A multiple award-winning, critically acclaimed writer of comics and animation, Gail Simone began writing as a columnist for comicbookresources.com, producing the comics parody column "You'll All Be Sorry." She has since had fan favorite runs on such books as WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN, SECRET SIX, BIRDS OF PREY and the creator-owned WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY. She currently writes BATGIRL for DC Comics.
Batgirl Vol. 4: Wanted (The New 52) (NOOK Comic with Zoom View)by Gail Simone
Batgirl struggles to continue fighting crime after being emotionally drained by the death of her brother, James, Jr. With her relationships with Batman and her father strained, Batgirl face one of Batman's most ruthless villains, The Ventriloquist, alone. Collects BATGIRL issues #19-25, VENTRILOQUIST #1.
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Let me inform you of a bias. I generally do not like graphic novels that are simply reprints of published comics. I want my stories to have an introduction, build some conflict, come to a crisis point, and reach a resolution. This typically doesn't happen with reprint anthologies, which are usually simply “the next X issues of the series”, however many fit in the projected page count. Having said that, I have decided to make an exception for Gail Simone's Batgirl. This is the 2nd collection I've read of the first 4, and both have proven to be excellent investments of my time. Plotting and pacing are well done – better than the average comic book writer, in my opinion – but Gail Simone has an incredible understanding of characterization which serves her well in this series, I found the most interesting characters in this edition to be Barbara Gordon and her father, Commissioner James Gordon – given the richness of some of the other characters in this book, that is indeed high praise! The Commissioner must deal with a family issue, one in which his job and responsibilities may have contributed to causing or exacerbating – one in which Batgirl may have been a contributing factor if not the cause. (Readers who have finished the 3rd volume of this series will already be aware of the situation – I will not provide a spoiler for the rest of you.) Still, the volume DOES suffer from some of the shortfalls I mentioned at the top of this review. The book jumps immediately into a crisis which began in the previous volume – new readers (of which I was one – the “earlier volume” I mentioned was the first one) will have to pick up on the run. There is little to no attempt to introduce or explain the majority of supporting characters – this is a general issue with the comics genre; another thing which is fine for ongoing readers, but makes it harder for new readers to catch on. Plus, the main villain of the piece, “The Ventriloquist”, is still on the prowl by the time we've reached the end of this volume – and THAT isn't the biggest cliffhanger that Simone drops on us! Overall, this is an above average example of the genre, and I encourage readers to consider checking it out. RATING: 4 1/2 stars, rounded down to 4 stars. DISCLOSURE: I won this book in a contest from the publisher. There was an expressed hope for a review (and implied hope for a good one), but neither was a condition set or agreed to as a condition of receipt.
In this volume, we learn some of Batgirl's history as well as some of her struggles both as a woman in day to day life and as her alter-ego. The graphics are semi-realistic adding depth to the characters and scenery. The action sequences are enhanced and somewhat comicized but enjoyable. Characters are conflicted, emotional, caring, and authentic adding layers and mystery. Overall, an enjoyable read.