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July 13, 2014 5:43 PM   Subscribe

Batgirl of Burnside Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, and Jordie Bellaire are taking over Batgirl (October 2014, #35). More from Project Rooftop
posted by device55 (29 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The design has a lot of things going for it. My one negative is that it feels a lot more like Stephanie Brown than Barbara Gordon to me, but considering some of DC's other decisions, I'm not going to complain.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:49 PM on July 13


Pockets and a snap-on cape are great additions, but being an old comics fan I have to nitpick about something, so I'll complain about the yellow gloves and boots. In a combat situation, why would you want to make it easier for your opponent to visually track your extremities?

I'm not a fan of the low-slung utility belt, either. Is that really comfortable or practical?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:54 PM on July 13


There are holsters that work that, so I'd imagine.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:04 PM on July 13


Looks good but I'm still irritated with DC over what happened with BatWoman, so I'll hold off on reading this.
posted by Harpocrates at 6:40 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Stephanie Brown is not Cassandra Cain and Babs Gordon is not either of them. I think Barbara was best as Oracle, who kind of ruled the DC Universe for awhile. Steph was a terrific Robin. I think Cassie outgrew the bat-costume and became her own person and good for her.
posted by SPrintF at 7:02 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I think Barbara was best as Oracle, who kind of ruled the DC Universe for awhile.

Agreed. She was the Suicide Squad mastermind, the Birds of Prey matriarch and the Justice League ghost. It's not as though we had a shortage of perfectly good Batgirls.

For that matter, why does being able to move her legs make her incapable of continuing to be Oracle? What would motivate her to quit? Nostalgia?

(answer: authorial nostalgia, but that's not an in-universe explanation)
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:45 PM on July 13


Was Barbara Gordon ever Batgirl in the Nu-52 verse? I thought she never made that transition.

I'm not actually even sure how old Babs is supposed to be anymore, but this character concept feels a lot younger than the current Gail Simone run. I mean, that's not a bad thing in and of itself (and might prove to be wrong once the series starts), but it's adding to my disconnect.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:55 PM on July 13


Authorial nostalgia is probably part of it, but I figured the decision had more to do with DC wanting to reserve the right to retell her transition to oracle when they needed a big event story.

This looks gorgeous. I hope Gail Simone had a chance to wrap up her run nicely.
posted by lownote at 7:56 PM on July 13


This design doesn't strike me as something that will age well, but it isn't the armor costumes (why is Superman wearing armor why) and it isn't My Tits: Let Me Show You Them or Hi, I'm Supergirl's Panties. It's also pretty cool looking even if it does end up looking dated, so credit where it's due.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:30 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


I'm still irritated with DC over what happened with BatWoman

What happened with Batwoman? I read a few episodes when they rebooted everything but then I sort of gave up on DC again.
posted by whir at 9:06 PM on July 13


Oh, I'm guessing you're talking about this Batwoman thing, I had completely missed that.
posted by whir at 9:08 PM on July 13




Was Barbara Gordon ever Batgirl in the Nu-52 verse?

Yes, they sort of kept her history: Batgirl, shot by Joker, crippled, became Oracle (perhaps?), got her legs back, Batgirl again. That's where #1 opened.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:52 PM on July 13


I have to admit I'm conflicted. I love the design, and I love the personality that shows through on both the official and the fan artwork. It reminds me of the Batman the Animated Series Batgirl. On the other hand, I really liked Oracle and Batwoman, and hate how their characters were disappeared.

So I think the bottom line is that this is nice, but I wonder how soon it will be before this version of Batgirl is put on a bus and officially forgotten about.
posted by happyroach at 3:52 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


More recently, DC has been revising Batwoman's backstory - she was no longer affected by DADT, because, as Batwoman's writer Andreyko put it, referencing Don't Ask Don't Tell at this point is like referencing the Vietnam War. But she was still in the Marines, so the only way that her timeline would make sense at all at this point is if she were younger than she was at the start of Elegy- so younger than she would have been in issue #1 of the Nu-52.

Maybe someone who is reading more DC than I am can answer this, but are the guys getting deaged in the same way? I'm aware that comic book time is not real world time, but usually they just sort of stay in the same age range despite continuity building or suddenly get aged up so a dude can sleep with them grumblegrumble

I'm going to stress that I really am excited that DC is introducing this as something that's not Dark and Gritty grimdark - if this has the feel of the Stephanie Brown batgirl series, I will happily read it. I just sort of wish that we could have a Stephanie Brown-esque character and a Barbara Gordon-esque character running around - if we can have five former robins running around, why can't we have two batgirls?
posted by dinty_moore at 4:47 AM on July 14


Was Barbara Gordon ever Batgirl in the Nu-52 verse?

Sorry, that was supposed to be 'was Barbara Gordon ever Oracle in the Nu-52 verse' Blah, typing.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:58 AM on July 14


Nope. Batgirl #1 was her suiting up with her newly-revived legs, and I believe it was launched at the very outset of New 52. But there was no Oracle-to-Batgirl transition story in New 52 that I recall.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:03 AM on July 14


This is one of those times in comics where I get to jump up and down and squee and say "I know that guy! It's Cameron!"

