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Batgirl #8

by  in Comic Reviews Comment
Batgirl #8

This issue seems hastily assembled and more than a little messy. The cover is miscredited in the book, and the art in the story, itself, seems half-finished, as though Caldwell was pressed for time to complete this book and may have thought sketchbook style might be the best option. I would almost be able to accept that. Eighteen pages into this story, however, the sketchbook charm disappears as the art gets less sketchy and more unsound.
While he’s at work here, Caldwell makes some pretty painful errors that might fly in a sketchbook, but just don’t work within a twenty-two page story. For example, Barbara Gordon’s hair grows between panels — without a scene change of any kind. The costumed scenes are stronger than the scenes where Tim and Stephanie are in their civilian identities, but it still looks incomplete.
The story is decent enough, as Tim Drake/Wayne and Stephanie Brown are reunited, with each of them too proud to admit their feelings for the other. In the meantime, Ra’s al Ghul has set his League of Assassins upon a quest to ruin Tim, by destroying those dear to the Wayne legacy. The first target is Leslie Thompkins. The scenes with her are fun enough, and certainly worthy of more enticing art.
This is one of the ugliest $2.99 books I’ve ever bought, but the story — Stephanie’s story — almost makes up for it. Had Caldwell applied himself or had Lee Garbett been onboard for this issue, it could have been stellar. DC did a disservice to their readers by letting this book see print in this state.
This title has been the surprise of 2010 for me. The issues I’ve read of this book have really won me over, but this issue really makes me hesitate. Thankfully, it appears that the second part of the crossover between “Batgirl” and Red Robin” has stronger art. [“Red Robin” #10 reviewed here.]