Batgirl #31 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on January 30, 2019

Written by Mairghread Scott
Art by Paul Pelletier
Inking by Norm Rapmund
Colouring by Jordie Bellaire
Lettering by Deron Bennett
Each issue in this new run successfully builds on the last one. Mairghread Scott is plotting out an interesting little corner of Gotham with the campaign office that Barbara volunteers at, and I'm really enjoying the dynamic between all the characters. From all ends, Barbara is dealing with people she has a tense relationship with.
Her supervisor, Izzy, is annoyed with her due to the special treatment Barbara is receiving from Jason Bard, who also has history with Barbara. Bard framed James Gordon back in BATMAN ETERNAL, which I haven't read. Scott does a pretty nice job at succinctly presenting why their relationship is so strained. What Scott is doing here is the simple Spider-Man dilemma: Barbara's personal life and her secret life as Batgirl are intertwined, and that leads to more engaging storytelling. Scott is utilising this dynamic well, and I had a lot of fun with this issue. 
A big strength of this book is the art team of Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund, and Jordie Bellaire. Rapmund and Bellaire in particular complement each other in a really interesting way. Rapmund's style feels more sharp to me, which is something I've noticed based on his work with Brett Booth and Dan Jurgens, and this works very well with Bellaire's colour palette, which isn't as harsh or sharp as Rapmund's inks over Pelletier's expressive pencils. It's one of the most genuinely interesting and beautiful combinations of penciller, inker, and colourist I've seen in recent years. The book might be worth picking up just because of the amazing art.
This was just a solid issue. This series has very quickly become one of those good ol' reliable reads that come in every month. It's a tiny joy to discover that a new issue of BATGIRL is on the way when I prepare for a week of books. The art is something I've enjoyed dissecting and studying, which I truly appreciate since anything to help me understand sequential art more is valuable to me, inherently. The story is very good and this is simply one of the best books published by DC. Please, read it!

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