Comic Review: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1

Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson | Art by Claire Roe and Allen Passalaqua

While I must say I really enjoyed the first half of this as we get an emotional look at Barbara Gordon's life from the time she was a little girl, first starting as Batgirl, being shot by Joker and her time as Oracle before getting that experimental surgery and back as Batgirl again. 

Once Black Canary and Huntress get involved, though, I feel like it slips up a little which is weird for a Birds of Prey story as DC Comics has done them well over the past few years. When we're focused on Babs, it's an enjoyable ride. When it's not, the story drifts away from me a bit. 

The major disappointment, and it pains me to say this, comes in the art department. Bab's nose really feels off and she doesn't have lips half the time. The inking feels a little too much at times and after looking back, feels really inconsistent. 

We go from these stellar looking shots like this:

To this:

That doesn't even look like the same character. I hate to be overly harsh, especially as a massive BabsGirl fan, but to go from Babs Tarr to this is painful. Batgirl #1 drops next week, and this optimistic reader needs a beacon of light. 

Babs is supposed to be an off-the-wall quirky character, but forcing her to have one of her signature facial expressions each and every painful is going to make this a hard series to keep up on. 

As I said, when the writing is zoned in on Babs, why she does what she does and how she got there, it's strong. The Killing Joke flashbacks are spot on, emotional and make the reader care about where we're going forward. 

When we're on the other Birds, specifically Huntress, it falls flat. She's this religious, merciless killing badass who is also stealing the Oracle's identity. 

Rating: 6/10 It's not a complete disaster, but the art really brings this issue down in the end. Babs looks like a different character from page to page at times and the "quirky cuteness" is forced down our throats and in every panel. 

Batgirl #1 drops Wednesday, July 27. Let's hope we get back on track, because this series was riding some major momentum after coming off the arguable best run in the character's history.