Thursday, 26 October 2017

Batgirl, Volume 1: Silent Running Review (Scott Peterson, Kelley Puckett)


Batgirl/Cassandra Cain was definitely the breakout star of the sprawling early ‘00s Batman storyline, No Man’s Land. The full-face mask and the not speaking made her extra-mysterious and cool. It’s taken me a while to check out her solo series but I kinda wished I hadn’t bothered as unfortunately it’s not very good. 

Writers Scott Peterson and Kelley Puckett reveal her unremarkable, almost cliched, origins, and she goes up against some disposable goons to show us that she’s a badass - which we already knew. Yawners. 

Instead of using her solo series to develop her character, Peterson/Puckett are content to leave her as a one-dimensional deadly Asian ninja chick (think Miho from Frank Miller’s Sin City). She was trained to be the ultimate killing machine by a heartless master, yadda yadda yadda, you’ve seen this dozens of times before. 

Batman is written out-of-character as a complete dick/braindead detective and the foes Cass faces are utterly unmemorable nobodies. One of them is a metahuman whose contrived power takes away her silence which was what made her unique as a character to begin with - d’oh! And speaking of the silence, the sequential storytelling is not well done and a lot of the scenes are awkward to read because artist Damion Scott just isn’t good enough to make them work. 

Batgirl: Silent Running is readable - it’s just not very good.

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