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Batgirl #31

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By Gail Simone, Fernando Pasarin, Jonathan Glapion & Blond

Gail Simone has been knocking it out of the park on this Batgirl book so far, and she’s delivered another fantastic issue, but before we get into the review proper you can’t really write one of a Batgirl comic without mentioning the incredible colours from Alex Garner – each has been incredible since he became the series’ cover artist and they get better and better with every issue, allowing for a great cinematic feel – his cover for #31 has been one of the best yet, and it’s worth buying for that alone.

This book pits Barbara against Ragdoll – a fan favourite villain who hasn’t been very active in the New 52 and it was good to see her character make an appearance. The issue was a fun read, utilising both Barbara and Ragdoll very well and creating a solid one shot that can be read as a standalone despite teasing a new subplot that deals with Ricky suing Jim Gordon for shooting him. But the main bulk of the issue is focused between the conflict between Batgirl and Ragdoll, in what proves to be a great conflict indeed.

Simone is slowly fleshing out the supporting cast of the series as well, helping to create some new depth to their characters. They don’t have the reputation and history to be as memorable as Barbara just yet and that is of course to be expected, but Ricky and Alysia both get plenty of page time here and it helps create interesting problems for Barbara with both characters. They’re handled well and it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming issues concerning these characters.

The artwork by Fernando Pasarin is stellar as always. His pencils are great, and there are several strong panels here that never fail to disappoint. We get Jonathan Glapion’s inks and Blond’s colours further adding to the strong atmosphere that this book creates, allowing for an excellent read that is really enhances the issue, with the end result making the book all the more enjoyable because of it.

Gail Simone has impressed with a string of consistent shorter story arcs lately on this book rather than going for massive, seven issue blockbuster arcs and it works, allowing here to get the best use out of the Bat-family Rogues Gallery as well as developing Barbara and her supporting cast. This book continues to shine, but not only that – serves as a good jumping on point, so if you’ve fallen behind on the series or want to jump on board because of Ragdoll then this is a good place to start.

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