Thursday, September 17, 2009

Batgirl Returns!

You know who would be an awesome movieverse Batgirl? Steph Brown. She's funny, she's tormented (but not in a death-of-parents way, more like a I-screw-up-because-I'm-human way), and she's adooooorable. Seriously someone sign someone up right now and get this script written. I'm looking at you, Warner Brothers.

Of course, the Batgirl everyone knows is Barbara Gordon, so that's just not happening. Though they did try with Barbara Whatever that was somehow related to Alfred in The Movie With the Nipples.

I've already talked about how I'm pleased with the new Batgirl choice. In this month's issue, Dan Didio explained why it was Steph as opposed to, say, Babs or Cass (I'm glad something big is coming for Cass in 2010, and I'd really like to see her sack Damian around a little). Changing the Oracle would suck. Not just because the Oracle is awesome, but because I like Babs better in a wheelchair. It's bad (or good, I guess?) enough that people keep on coming back from the dead (btw, read Flash: Rebirth #4 finally), but giving Babs the ability to walk again would erase twenty years of interesting, painful, well-earned character development.

What can I say? I am a fan of the characters and their developing. And there was some nice development in this. And I love love love love love. Love. Steph Brown's voice. I thought issue 2 was stronger than issue 1, which is usually how it goes. We see some more of Babs' motivation, some more of Steph's motivation, and get a preview of how they're going to be working together. I couldn't help but think of the BoP, of course, but I have a feeling that that was at least partially intentional.

I think an excellent part of Batgirl is that they're setting it up very much as a mentor-mentee thing with Babs and Steph, and it's released the same week as Batman and Robin. This week's B&R had a great rooftop fight with Dick and Damian that ended with a small smirk from Dick that reminded me of my favorite Bruce (Frank Miller's), and was a very telling look into why Dick chose Damian for the job (sidenote: I think I missed the last issue of the last arc, which I'll have to find at some point, but I really love the way Phillip Tan's art works for this dark and brutal and creepy storyline). And in contrast to Steph's adventures (and foibles) this week and her interactions with Babs, it was really good.

Batgirl is both separate from and yet integral to the core of the Batfamily. You don't wear the Bat without being something important in Gotham, but at the same time she doesn't have Batman as a mentor the way that Robin does. And she's not entirely independent, like Red Robin. Also she's a female (hello!) in a very male-oriented family. Sort of like Mia in the Arrow family (I know Judd Winnick gets some flak for stuff, but I've never read anything of his I disliked, and I love the idea of making a young, teenage, white girl a victim of HIV. Also I was a huge Real World fan for the first few seasons. Ahem.) The idea of Batgirl teaming up with Oracle really appeals to me. And I think I'm going ot enjoy it as it develops, especially considering the revealed-this-week villain (I always appreciate when female heroes aren't patronized with female villains that didn't exist until we decided they needed to fight someone but it can't be a dude so it's just like a male villain, but is female. Yeah, Alice, you know who you are, Ms. Scarecrow+Mad Hatter.)


I like Batgirl. Some random guy on the T yesterday tapped me to get my attention, and asked me about the current state of Gotham city. "I heard Dick Grayson is the new Batman. Is that true?"


"Huh. How'd that happen?"

I gave him a brief rundown of the death of Batman, the Battle for the Cowl, and then explained that I don't know the details because I really had no interest in Gotham City until Bruce Wayne had died.

"That makes sense," he said.

Thanks for the positive reinforcement, random guy on the T. Right back atcha.

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