EP0057: Batgirl, Volume 3: Summer of Lies

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Batgirl solves a mystery at the local swimming pool and then reveals a dark secret.

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Graham: Barbara Gordon investigates ghost in a local swimming pool and then has to face some ghosts from her past. Join us as we take a look Batgirl Volume 3: Summer of Lies, straight ahead.

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Announcer: Welcome to the Classy Comics podcast where we search for the best comics in the universe. From Boise Idaho, here is your host Adam Graham.

Graham: I have to admit, prior to this volume, I was about on the verge of giving up on Batgirl and somewhat bummed that Batgirl and the Birds of Prey was being cancelled because to me that was the better book. First two volumes have been kind of directionless and have not really taken good advantage of the character but they intrigued me enough that I gave this one more try. So, Volume 3 of Batgirl is called Summer of Lies and it collects six issues. It features issues twelve through seventeen. The book starts off with issue twelve, which has Batgirl apparently going ghost hunting in Troubled Waters where some people are claiming to have seen a ghost at the local Y swimming pool and Barbara has to find out the truth behind what’s going on. I really like this story with Batgirl taking on this investigation. It’s a nice little mystery. It’s a one-off story and it does show the character’s intelligence, which I think has been missing from some of the more recent stories in the Batgirl time frame. Here you see her using intelligence, wit and courage to solve the case. So, I enjoyed this one a lot.
The second one is The Truth About Bats and Dogs and this story finds Batgirl rescuing a little girl who’s in trouble and she is looking for a famous dog that has gone missing and at the same time Catwoman is searching for one of her cats who has also gone missing and so the obvious result, after a little brief scuffle, is that it’s time for a team up. Overall, I thought the story was good humored, it was fun, it was sweet, it pokes some gentle fun at some of our social media culture and the idea that both this missing cat and missing dog had tens of thousands of followers on this social media network. One thing I do like about Burnside, which is Batgirl’s hometown in the comics at this point, is that it does poke some fun at some of the more over the top sides of our urban hipster culture. So, I thought that was a really nice touch.

Then we have the heart of the book, which is the four issue story, Summer of Lies and essentially this involves a case from her early days which was also some of her earliest time knowing Dick Grayson coming back to haunt her and she has to figure out what’s going on now and she has to reveal what happened then and the plot of the story is that Barbara has just moved to Gotham from Chicago with her dad, who is really over protective and nervous about letting her go around Gotham City. She gets a job at a Olive Garden knockoff where a fellow waitress befriends her and offers her a job as her assistant and only later does she find out that this is under false pretenses and something is going on and it’s an interesting tale because she also has already got the Batgirl identity and she meets Robin with Dick Grayson in a robin costume, which is not something typically we see because Dick Grayson has been Nightwing for so long but here you get to see them interact and how they first met as teenagers as well as perhaps a chance to explore rekindling their relationship in the current comics though, I mean, I’ve been following Nightwing, so at this point Barbara Gordon is one of many entrants in the Dick Grayson sweepstakes. I like this one because it explores an area of their past that I find interesting. I think it can be tricky when you have comic stories that explore the past of characters when those are kind of overdone or we’ve got so many different stories, like we’ve had so many looks into a Superman and Batman when they were younger. Then you’re always at risk of trampling on existing continuity or telling a story that’s already been told. I haven’t seen too many Robin and Batgirl stories, so I think this here this really works quite well. It’s an enjoyable story and it adds some depth to both the Batgirl and Barbara Gordon this people while also adding some of that history between her and Dick Grayson and like I said I really enjoyed the two one shot books as well. So, overall this book really surprised me. It was a great step up after the first two volumes, so I will give Batgirl Volume 3: Summer of Lies a rating of classy

Alright that’s all for now. If you do have a comment send it to me classycomicsguy@gmail.com. Be sure and follow us on Twitter at classycomicsguy and be sure and rate the show on iTunes. From Boise Idaho, this is your host Adam Graham signing off.

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