Batgirl #30 starts a brand new arc, which plays off of some of the political turmoil that has surrounded Gotham. We find in this edition of the title that Barbara Gordon is diving into the politics of her city, whilst Batgirl deals with the violent consequences of the situation.
This is a realistic representation of the current political climate put into a superhero story with strong character work and interesting plot points. Whilst the overall issue is light on action set pieces, that is likely to be made up for in future issues.
We start with Batgirl‘s leap of faith from a tall building, a terrifying action we often don’t think about when reading about these heroes. The fearful thoughts race through her head as she makes a checklist of all her equipment before she makes the potentially life-threatening jump.
Observing the campaign speech of front-runner Alejo, her tactics are similar to that of real-life politicians, using a scapegoat that can have all the blame put onto it and then positioning herself as the solution. In this case, it’s the GCPD that are the subject of criticism and the people are willing to get behind this message, especially in a city that sees frequent police corruption and often has to rely on vigilante justice in order to stop crime.
Some supporters of her opposition are looking to make trouble within the crowds, however, attacking the police under the guise of her supporters in order to frame them for the attack. The violence escalates quickly with Batgirl getting involved and having an argument with Gordon, who is under immense stress. A bomb goes off and the criminals flee, although Batgirl quickly apprehends Jason Bard, who attacks her with pepper spray and gets away.
Back in her everyday life, Barbara is still arguing with her father over the political situation. Representing how these sorts of topics can break families apart, the two separate quickly, with the younger Gordon proclaiming that she will volunteer with Alejo’s campaign, despite the pressure if puts her father under. Alejo may genuinely be trying to help but her message relies on fear just as many other political candidates does; a tactic that will never have positive outcomes.
Barbara joins the volunteer staff only to discover that a key adviser to Alejo is, in fact, Jason Bard. It appears the attack was also set up to aid Alejo in claiming that her opposition was responsible. It seems both sides are being framed. Bard has some dirt on his client though.
This tale of political intrigue, crime, family drama and a returning villain all adds up to a unique and entertaining story. The motives of each character are already well fleshed out and interesting.
The art is colourful when it should be and gritty when needed.
Batgirl #30 is full of interesting character moments and meaningful interactions that have given the narrative arc strong legs to start with.
Full of political intrigue and strong character interactions, this tale kicks off what is sure to be an interesting arc of politics and family.