Elseworld's Finest:
Supergirl & Batgirl

by Barbara Kesel,
Matt Haley, Tom Simmons
(DC Comics, 1998)

The Elseworlds line shifts realities for familiar comic-book heroes and presents them to readers in a whole new light. Sometimes the dates are changed, sometimes the circumstances, but always, the tale provides a fresh look at an old friend. In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, the formula works surprisingly well; the time is now, the place is Gotham, but Bruce Wayne never became Batman and Clark Kent doesn't exist. Instead, Supergirl is the last survivor of Krypton, and she fights alongside a markedly different Justice League based in Metropolis. And Barbara Gordon, orphaned when her parents got involved in an armed robbery in progress, is a dark, calculating Batgirl.

To the world's eyes, the Justice Society and its benefactor, Lex Luthor, are true heroes, while Batgirl's ruthless enforcement of her rules in Gotham borders on fascism. But the two heroines are thrust together when Luthor is kidnapped.

And they work together, after a few initial bumps and hitches, surprisingly well. It's a stand-alone book, yet it's an Elseworlds tale I wish had been pursued further. After all, some ideas deserve more than a single look.

by Tom Knapp
24 February 2007

Buy it from Amazon.com.