, that once you  read it, you will be as hooked as I am with this series and want more.

Full Review, some Spoilers:

When this series started, the Batfans didn't like Stephanie Browns character for the choice of Batgirl, and was critical of everything.  I wasn't a fan of Steph's either, but I thought I'd gave the series a try.  The first two issues were building on Stephanie and the interaction with Oracle, Barbara Gordon who was the original Batgirl, they were solid issues but didn't "wow" me.
 The third issue..., Oh it hooked me, and.... I'm convinced that Stephanie was the perfect choice. 

The title, Batgirl Rising,  does rightly describe these issues. It is a uplifting story of an underdog becoming the hero.

 To help with the enjoyment for the series it might help to know about...
SPOILER, but it's not necessaryIf you already know about Spoiler you can skip this paragraph.
 Before this series, Stephanie was a crime fighter called Spoiler (picture on the cover to the right).  Her father was a bad guy called The Cluemaster. She got the name Spoiler because she would spoil her fathers plans. Every time her father escaped from prison, she would don the costume, and find ways to help police, and Robin, to capture him.  She decided she liked being a heroine and started following Robin around. 
Several adventures followed:
She had a baby that she gave up for adoption, 
She trained with Batgirl(Cassandra Cain) and with Batman,
She became Robin when Tim Drake quit.
She was raped and tortured by Black Mask and Dr Leslie Tompkins faked her death,
She came back sometime later as Spoiler and under Batman's orders helped the villains of Gotham make Tim a better Robin, 
Tim felt he couldn't trust her anymore and Ordered her to never put on the Spoiler costume again.  

This is where you start in issue #1, Stephanie is seen in the Cassandra Cain's  Batgirl costume.  In a really nice flashback, Cassandra Cain as Batgirl, fights side by side with Spoiler against some Bad guys.    Steph admits she shouldn't be in the Spoiler costume because of a promise.  Cass says, "That symbol...his crest, his fight, I fought for HIM. But no more. Now the fight is yours."  Then Cass disappears leaving behind the Batgirl costume.  

Oracle, Barbara Gordan, is also doing her own soul searching. She has a lot of pent up anger because she will never walk again.  Her father says, "It's like you don't want to be Happy." 
Batman/Dick Grayson, gives her a call, and tells her of seeing Stephanie wearing the Batgirl costume.  When Steph sees Barbara in her kitchen, she knows it's not good.  Barbara is pissed that Stephanie would dare ...wear that costume, with the Batgirl name, her Batgirl name.

In issue 2, a confrontation in the kitchen, and later in the issue Barbara has a caption, “And just like that, I suddenly realize I’m trying to break her on purpose.  And so does she.”

In issue 3, (the issue that converted me) it all comes together, in a scene where Scarecrow has Stephenie beaten and broken on the floor.  She pulls herself up, and turns the tables on Scarecrow and by the end of it, I'm crying, and Barbara's crying, because she was monitoring Batgirl from the Batcave, and Stephanie has earned being called Batgirl.  At the end of the issue Barbara has a new Batgirl suit to give  to Stephanie.

In issue 4, Barb and Steph start working together as a team, instead of against each other, becoming friends.

Issue 5,6,7.... I'll just sum these up...because I don't want to spoil everything, but Stephanie proves herself to Batman/Dick Grayson and Robin/Damian as they go up against Roulette. The interaction in these three issues is awesome.  A panel from issue 5 is to the right, and shows the confrontation between Dick and Barbara,  BUT by the end of issue 7, there is another misty eyed moment  as Barbara and Dick reconcile. Damian is his typical bratty self,  these issues are really fun.

I highly recommend these issues, or the TPB.  They are great and they leave you with a uplifting feeling, and a reason to shout, "Yea! You ...Go... Girl!

BATGIRL: Issues 1-7
TPB Title: Batgirl Rising 
Issues Title:
1-3: Point of New Origin
4: Field Test
5-7: Core Requirements
Writer:Bryan Q. Miller
Pencillers: Tim Levins & Trevor Scott & Lee Garbett
Inker: Trevor Scott, Dan Davis, Aaron Sowd, Sandra Hope, & Oliver Nome
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: John J Hill
Covers: Phil Moto

Publisher: DC Comics



  1. I loved Stephanie Brown as Batgirl from the start of issue #1. It just felt fresh and it was fun and had this feeling of hope or more like "I think I can" Feel to it.

    I have not read the TPB yet and your review makes me want to go out an get it for my collection. I all ready have all of these single issues and now feel I should go back and read them all again.

    I believe this is in issues #8 and on but I love the interaction between Stephanie and Damian. They crack me up. Its like a sister and brother fighting.

  2. Issue's 5, 6, and 7 has Damian in it.
    I just read 1-7 last night.

    That's why I gave it such a high rating, all together they are a great read.

    Batgirl 8 starts the cross over of Red Robin.

  3. Yes you are right. Its been a while sense I have read these. I forgot about the Red Robin cross over.

  4. Nice review and synopsis!!!

    I didn't know you read this book. I've been loving it!

    I never cared for the Cassie at all. I think Steph has grown into the role pretty awesomely. Her interaction with Babs has been quite terrific.

    I didn't even see this TPB when I went to my LCS this morning. Shucks....

  5. Steph and Damian bickering and throwing jabs at each other in some of the issues was hysterical.

  6. Cassie was okay, but her history made her too good of a fighter, it was hard for me to see her get in a scrap that she couldn't get out of.

    I can't wait till Bruce comes back and finds Steph in the Cowl.

  7. I love Steph as Batgirl i liked her as Spoiler though so i guess i was just hoping she would find a larger more permiment role My sn at cbr is Jason-Todd327 if ya want to add me there also just starting my own blog if ya wanna fallow me lol great review on this will try to read other reviews maybe of stuff that i read already so as not to spoil anything.

  8. Thanks Kr1min4l,

    I appreciate the feedback.

    If you do disagree with any of my reviews, please feel free to say so. I think people like to hear both sides, not everyone has the same tastes.

    I'll check you out over on CBR. I can always use another friend over there.

    If you reply, please feel free to put your blog address. I'm sure others would love to check it out too. I love finding new blogs. It's like Easter eggs and you never know what goodies that you may find inside.

  9. oh yea my bad didnt think about it lol not all comic related tho a bit about me and my hobbies

  10. A couple of tips...

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  11. lol i am so noob i dont even know what that means lol its been a bit since i have posted on my blog but i have moved and dont have access to internet as offten as i would like but thanks for the tips i will try to use them and like ur blog