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[personal profile] perpetual_motion
(Before anyone points out that I said I wasn't gonna read Batgirl, I want to say I read the first issue because My Geeky Geeky Ways [formerly looking2dasars on lj] told me I should, and I trust him.)

I didn't read JLA because I don't really give a fuck about Supes (never really have in general), and Hal is kinda boring, so I don't want to read a book where he features. So, my new DC started with JLI and Batgirl, and I have opinions! Spoilers ahead. I'm on my iPad, and cuts are a pain in the ass, so just scroll by if you don't want to know anything.

JLI #1

I like Jurgens a lot, and I like that he's always had respect for Booster as a character. It shows through nicely here, where Booster is put in charge of the team and knows how to handle Guy's anger at not being leader. Booster's a little nervous, but he's clearly competent, and I liked seeing Bats back him to Guy.

It's also nice to see that there is at least some sort of a relationship going. She admonishes him as a friend, not a stranger. Whether or not they've dated is still unclear, but their friendship is intact, and that makes me feel good. A lot of Guy's current character came from Tora's influence and her belief that he was a good person, and I can't imagine Guy being Guy without her.

One thing that bugs me about the book is the fact that some relationships are pretty much like they were pre-relaunch, and Bats seems to be on decent terms with Guy and Booster, but I don't know if it's because those relationships are just not going to change or if there's new backstory. So, it's confusing and a bit clunky (Booster seems to be both respected and a joke in equal measure, and it's not the right balance), but I trust Jurgens, and I don't expect the first issue of any of the relaunch books to be perfectly smooth.


Short version: I recommend it. I like the dynamic getting set up, and I like that Guy's outburst comes from his years of experience and not because they need a team douche (a la Guy in the original JLI). I think it'll be a good book and will smooth out by the end of the arc.

Batgirl #1
I said, when it was announced that Babs would be Batgirl, that I didn't give a shit because Babs had never been my Batgirl. She had been Oracle, and I saw no reason for her to go back. I also said that I trusted that Gail Simone would write a damned fine story that would handle Babs' "recovery" in a solid way. Having now read the launch issue, I can say I was right about Simone's writing. She does manage to give weight to Babs' time in the chair and also manages to make it clear that Babs is still trying to figure everything out. It's a good character piece for Babs. But.

But I still don't care about Babs as Batgirl. Simone wrote a strong first issue, but I'm still sitting here, having just finished it, and not really caring about Babs being worried and nervous as Batgirl. It doesn't click with me. I don't know that I can pinpoint why it doesn't work, all I can say for certain is that if you put Babs worrying next to Steph's concerns in Bryan Q. Miller's just-completed run, I'd rather read Steph worrying without a question. I think it's because even Babs herself points out that she's Batman's star pupil (and, again, I'm getting reboot dissonance trying to figure out exactly what her relationship to Bats is), so even as she's having a truly believable bit of PTSD (unlike Dixon's bullshit in Last Laugh), I'm not actually worried that something bad is about to happen, and when something bad does happen, I find myself without that layer of caring I want to have for characters.

Short Version: Wait for the trade. I trust Simone to write a great story, but I'm gonna wait out this first arc before I decide to jump on. Not having the emotional reaction to Babs that I want tells me to hold off until I have a full story to read and connect with. Also, points to Simone for handling the magical "cure" so well. It's not explained, but I'm pretty sure the point of the first arc is to draw out that explanation through good storytelling.

So, there you go, my notes so far. Next week, I salivate over Batwoman. If I'm feeling chatty, I may even write it up.

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perpetual_motion

October 2013

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