This week Batgirl’s personal life gets messier, and secrets of the Future Brotherhood of Mutants are revealed in All-New X-Men!
Batgirl #32 (DC Comics)
It’s the start of a whole new story arc in Batgirl, and of course that means that Barbara Gordon is going to have a whole new mess of problems to deal with. Spinning out of events of Batman Eternal and Barbara’s previous adventures, Batgirl #32 is another solid entry in writer Gail Simone’s series, and teases some pretty cool things to come as well.
Currently Barbara Gordon has a lot on her plate. Her kind of boyfriend is suing her father (the famous Jim Gordon); her father is also in jail, she still feels responsible for the “death” of her serial killer brother, and the crime boss Knightfall continues to pester Batgirl at every turn. To make matters worse, Barbara gets an offer from her formerly dead college roommate to Munira to help her spy organization take Knightfall down, and if Barbara rejects Munira’s offer, she may have to kiss her life goodbye.
This issue sets a lot of pieces in place, but it never once feels boring. Yes, you can make the argument that it’s a “build up issue”, but Gail Simone’s presentation makes you not really care that it is. Simone still has the best characterization of Barbara Gordon around. She’s written so well that Babs not only feels like an actual living, breathing human being, but a relatable one too.
This issue’s art is from Fernando Pasarin, and his work falls in line with previous Batgirl artists. Pasarin’s art took a little getting used to for me, but by the issue’s end I thought it was really well done. As good as Pasarin is, I think it would be pretty cool to get some different visuals on this book to mix things up a bit. Maybe even bring on a female artist like Rebekah Isaacs or Becky Cloonan?
All in all, Batgirl still remains as one of the most consistently entertaining DC books on the shelves, and I still think it needs a bigger audience. You can tell how much Gail Simone loves Barbara Gordon in the writing, and it’s interesting to watch Barabara react to the seemingly endless pile of bad news she gets in her day to day life . Judging by this issue, it’s pretty clear to see that it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better for poor Babs.
All-New X-Men #28 (Marvel Comics)
Time travel is always tricky business, but it’s especially tricky when it comes to the X-Men. For every Days of Future Past there’s a 90’s storyline that gets bogged down in nonsense. Thankfully, Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen’s All-New X-Men #28 is able to just make this issue not a complete head scratcher.
The future Brotherhood of Mutants that showed up in“Battle of the Atom” are back, but they’re not quite the same Brotherhood that the X-Men faced off with last October. They’ve got a trick up their sleeves: every time they’re defeated, they send a note to their present selves that tells them how they were beaten, and a new plan to defeat Jean Grey and company.
Confused? Don’t be. Brian Michael Bendis’ script does a great job of carefully explaining how all of this is possible. There are still a few questionable moments (mainly revolving around Xavier and Raze), but for the most part, this issue works really well, and is the first All-New X-Men issue to actually feature GASP! Stuff happening!
Yes, stuff actually happens in this issue, and the amazing Stuart Immonen draws that stuff beautifully. I mean, seriously, what is left to say about him? He’s fantastic! I could read a book where he drew characters eating cereal and I’d still love it. Immonen is a powerhouse of a comic book artist, and he makes a huge impact on every issue of All New that he draws.
So finally, we have an issue of All-New X-Men where stuff happens and some questions are answered. While I’ve always enjoyed All-New, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated with the sometimes glacial pace. Hopefully this is the start of the old narration train speeding up, because there looks to be a lot of cool stuff coming our way with the time-displaced team.