That One Issue: Batgirl #14 (2010)

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

Batgirl_Vol_3_14Batgirl #14

“Terror in the 3rd Dimension!”
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Pencils by Lee Garbett
Inks by Trevor Scott
Colors by Guy Major
Lettered by Travis Lanham
Cover by Stanley Lau
Edited by Michael Siglain and Sean Ryan

 

In the ever-expanding pantheon of comics I find sacred is Bryan Q. Miller’s run on Batgirl. It’s a comic that found a warm corner in my heart and never really moved out. Batgirl has the distinction of being the only series to have started a friendship. I mean, a good majority of my friends are my friends because of comics. But Batgirl got me to exclaim to a relative stranger in a bar “You worked on Batgirl?! I need to hug you.” Little did I know at the time that in three years I would be reading at this “stranger’s” wedding.

Back to Batgirl. For as special as this comic is to me, the series was on issue 13 before I picked it up. It was the last issue in an arc, and, in all honesty, I remember the cover (a gorgeous piece by Stanley Lau of Stephanie Brown being subsumed by the goopy mud heap that is Clayface) more than I remember what happened in that particular issue. But clearly it made enough of an impression for me to pick up the next issue.

2010’s Batgirl #14 is probably my favorite issue of any comic book ever. That sounds hyperbolic, but it’s not. It’s one of my Top 5 Desert Island Comics (the first two being the Artist’s Edition of Walter Simonson’s THOR, which I can use for shelter, and the Absolute Edition of Darwyn Cooke’s Justice League: New Frontier, which I can use to crack open coconuts). I digress.

Batgirl #14 by Bryan Q. Miller and Lee Garbett

I will never not giggle at a “That’s what she said” joke.

This particular installment of Stephanie Brown’s misadventures as Batgirl is a one-shot in which Steph goes to the movies with her friend Kara (aka Supergirl) for a much-needed night off. So of course they end up having to save Gotham from two dozen Universal Monster Movie Draculas that are on the loose. Like you do.

The plot isn’t rocket science; it’s a slice of everyday life for this character. It’s about accepting help from a friend, whether it’s kicking vampire butt or just venting after a rough day. It’s about learning how to juggle being a masked vigilante and a college student and a daughter and a person with feelings. It’s my favorite kind of issue; a quick look at life between punches.

Batgirl #14 by Bryan Q. Miller and Lee Garbett

Photo bomb!

Batgirl #14 is also an issue that pushes a lot of the right buttons for me in a series that does the same. This issue has classic movie monsters, superheroes in their jammies talking about waffles, and a team-up that does not start with the partners fighting each other before offering help. So already, I’m a happy reader. It also has all of the elements that made Bryan Q. Miller’s run on Batgirl so wonderful: rapid-fire, Gilmoresque dialog, a focus on relationships between ladies, a sense of humor, mad-cap adventures, and above all, heart.

This is My Batgirl. This is the issue that found it’s way into my heart and has never, nor will ever, be replaced. It’s the BCF (Best Comic Forever) that lead me to one of my BFF. It’s more than panels and pages, it’s a warm place I can escape to. It’s a comic that feels like home.

Batgirl #14 by Bryan Q. Miller and Lee Garbett

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