By Gail Simone, Fernando Pasarin, Jonathan Glapion, Matt Ryan & Blond w/ Alex Garner
Unfortunately, Batgirl #33 is one of the last few issues that we’ll see from Gail Simone on the title and she’s certainly giving an exciting way for readers to remember her run by, teaming up Huntress and Black Canary in an excellent way that fails to disappoint. Yes, this run has been criticised by some for being “too dark” but Simone has given once again a fresh feel to this book and that is why it is consistently one of the upper-tier Batbooks, as a lot is explored here that Birds of Prey fans should really enjoy.
As it is the first meeting between Batgirl and Huntress in the New 52 continuity, things don’t always go the way they plan. This Huntress is from Earth 2, Helena Wayne and daughter of Bruce, so it was always going to be interesting whenever she interacted with any of the Batfamily and Simone failed to disappoint, delivering a very satisfying installment.
The artistic team is on stellar form as usual. Fernando Pasarin brings the three vigilantes together well and it’s great to see them in action together, as he brings several fight scenes to life in a fantastic way. The colours of Blond are excellent as per normal, giving the book a fantastic dark atmospheric feel and Matt Ryan’s inks really help make this book even more awesome.
But the real strength when it comes to artistic talent is Alex Garner’s covers. Month after month they’ve been top notch – just look at this one here, pulling off a great cinematic feel and he, like all of the creative team will be missed. Garner is possibly one of the best cover artists at DC and hopefully we will see him (and the rest of the creative team) move onto another book because it has the potential to be very awesome indeed.
Warming things up we get the obligatory hero vs. hero battle, but rather than take whole issues or even whole events like many other titles have done in the past (Avengers vs. X-Men being perhaps the most notable example), Simone wisely makes sure that it doesn’t overstay its welcome and sends us into the fight for Knightfall’s underling Michael Drucker, and whilst there’s no fight against Knightfall in this issue you get the sense that it’s coming.
The pacing is solid, with Simone managing to avoid over-exposition and craft a compelling narrative where we get to really see just why Simone should have been on the Birds of Prey book from Day One as she has crafted an excellent tale here that is probably one of the best parts of her run.
Regardless of whether you have been a fan of Simone’s run or not you’ll want to read this arc. This is the second chapter of Enemies and Allies and it’s really hitting its stride. This issue comes highly recommended and hopefully Simone will be able to end her run, concluding in October on a high.