Read it: Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl Rising; The Flood; The Lesson

The problem with DC superhero comics is one of impenetrability. The characters themselves are great, but the stories told with them rely on knowledge of complex backstory, are frequently told over multiple concurrent titles, and are subject to editorial fiats more about repositioning franchises in the marketplace than creating solid drama. Coming from a background of television, writer Bryan Q. Miller is well versed in telling a story in linked but approachable episodes, while dancing to the tune of the men in suits - and the result is very much the superhero comic I have been looking for.

Miller focuses on a solid, entertaining story of costumed crime fighting, developing new Batgirl Stephanie Brown as a character, and fleshing out strong relationships with her unknowing mother and a sceptical Oracle. Where events from other comics intrude on this core, Miller actively skirts around the foreign plot, turning what could be unwelcome interruptions into fun diversions. This strong sense of a unified story, so uncommon in DC comics, extends to the entire series exhibiting a beginning, a middle and an end. Compared to the usual sense of incompletion, the three collected editions of Miller's run on Batgirl form a uniquely satisfying whole, and turning the last page provides an actual sense of closure for a character who (I believe) has yet to appear in the new DC continuity.

A variety of artists contribute to the visuals, leading to an uneven quality, but things are always colourful and there are enough contributions from the awesome Dustin Nguyen to keep me happy. Pere Perez, who pencils the final issue, also pulls out all the stops for a spectacular few final pages.

Of all the DC books I've read (admittedly only a tiny fraction of those published), these are the three that I'm happy to recommend unreservedly.

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