Review: Batgirl #19

Published on March 15th, 2011

Bryan Q. Miller has done wonders with this new Batgirl series. Stephanie Brown is a fantastic little Batgirl. She is a funny and feisty addition to the Batman family, and I love her. Miss Brown has her own personal Oracle right now who goes by the name Proxy. Proxy has been having some personal issues lately regarding her recently disability as well as the emotional toll this new job is taking on her, emotionally. She is the perfect counter point to Stephanie Brown’s endlessly positive outlook on life (unless Damien Wayne is involved).

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In Batgirl #19,Batgirl is being tailed by the Grey Ghost – again. He’s attempting to help Stephanie figure out who robbed a bank. It seems like a very standard plot in Gotham City, but it turns out to be a very abnormal villain who goes by the name of Slipstream. He seems to have super speed and some sort of electricity powers, too. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve never heard of him before. He very well may have existed in Gotham, but Slipstream has never been in anything I’ve read. Weird, right? Then again, if he was invented for this storyline, then ignore this stream of thoughts. Anyway, so Grey Ghost shows up, draws Slipstream out, but kind of drops the ball when it comes to actually defeating him. That is where Batgirl steps in, and she’s not any better at fighting this guy. This is kind of a thing Stephanie Brown does. First, she struggles, then she learns and wins. It’s because she is fairly new at all this. I like Stephanie, because she is not the most qualified to be Batgirl, but she wants it more than anyone else. That counts for a lot in my book.

As always, this book provides the humor and action that the Batman family loves to give us. I like when things get real and Barbara Gordon shows up to provide a certain insight that young Stephanie cannot see for herself. Sorry, did I mention that happened in this book? It did. I like how calm and collected Barbara always is, even when she has every reason not to be. Having Babs show up is like having pie like grandma makes – somehow I know whatever is wrong will somehow be okay in the end.

And so we have a Batgirl issue chock-full of all the reasons I read this book: Proxy has to overcome the one thing that is constantly in her way (herself), Stephanie has a learning experience, Barbara Gordon shows up as the Oracle that she is (like how I did that?), and Grey Ghost is useless with the exception of his ability to stalk a young girl. I’m not entirely sure where they’re going with his character. There’s also a brand new villain, whether or not Slipstream is just new to me remains up for debate. As always, I am sad that I have finished my Batgirl fix for the month, but it was worth it for this one line (and if you know that I write “Horror on the 13th” you’ll understand how awesome I think this is) – Stephanie Brown says, “Here’s my boomstick!”

Susan Damon
Susan@ComicImpact.com