Goodreads: Batgirl at Super Hero High
Series: DC Superhero Girls #3
Published: March 2017
Batgirl has always hidden in the shadows but does she have what it takes to stand in the spotlight at Super Hero High?
Barbara Gordon has always been an off-the-charts, just-forget-about-the-test super-genius and tech whiz, and then she gets the offer of a lifetime when Supergirl recognizes that Barbara s talents make her an ideal candidate for Super Hero High. Donning the cape and cowl, Barbara Gordon becomes Batgirl, ready to train at the most elite school on the planet, next to some of the most powerful teenagers in the galaxy. She s always had the heart of a hero . . . but now she ll have to prove that she can be one. Good thing she loves a challenge!
In this installment in the DC Superhero Girls series, Barbara Gordon—newly minted Batgirl—is invited to enroll at Super Hero High based on her super tech knowledge and her past services to the school as part-time IT help. Some people aren’t sure that Batgirl qualifies as a superhero (she, technically, doesn’t have actual powers), but Barbara knows being a hero is all about the desire to help people.
I enjoyed this book a bit more than the Supergirl one because—in spite of some very impressive tech skills—Batgirl does come across as sort of an average teenager. She believes in herself and what she can do, but she has to convince her protective father to accept her decision to train to be a hero. I think a lot of readers can relate to having disagreements with their parents over what path they should take life, what they should study in school, etc. Batgirl also relies extensively on her brain, whereas Supergirl’s talents are more in physical strength, and I had some empathy for Batgirl’s struggles in gym class.
Even better, though there is a villain in this novel (I assume that’s a motif in every installment, considering these are superhero books), it was a unique one, and fighting him was in some ways not the main focus. There’s, as mentioned, Batgirl’s relationship with her father, but also her adjustment to transferring to a new school, as well as scenes with friends and a cool reality show. It sounds like a lot going on, but it all works really well in the novel to make an original, cohesive story.
My one minor gripe about the book is that it picks up directly where Supergirl’s installment stops, and yet several details do not match up with the preceding novel. This is most noticeable in Supergirl’s epilogue and Batgirl’s prologue—which ostensibly depict the exact same scene and yet differ on noticeable points like what actions characters take or their dialogue. A few details in the body of the book are slightly off, as well. It’s nothing that affects the story, and perhaps readers might not even notice if they did not read the two books back-to-back as I did, yet it seems like something an editor/copyeditor should have caught.
After reading both this book and the Supergirl one, I see a lot of merit in this series and would love to continue reading about some super teenage heroines.