It's a tag line I love in comics. Between universal rewrites, reboots, and new people using classic superhero monikers, I have seen it plenty during my comic reading years. And it could apply to Batgirl Annual #1. Because this is the first team-up between the New 52/Rebirth Supergirl and Batgirl.
It seems almost a little odd that here we are 6 years out from the New 52 and this is the first time these two characters are talking to each other. And thankfully, writer Hope Larson makes them fast and easy friends. Enough of New 52 angst and isolationism! These two should be friends!
It is even better that this story is a sort of secret mission, something that neither Bruce or Kal involved. This is something they want to do together on their own. It is clearly the beginning of a beautiful friendship and a multi-issue arc (we know this from solicits). And that makes me truly happy. I don't read Batgirl but the book jibes with Supergirl nicely, name dropping the DEO and even adding an evil Cadmus into the mix.
The art is done by Inaki Miranda and the style has a vibe similar to what Joelle Jones is doing on Supergirl Being Super. There are some nice page layouts as well which accentuate the action as well.
This is a definite read for fans of the Rebirth Supergirl!
The story is titled World's Finest because of course it is. How great is that?
There is little bit of luck to the beginning of the story in that Batgirl happens to be in National City stalking the Red Spur, a cowboy-clad member of the Environmental Destruction Agency. But before Batgirl can snag him, Supergirl swoops in. I just love how immediately they both recognize each other and say how happy they are to meet.
There is a little bit of youthful exuberance and swagger in Supergirl's approach. Grabbing his hat and striking a 'howdy Ma'am' post in that first panel followed by a flex and a 'red eye of anger' gaze.
For me, Supergirl is around 17 and Batgirl is around 21. So there is a sort of older sister/younger sister vibe to the proceedings. And that works, especially when thinking about the overall tone of the Batman and Superman families.
Red Spur slips away during the introductions but Batgirl doesn't care. He's easy enough to track down again.
But immediately the two just slip into a team-up. Supergirl is asking for some help in breaking into a Cadmus facility. And she wants Batgirl's help so it can all happen on the down low. These smaller inset panels do a nice job of giving us how the two interact with each other physically, palling around.
How funny that National City has a reputation for being a New Age, hipster city.
It turns out that Kara has been receiving telepathic messages in Kryptonian.
Someone named Gayle is being held against her will in a Cadmus facility and needs Supergirl to help her escape. Now the name Gayle should resonate with Supergirl fans but more on that later.
Batgirl knows this is a trap. An incarcerated psychic contacting the hero? Her name is Gayle and but she is talking Kryptonian? It all seems fishy and it should. But this is a young Kara who thinks a survivor of Krypton is a prisoner. She is all in.
She needs Batgirl's help to slip by the vaunted WayneTech defenses. She could just bash through the walls but she wants this done quietly.
To keep with the high social awareness that comics is embracing these days, Supergirl says people looking for any excuse to hate an illegal alien like her. You would think that a President would remove the 'illegal' status from Kara since she is working for a government agency. Or maybe Kara would go through the work to become a naturalized citizen.
As sometimes can happen with 'very special' moments, this seemed a little bit over the top.
Batgirl decides that she will help leading to this super-hug.
This opening introduction scene is just wonderful. You can see that these two respect each other. Miranda does a great job with showcasing the emotions of these two. Nice expressive work.
This panel should be a t-shirt or a poster.
The two break in but not without some hiccups. Batgirl sets off the alarms and then decides the right thing to do is disable them all together. The two meet a young boy with cold powers named Frostpoint who is being experimented on. And they are trying to stay ahead of the security forces now swarming the place.
Earlier in the story, Kara really seems panicked saying the two cannot be caught in the building. Here we see why. She had asked the DEO to do this mission and they declined. Now the DEO is there to investigate. Cameron Chase will not only be angry ... but also disappointed. I feel like Supergirl is worried about seeing her 'mom' upset at going ahead and doing something she was told not to.
Finally we meet Gayle in a prison section of the Cadmus facility.
She has psychic abilities but also telekinesis. She 'speaks' psychic Kryptonian because she has 'The Key to the Phantom Zone' inside her head. There is a person in the Zone and 'he' can help her. (We know from solicits it is the Phantom King.) Gayle is leaving so she can get there. Using her powers she overwhelms Kara and teleports away.
Now longtime and even new time Supergirl fans will know that Gayle Marsh is classic Kara villain Psi's real name. This Gayle even looks like the classic Psi.