The new arc of political intrigue and espionage continues in issue 31 of Batgirl as the hunt for the Cormorant begins.
Picking up directly where we left off, this narrative arc seeks to politically involve both Batgirl and Barbara Gordon, as all the attention is put on the upcoming election, the stakes of the decisions made by all the major players and the plot to assassinate some of these high-level politicians.
It’s a strange mix of the DC Universe and reality as a variety of elements are put together to create a story that is simple in some ways, complex in others, but an absolutely different pace from the majority of other tales currently on the market. Batgirl #31 has the feel of a DC comic book story but is also different enough not to be your standard superhero tale. Here Barbara’s interactions are just as important as her alter ego’s.
As we read through the issue, it’s easy to notice that the pacing is spot on again. The opening sequence sees our heroine fighting off a superhuman that has goo-like powers. This piece of heroism quickly establishes the principles of our Bat hero, as she essentially monologues her problems to any new readers; a required trope within this book.
We are then thrust into action at the Campaign Headquarters were Jason Bard is creating a very convenient alibi as to why he was involved with the bombing of Alejo’s speech in the issue before. This is a useful time for Gordon to continue to help the cause she believes in whilst also giving her the opportunity to investigate the ties to Cormorant to the political situation.
As we return to the campaign trail, we have a second encounter with the Cormorant, which is a visually interesting character that appears to be in some ways an antithesis of the Bat design, albeit with a more military style based on the character’s background. What’s interesting to note here is that this is a character that has been used in the past, although has been re-imagined in a way in that serves the story better.
The run-in with Cormorant was both successful and resulted in a beat down. At the cost of an ass-kicking though, Gordon secured some useful DNA in order to identify Edward Wells as the new threat in Gotham. This doesn’t help in the slightest because the links to the opposition are also tenuous.
The mystery in Batgirl #31 is still wide open, although more clues are surfacing, creating a quality detective tale that effectively hits the story beats required whilst continuing to develop Barbara’s character further as we learn more of her skills, her fortitude, her spirit and her relationship with those around her.
Batgirl #31 is an interesting one in that it feels like a well-balanced tale throughout. It feels like a well-developed and planned out piece that understands its voice and wider role within the ongoing arc.
The art is both gritty and colourful, portraying the strange world of Gotham and it’s inhabitants with strong designs throughout.
Batgirl #31 is, therefore, a very strong instalment in the Batgirl mythos.
A great read that balances the political intrigue and Batgirl's personal character story well.