Books, Questions, and Words REVIEWING Shadow of the Batgirl

Welcome to The Real World According To Sam! Today I'm reviewing one of DC's many YA graphic novels. The company has released several over the last few years, so...time to tackle a few. 

Shadow of the Batgirl 

Creative Team: Sarah Kuhn, Nicole Goux, Cris Peter, Janice Chiang, and Saida Temofonte  
Year: 2020
Genre: YA Graphic Novel


Cassandra Cain, teenage assassin, isn't exactly Batgirl material...yet. Will she step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle - that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero? 

Lucky for Cass, she won't have to defy her destiny alone. With the help of her new mentors, noodle shop owner Jackie Fujikawa Yoneyama and a librarian named Barbara Gordon, she'll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero. The only problem is that Batgirl hasn't been seen in Gotham for years...Can Cass find Batgirl before her father destroys the world she has grown to love? Or will she have to take on a heroic mantle of her very own? 


Truth be told, I've not read very much involving Cassandra Cain yet. I know a bit about her because I like the Bat-Family and have been reading recent comics, but I missed most of the main stories involving her. I really think she's getting moved up on my list of characters I have to read more about. I know a bit, but this graphic novel is a great introduction to her. It covers her past, her difficulties with communication, and it provides an understanding of what makes her unique compared to the other Batgirls and members of the Bat-Fam. Cass is an incredible heroine and I need to see more of her in action. 

As I mentioned, this is a retelling of Cass's origin. It's a new original story, but it incorporates important elements of her upbringing such as her training under her father and her lack of speech development. It also highlights her ability to read people based on their body language, which is an amazing ability to have. This gives her a new introduction to Barbara and it also provides with an Asian mentor (who is pretty awesome). I'd love to see this iteration of these characters have more adventures together, because they're a great team of heroines whose support and care for one another is beautiful. 

The artwork provides moments of visual simplicity and complexity, varying the visual component regularly without it being overly cartoony. However, it is still bright with a lot of color - especially when compared to some Batman comics. I love the pastel tones used, the portrayal of Cass' movements, and the inclusion of drawings and newspaper articles that are distinct from the rest of the story. Barbara and Cass are both fascinating characters and their interactions with each other are adorable. I really loved their dynamic, as well as the one between Cass and Jackie, the elder Asian lady that takes her in.  

This graphic novel is about Cass learning who she wants to be. It's about making choices between a path laid out for you and the one you want to take on your own. It's a super sweet story, super cute, and super fun. Of the six DC YA graphic novels I've read thus far, this one has been my favorite. It's also the one I would most recommend. I give Shadow of the Batgirl a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯✯ stars. It won't be for every DC fan, but it's definitely a good story to introduce young DC fans to Cassandra Cain - or to help kids become DC fans in general. 

Thanks for joining me for today's review here at The Real World According to Sam, where I bring the books to your computer screen and even put in my two cents about them! See you at the next review!