Batgirl Annual #1
Written by Hope Larson
Pencils and Inks by Inaki Miranda
Colors by Eva De La Cruz
Written by Vita Ayala
Pencils and Inks by Eleonora Carlini
Colors by Matt Lopes
Batgirl meets Supergirl for the first time in the Rebirth era! Babs also needs to reconnect with Alysia Yeoh on the anniversary of their meeting.
What you need to know: Batgirl tracks down a villain named Red Spur to National City, where Supergirl hangs her cape. After Kara shows up the villain makes his escape. Babs says that she will track him down later. Supergirl tells her that she needs help with a case. She needs to break into a Cadmus secret lab and save someone who is calling for help telepathically. Batgirl agrees after a few questions. The two manage to break into the site and engage a superhuman with cold powers called Frostpoint. They take him out, but realize that he is a kid that needs help. They find the person who sent the telepathic message. It turns out to be Psi. After freeing her, Psi talks about how she must go to the Phantom Zone because some mysterious person said that he could fix her. She feeds some energy off Kara and teleports away. Batgirl gets Supergirl and Frostpoint out of the Cadmus lab. Batgirl gives her phone number to Kara in case she needs her again. This story leads into the “Escape from the Phantom Zone” arc that is happening in the Supergirl title.
The second story has Batgirl having a rematch with Riot Black, a villain who has an implant in his mind so he can collect and store other people’s personal data and use them for his own benefit. Riot ends up getting away, but Batgirl finds out from a victim that Riot is trying to upgrade his implant. The next evening, she meets up with Alysia Yeoh, her best friend. Babs has been too busy for Alysia lately and she feels bad about it. Plus, this evening is the anniversary of their meeting and she does not want to miss it. So of course, Frankie, Bab’s partner tells her that Riot is on the verge of success with getting that upgrade. Babs tries to excuse herself from Alysia with a story about a meeting, but Alysia says she will tag along. This causes Babs to have to face Riot Black in her civilian identity with a confused Alysia backing her up. Barbara figures out how to overload his implant and the two go back to celebrating their anniversary.
What you’ll find out: In the first story, you find out that Psi has a connection to the Phantom Zone, which is a dimension where Kryptonian criminals are imprisoned. Kara talks a bit about the Phantom Zone and says that she has been there before. Also, we find out
that this is the first meeting of Supergirl and Batgirl in the Rebirth continuity even though they had met briefly in the New 52. There are not big reveals in the second tale, just a nice story about friendship.
What just happened: This annual reintroduces Psi, who is an old villain of Kara’s and it sets up events that occur in the Supergirl series. It also reestablishes the friendship between Supergirl and Batgirl, who were very close before Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted the universe a long time ago.
Both stories were well written and had nice art. The art in the second story was reminiscent of the look Babs Tarr was going for when she drew Batgirl but a little tighter. I am not familiar with either artist, but they both did good jobs. I was happy to see Alysia in the story as she was a big part of Batgirl’s last series. She was her roommate that revealed that she was transgender. She has been appearing in the current series, but not as often since she and Barbara are not roommates anymore.
Final Thought: As far as annuals go, this was a pretty good one. It had a story that actually furthered the plot of a main story and it also had a nice backup that had good character moments for Babs and Alysia.