My First Comic Book: The New 52 Batgirl

5 Dec

BATGIRL-bannerI’ve always enjoyed superhero movies.  I went to see the first Batman movie in the theatre in 1989 with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson and loved the colors and over the top costumes.  I had no idea that the magical world of comic books existed outside of this movie.  I didn’t have any brothers and my dad was from another country, so he didn’t have  a collection of back issues for me to peek at.  All I knew was that this movie was amazing and I had an affinity for superheroes, especially if they wore capes.

batgirl-new-52-1I know that it’s super cool and hip now to be “geek-chic” and that there is even a movement out there against “faux geek girls.”  Basically, if you claim to love comic books and video games and geek culture, but haven’t been into those things since the womb, you’re a poser.  I am obviously not of this thinking.  I think that you love what you love and you discover it when you discover it.  If I have discovered my latent love for comic books at 32, that doesn’t make my love any less than those of you who have been hardcore comic lovers since the age of 2.

So, I figured since I have loved the recent rash of superhero films (such as the Dark Knight Trilogy, the Iron Man films, and The Avengers), maybe I would also enjoy the comic books that inspired them.  This brought me to a Google search for a comic book shop in my area and discovered 4 Color Fantasies.  This store is like a mecca of comic books, with wall-to-wall comics and that wonderful smell that comes with tons of ink wafting through the air.  I, of course, was totally lost.  Luckily, the gentleman working there, Chris, was super friendly and didn’t hesitate to offer help, and better yet didn’t treat me like an idiot for not knowing what was what.  After chatting with Chris and fingering the comics for over an hour, I decided on a graphic novel of The New 52 Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection.  Here is a brief synopsis from Amazon:

The nightmare-inducing brute known as Mirror is destroying the lives of Gotham City citizens seemingly at random. Will Barbara be able to survive her explosive confrontation with this new villain, as well as facing dark secrets from her past?

I chose the graphic novel because it would be near impossible and a lot more expensive to try to find all of the back issues in the series.  I am not going to lie, part of me chose Batgirl because I loved the coverart.  And I felt like I might be better off going with the superhero comics instead of the non-superhero stories (such as The Walking Dead and Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Picture-13The best part was the excitement I felt, like I’d met a long lost friend whom I’d forgotten even existed.  I started reading it that night and was instantly in love.  I was into the story right away, despite having no prior knowledge of Barbara Gordon or how the Joker had shot and paralyzed her. The New 52 series takes place after Barbara recovers from her injury and begins with her shakily returning to her service as Batgirl.  I didn’t expect the story to be so strong.  All I really expected were some pretty pictures and some light action.  I am so impressed by the series and I am super excited to move on to more comics.  I am eyeing Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series since I am a big fan of his novels.  What comics do you recommend?


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