Batgirl #20

Title: The Lesson
Written by: Bryan Q Miller
Art by: Ramon Bachs
Cover: Dustin Nguyen
Release Date: April 13, 2011

In this issue, Babs finally lets go as Steph’s handler, officially handing the reins over to Steph and Proxy. Steph gets a sweet ride and some new batarangs, and the duo cunningly defeat their first bad guy “solo.”

For a very long time, I was what you might call a Batgirl elitist. Cass and Steph were never “truly” Batgirl in my book; Cass was far too dark and moody, and Steph was the exact opposite, impossible to take seriously.

But this issue in particular has really made me turn a 180 when it comes to Steph as Batgirl. Her sense of humor coupled with an engaging storyline elevates the storyline into something more entertaining and just plain fun over the other Bat-titles out there (and there are so many of them). I couldn’t help but giggle at Steph’s dubbing her special batarangs (“electro-gooperangs!”) and her new ride’s GPS’ constant “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that” when Steph uttered anything other than an order. The humor aspect of the title seemed to outweigh the actual mission, though–there was never a sense of high-scale danger or threat, so this two-parter didn’t have a huge bang like I was expecting. But at the same time, we know that the Reapers aren’t done in Gotham, so perhaps this is a stepping stone for something greater.

The scene between Babs and Steph felt sincere, though I doubt we’ve seen the last of Babs–it’s difficult for her to let go completely, as she’s still keeping an eye on her during the mission. And while I’ve (finally) gotten over my Babs-elitist phase, a Batgirl title still wouldn’t feel quite complete without her.

Also, Steph’s teacher looks exactly like Tony Stark.

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