While the X-Men are having problems with just one Dracula, Batgirl and Supergirl take on 24 in this entertaining done-in-one issue. Mind, they aren’t the scariest of Draculas, being easily dispatched with an amusing bit of equipment provided by the hapless science student, Newton, who gives them pseudo-life. The biggest threat they pose to Steph and Kara is boring them to death with their incessant moaning about loneliness.
Tiresome as it is to hear about constantly, isolation is the theme of this issue, as Steph admits to herself that she’s not got many friends, and actually finds herself empathising with the Draculas, moping about their immortality. Kara, meanwhile, is full of life – she’s been through enough travails lately that she’s ready to grab life by the…
And it’s terrific to see Kara, in Linda Lang guise, skipping around Gotham U, trying to make Steph have fun. ”You’re in college,” she tells Steph. “What the British call ‘university’!” Hmm, she may be quick to reel off her Kryptonian Science Guild status, but our Supergirl doesn’t seem to realise what the ‘U’ in ‘Gotham U’ stands for … who cares, though, ‘Terror in the third dimension’ is fun from start to finish, with a dollop of poignancy on the side.
It’s great to see Steph shake off a minor case of awe as she fights with Supergirl, quietly relaxing into the fun side of superheroing rather than worrying about not matching up to a Kryptonian power set.
And rightly so. As Ginger Rogers might have said, Steph’s doing everything Kara does, but without powers and in heels … well, bat-treads, anyway. By the end of the issue a new World’s Finest (‘World’s Femmest’? Nah) team has been well and truly forged. I can’t wait until Steph returns the favour and shows up in the Supergirl book.
Writer Brian Q Miller, as ever, offers us plenty of little character moments that suit the situation, my favourite being the contrast between Steph and Kara when it comes to preparing for an entrance. And it’s refreshing to have an issue in which Steph isn’t relying on orders from one of her computer genius partners, Babs/Oracle and Wendy/Proxy both being absent this month.
Penciller – nay, cinematographer! – Lee Garbett produces probably his best work yet on this book, making the one-dimensional Draculas proper characters. And while we know he draws a great Batgirl, it’s pleasing to see him produce an equally attractive – yet differentiated – Supergirl. Inker cum lighting director Trevor Scott lends weight to proceedings, with Guy Major and Travis Lanham nominated as best supporting acts for their contributions to colour and calligraphy.
And If anyone’s having a cover of the week contest, here’s your winner. Stanley ‘Artgerm’ Lau has come up with a stunning piece of artwork which would, appropriately for an issue honouring a legend of the Silver Screen, make a splendid foyer poster.
Month in, month out, Batgirl proves one of the most soldidly entertaining Batman Family books. And one of the best superhero books, full stop.