Story: Becky Cloonan & Michael W. Conrad
Art: Jorge Corona
Colors: Sarah Stern
Letters: Becca Carey
“One Way Or Another,” the first arc in Cloonan, Conrad, and Corona’s new Batgirls, is nearly complete. Though, it feels like the arc has introduced a number of obstacles and enemies into the world of Batgirls that will persist beyond #6.
The issue starts by wrapping up the Cass and Steph’s car chase with the Saints. While the girls–with a stylish assist from OG Batgirl Barbara Gordon–prove more than a match for Tarsus, Assisi, and Valentine, the (still intrusive) narration lets us know the mercenaries will be back soon enough. Possibly to recover Fido-5 from Barbara, though Babs already seems quite attached to her new robo-pal.
As mentioned, the narration in Batgirls still feels out of place. Captions like “Before Steph’s fight kicks off, let’s cut back to the roof real quick” and “Right now, the Batgirls have other things to worry about” come off as a waste of page at best and immersion-breaking at worst.
It’s a minor gripe though, especially with Jorge Corona’s gorgeous art conveying readers through a creepy abandoned Arkham dungeon crawl. Corona’s style is so well-suited to whimsical environments like those in Middlewest and Adventure Time. And he’s already proven his chops with plenty of kinetic action sequences in Batgirls. But his gothic work is nothing to sneeze at! After seeing his take on Arkham, sign me right up for a Jorge Corona haunted house comic.
It’s at this point that the three Batgirls are faced with a trifecta of threats: Cody Kline/Tutor, Charles Dante/Spellbinder, and a host of mind-controlled, zombified Gothamites controlled by Spellbinder via Tutor. It’s a tangled web of enemies, and perhaps too much to take on in a single issue. Tutor could slip away in all the madness to come, or serve at Dante’s patsy. Even if our heroes manage to save the people of Gotham, I wouldn’t be surprised if Spellbinder escapes to plague the Batgirls for many issues to come.
One way or another, the conclusion to the first Batgirls arc is going to set up a number of future threats and challenges for the Batgirl team.