It’s a rare fifth Wednesday in a month, but DC Comics still has readers covered for the week of 3/29/17.
Batgirl Annual #1
Justice League #3
Titans Annual #1
Batgirl Annual #1
Rather than stretching a story out through the double-sized edition, the Batgirl Annual offers a throwback feel with two stories. The first, features Batgirl’s first meeting with Supergirl. Batgirl and Supergirl had a tight friendship back in the pre-Crisis days so it was fun seeing writer Hope Larson explore the start of a new bond.
When a mysterious voice calls out to Supergirl, she seeks the aid of Batgirl, who happens to be hanging out in National City. Larson plays the age difference like a college graduate hanging with their high school freshman sibling. That works for most of the issue even if some of the dialogue reads a bit too much like Larson is trying to ‘speak teen.’
But the big takeaway from this story is the definite potential of continuing to develop the Batgirl and Supergirl friendship. It doesn’t have the strained tension of Superman and Batman and Larson smartly plays that up in what could be viewed as a test run for a Batgirl/Supergirl title. Or at least a Supergirl annual with a Batgirl appearance.
In the second story, Batgirl has to figure out a balance between being a crime-fighter and a best friend. After bailing on her best friend for months, Barbara finally gets time to enjoy a quiet night out. But when a new threat emerges, Barbara has to find a way to navigate both worlds or risk losing her best friend.
Vita Ayala handles the script while Eleonora Carlini takes care of the art. I haven’t been a big fan of Carlini’s work on Green Arrow, but it’s a great fit with this storytelling style for Batgirl. There’s a good sense of movement and energy that plays well with Ayala’s breezy script. This was a fun read for Ayala playing up the inconvenience of a secret identity particularly when the hero wants to actually keep it a secret.
Neither of the stories are essential reading — threads from the first story will be continued in Supergirl #9 — but this was a good use of the annual setup to deliver two fun Batgirl tales.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10