Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Batgirl – Future’s End gives Simone’s Babs a powerful end

Comic Review: Batgirl – Future’s End gives Simone’s Babs a powerful end

batgirl future's end
I’ll be up front about this: I haven’t read Gail Simone’s full Batgirl run, and I can’t be the one to sum up all the good work she’s done with the character.

But I’m a big fan of girl power in comics, and Batgirl: Future’s End #1 is positively bursting with girl power done right.

The premise alone of a bulked-up, Bane-inspired badass Babs running a team of Batgirls should be enough to make you buy this comic, but the way it’s all pulled off makes it worth double the price you’ll pay for a copy.

Simone and artist Javier Garron give us a Barbara who’s been through hell in the obligatory five-year time jump of this Future’s End book. A lot has happened to her, both physically and emotionally. Her husband died on their wedding day. She’s spent years learning to fight under Bane. And now, bulked-up Babs is Bete Noire, the Black Beast – a female bodybuilder hybrid of Batman and Bane, with a trio of Batgirl soldiers working under her.

That trio is incredibly intriguing, in that it brings back two former Batgirls whom fans have long been clamouring to see. One is Stephanie Brown, who is just at the opening stage of her Bat-journey in Batman Eternal in current continuity. The second is Cassandra Cain, the soft-spoken former assassin-turned hero who vanished in the New 52 relaunch, but who is back in the Bat-verse five years into the future. And the third is Tiffany Fox, another of Lucius Fox’s kids taking up the legacy of the Batman.

It’s all terribly exciting for a Batgirl fan, and it gets even better with the grand climax, when Bete Noire beats down her former mentor, Bane.

In a few short pages, Simone brings her whole approach to Batgirl to a crystallized point.

This is a Batgirl who gets by on her own strength. Her hulking “goddess” physique is a result of her own hard work – not a result of taking Bane’s venom. And her Batgirl soldiers are her own – not soldiers of Batman. Five years into the future, Gail Simone leaves us with a Batgirl who has forged her own path, made her own allies and found her own strength, inspired by but decidedly separate from both her mentors: the one she beats up, and the one we never see in this tale.

Kudos to artist Javier Garron, too. He nails Barbara’s transformation into the powerful Bete Noire. She looks strong and imposing while still evoking the Batgirl we know.

Who says all female characters need to be acrobats?

This issue reads like the perfect counterpoint to Gail Simone’s old “Women in Refrigerators” criticism that helped get her the Batgirl gig in the first place.

Girls don’t need to be victims, and they don’t need to break when they’re under pressure.

They can be strong, they can be smart, and they can inspire, too.

9 out of 10

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