Batman: Arkham Knight – Batgirl Begins
Author: Tim Seeley
Illustration: Matt Clark and Wade Von Grawbadger
Publisher: DC Comics
Free on iBooks
Based off of the popular video game, Batman: Arkham Knight, this is an origin story for one of Batman’s most trusted allies – Batgirl (no offense, Robin). Before Barbara Gordon became bound to a wheelchair and took on the mantle of Oracle, she was a strong-willed, athletic librarian. In this story, it is evident that police Commissioner Jim Gordon (Barbara’s father) has a positive outlook on the Batman, which has rubbed off onto Barbara. This outlook causes her to be fascinated with the vigilante. As she sits at the library’s circulation desk, she becomes consumed with reading reports about Batman and unwittingly ignores the students waiting to check out books.
As the story goes on, you will see her faced with a dilemma: stand by and watch her father become a casualty, or do something about it and risk her life by taking on the villain. You will have to read to see which fiend will feel Barbara’s fury. Don’t mess with her dad!
In the end, Batman intervenes and asks Batgirl to let this be “a one-time event and not a dangerous new hobby.” Batgirl replies with a smirk “I don’t think it’s the Jiu Jitsu and Parkour and Criminology that’ll get me into trouble. It’s knowing that being the Batman is awesome.” And thus Batgirl begins!
The Pros: We all know Barbara’s story, but it was fun to actually see her as a librarian. Seeing her in her own environment, as a young college student, before taking on the mask and cape was great. Her character was illustrated perfectly. Her red bangs get in her eyes as her glasses sit on the end of her nose. She looks like the bookworm that she is. The relationship between Barbara and her dad was neat to view. His protective (making sure she isn’t still taking Karate and Jiu Jitsu) but loving (bringing her a sandwich for lunch) parenting gave a strong foundation to this classic father and daughter comic book relationship.
The Cons: It is a very short comic. It was also a bit too convenient how Barbara obtained her costume and gadgets.
Don’t underestimate your librarians – they are heroes everyday!
Jer gives it 4/5.