Graphic Novel Review- Batgirl Vol. 2: Family Business

stk675874Batgirl Vol. 2: Family Business, written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, features several 1- to 2iissue stories. Babs faces off against video game-makers gone rogue, Livewire, a new GCPD-sanctioned Batman, an evil corporation, The Velvet Tiger, and in the last issue, her own past.

This volume was underwhelming. As issues, they tell interesting stories, but grouped together under the title “Family Business,” they don’t flow. Even the subtitle is not always thematically present. Yes, Babs faces some challenges regarding her father’s promotion, and the reappearance of Dick Grayson, but most of the stories had nothing to do with them. There were also quite a few questions that never got answered. Hopefully, the cliffhanger ending will fill in those plot holes!

batgirl-annual-3Obviously, Batgirl exists within the DC Universe, and so other characters from the DCU show up. I’m annoyed with this book because it introduced a well-known character who supposedly died, and had a little asterisk telling readers to go pick up that character’s book. This drives me bananas because if these characters are as close as the book makes their history, wouldn’t Babs have been upset by her friend’s death when it happened? That would have been the perfect time to devote one page to her finding out, and then moving on with the story. But no. DC wants more money than cohesion.

Readers were promised Batgirl could be picked up by anyone, and not feel lost. Well, as a new Batgirl reader, I got a bit lost. This volume included a crossover with Gotham Academy, which I’m sure would have been awesome if I read that series. Instead my reaction was, “who are these children? Why do I care about them?” It also turns out Babs’ new beau is the son of someone famous in Gotham-verse. I’m sure that’d be remotely awesome if there had been any context.

4767218-bg_cv43_dsVolume 2 was just as, if not more, awesome as Vol. 1 in regards to diversity.  Babs is an amazing protagonist for her acceptance. Race and sexuality aren’t even mentioned in the book, and it accurately represents the world we live in. These characters exemplify what the world should look like. Batgirl continues to impress regarding feminism as well. This volume definitely passes the Bechdel test. I love the way that Babs, along with her friends, are fleshed out and given wholly realistic moments.

The art in this book is still perfectly unique. Babs Tarr and Bengal gave the book a young, fresh appearance that makes it interesting to take in. Volume 2 also featured an issue of guest art. I didn’t love it as much, but that’s because Batgirl’s style is so strong overall.

I gave this volume 1 star, but I will see the series through at least one more book. I think I’m so disappointed in this book because Batgirl Volume 1: Batgirl of Burnside was great.

Have you picked up Batgirl Volume 2: Family Business? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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