On his social media feed, there are quite a few guys complaining about the lack of spandex, the lack of sexiness, essentially trying to hand out the haterade. But what makes up for all that are the women--these guys apparently think we don't read them or that we don't care--and young girls genuinely excited for this iteration of Batgirl. And I'm with Cam: to me, this is what matters. If it's something that young women can enjoy and like and not feel like our role in the comics universe is to be a sex object, I absolutely do not care what Some Dude With Opinions on Everything thinks of their coming run of Batgirl.
posted by Kitteh at 5:12 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I'm not much of a comics guy, but I dig what they've done. Sort of a tank girl (the character, not the stories or even the action) vibe going on.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:05 AM on July 14


I know little and less about the history of BatGirl and your various BatFranchises, but as the father of a 13-year-old girl who is just getting into superheroes through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I think I will suggest she check this series out.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:49 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


My main problem with Batgirl is that DC can't decide what to do with the character. Barbara Gordon was never a big hit in her original incarnation, then Alan Moore had the Joker put a bullet through her spine and eventually she took some levels in awesome and became Oracle. In the meantime, Batgirl was reinvented as Cassandra Cain, basically about as completely different from Gordon as you can get and still be a girl that dresses like a bat, and then stuff happened and the new Batgirl was Stephanie Brown, formerly the Spoiler and (briefly) Robin and then dead (in one of the most problematic, creepy-snuff-porn kind of ways), and then not so dead and then Batgirl. And then Nu52 and Gordon is unparalyzed and Cain is MIA and Brown is back as Spoiler.

And now there's a new design for Gordon which makes her look about twelve. It's not a bad look; snap-off cape and yellow Doc Martens are practical. But it's pretty obvious that, nearly three years into the New 52, DC is still thrashing around with a lot of characters.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:17 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Halloween Jack: and then stuff happened and the new Batgirl was Stephanie Brown, formerly the Spoiler and (briefly) Robin and then dead (in one of the most problematic, creepy-snuff-porn kind of ways), and then not so dead and then Batgirl. And then Nu52 and Gordon is unparalyzed and Cain is MIA and Brown is back as Spoiler.

Insert "Not sure if actually a BatVillain called The Spoiler or if just avoiding spoilers" Fry img macro.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:22 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


It's actually a Bat mostly-Hero called the Spoiler, because she spoils the Cluemasters plans. But yeah. Confusing!
posted by dinty_moore at 7:27 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow:For that matter, why does being able to move her legs make her incapable of continuing to be Oracle? What would motivate her to quit? Nostalgia?

(answer: authorial nostalgia, but that's not an in-universe explanation)

You are one of the world's most accomplished gymnasts/martial artists/buttkickers.

Oh, shit; now you are suddenly paraplegic. Sucks. But!!!! - you have the chutzpah to say "Fuckit!", and become the guiding light to young gymnasts/martial artists/buttkickers, by becoming the world's greatest database programmer.

Now you suddenly have your legs back. Two choices: You can continue your IT gig in the basement with Richard Ayoiaioade, or you can return to your first love, which you've clearly never gotten out of your system.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:43 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


In a combat situation, why would you want to make it easier for your opponent to visually track your extremities?

In a comic book featuring punching and kicking, why would you want to make it easier for your reader to visually track your character's extremities?

In the real world, all these characters would just wear black leather, but "it's visually dynamic" is a far better reason for implausibly stylized character design than "so boys will think she's hot."
posted by straight at 10:20 AM on July 14


Is that... a DC heroine that looks like an actual human person? I am shocked and delighted.
posted by IAmUnaware at 10:26 AM on July 14


Now you suddenly have your legs back. Two choices: You can continue your IT gig in the basement with Richard Ayoiaioade, or you can return to your first love, which you've clearly never gotten out of your system.

Except that:

1) There are plenty of martial artists in the DCU fighting crime, and the justice league desperately needs a database programmer.
2) Barbara Gordon was a lot more powerful as Oracle than she ever was at Batgirl.

I mean, the current in-universe explanation as to why Babs isn’t Oracle anymore is that she was never Oracle (or only Oracle for a very brief moment never shown on the page as backstory, maybe). But even if Babs would have never become Oracle if not for the paralysis, Oracle is not some sort of consolation prize.

Anyway, I'm also tentatively excited about the idea of Genevive Valentine writing catwoman with Jae Lee on art.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:48 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


1) There are plenty of martial artists in the DCU fighting crime, and the justice league desperately needs a database programmer.
Then they can hire one. I'm pretty sure that with all the resources available to the Justice League they can find an appropriate database programmer.

2) Barbara Gordon was a lot more powerful as Oracle than she ever was at Batgirl.
People quit powerful jobs to do stuff they love all the time. Pursuit of happiness and all that.

Oracle is not some sort of consolation prize.
Maybe it was for her.
posted by nooneyouknow at 1:57 PM on July 14


Oracle was a weird sort of situation in the first place. It came out of a truly horribly sexist comic, but then as Oracle she became the strongest woman character in the DC universe. And then people pointed out that this was a universe were there were a number of methods of repairing the injury she had- for a start, Batman got a similar injury fixed. But, but, but, she was a really strong character in a wheelchair, which made her a symbol for people with disabilities, to the point where Oracle said she wouldn't take an available treatment unless it was available for everybody. About which a friend of mine in a wheelchair had choice things to say.

And then the New 52 happened, and they erased Oracle, along with a bunch of other women characters. There were still four or five Robins, but evidently more than one Batgirl was too many. So I wish we still had Oracle. But on the other hand, I really like the concept of this Batgirl. So the best version to my mind would be one where we had Oracle, and this new Batgirl, and maybe Cassandra Caine and Spoiler around.

Of course there would still be the problem of Oracle being wheelchair bound in spite of supertech and magic. I'm sure they could come up with a better concept than my idea of Oracle facing off with the Joker, and revealing she can walk. "Yeah, I've been able to walk for ages- I just kept it a secret." Horrible idea, but worth it perhaps to hear the howling of the fans.
posted by happyroach at 3:10 PM on July 14


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