Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Babs Tarr, Horacio Domingus, Roger Robinson, James Harvey, Minge Doyle, Serge Lapointe
Real talk, it is hard to make a comic work when it has multiple artists attached to it. There’s so many things that could easy throw off the flow of the book, resulting in a great comic becoming merely a good one. I’m happy to say that isn’t the case for this month’s issue of Batgirl, which sees 4 different artists join Babs Tarr on art duties and still manages to tell a killer story.
Batgirl #49 can be summed up as Batgirl gets Incepted (insert BRMMMM noise here for dramatic effect). New villain the Fugue has gone and messed up our heroine’s brain meats all bad like, so it’s up to her pals Frankie and Black Canary to save the day. It’s a dense issue that explains the villain’s origins, while focusing on Frankie as the lead for a change. Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart write a comic that’s heavy on the exposition, but is also extremely rewarding. It also doesn’t hurt that the art provided by the guest artists is really strong this month.
While Batgirl’s fill in artists have been pretty hit or miss with me, the team of Babs Tarr, Horacio Domingus, Roger Robinson, James Harvey, and Batgirl Annual artist Ming Doyle really knock it out of the park. Domingus and Robinson do a superb job of drawing in a style similar to Tarr, giving the the first half of the book a cohesive book, with some assistance from colorist Serge Lapointe. And while Ming Doyle and Jame Harvey’s styles couldn’t be anymore different, they definitely work for this issue, definitely establishing the chaotic tone needed from the script. Between this and the current arc in Gotham Academy, it seems the Bat-office knows how to bring talent together for a art jam comic.
I also really like what Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher bring to this issue. While the idea of Batgirl’s brain being hijack feels incredibly similar to their first arc (which is touched upon, no worries), what they do with Fugue and team Batgirl definitely makes for a deeper and more complex story. While the Fugue reveal doesn’t hit as hard as maybe the creator’s intended it to, he’s still a cool new villain that has some legs, so I’m hoping he can stick around after this arc. It’s also nice to see the writing team utilizing Frankie and various vigilantes who’ve been hanging around Barbara as of late as well as they do, and it makes me wonder if THIS is going to be the Birds of Prey roster hinted at by the DC Rebirth title teaser list.
Building up to what’s suppose to be a game changing 50th issue, Batgirl #49 is a solid read. It’s a pretty serious issue that doesn’t feel like a chore to get through, and the art is superb. I have no doubt that the team of Tarr, Stewart, Fletcher and Lapointe will stick the landing with the conclusion of this arc, and I’m really curious as to what the status quo of the title will be after it. Batgirl #49 not only set ups some potentially very cool things for the character and her cast, and succeeds at juggling multiple artists, a task very few cape comics have done as of late.