Batgirl #40 Review

by Olivier Roth on October 24, 2019

Writer: Cecil Castellucci

Artist: Carmine DiGiandomenico

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Letterer: ANDWORLD Design

Published by: DC


The theme this week that I’ve noticed throughout most of the DC books is the soon-to-be culmination of the current storylines as the DC Universe prepares for the next step in the Year of the Villain storylines. 


In this current issue of Batgirl, we see our hero race to get to Burnside as, almost prophetically to its name, it is burning down due to the machinations of Oracle. This is the pinnacle of their plans to confront Batgirl after feeling slighted by her in the past and they are using every variable possible to get an advantage on her in the coming battle. 


Cerebral villains have always been a favorite of mine, and doubly so if they truly believe they are in the right. They have to be the hero of their own story and that is exactly what Oracle depicts within this issue. She felt a kinship and partnership to Barbara Gordon when together they combined to be Oracle. However, once Barbara got better and resumed her activities as Batgirl, Oracle felt left aside. The fact that Barbara, in this storyline, didn’t even know the sentience of Oracle, makes it all the more tragic in a way. 


The addition of now longtime Batgirl supporting Frankie to the issue helps to also advance the storyline as she is caught in the middle of the Burnside destruction and her way of helping is to reactivate Barbara’s old “wheelchair”/Oracle command center (for lack of a better term). 


DiGiandomenico and Bellaire on art do a fantastic job of leading the reader on the journey of getting Batgirl from her current whereabouts in Gotham to Burnside in a very cinematic way. I’m not as familiar with DiGiandomenico’s work, but he optimizes his use of the double-page spread to move the action swiftly in the foreground as he keeps a static background. 


For all the forward movement that Carmine DiGiandomenico provides, it’s Jordie Bellaire’s colors that really make this issue “pop”. The burning of Burnside would only really work if the colors matched the tone and Bellaire makes you feel the flames coming off of the page and helps with the urgency of the situation. Really nicely done.

Our Score:


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