Robot 6

Quote of the day | DC on Barbara Gordon, Batgirl and continuity

Batgirl #1

“Some yes, some no. But many of the great stories remain. For example — Batgirl. The Killing Joke still happened and she was Oracle. Now she will go through physical rehabilitation and become a more seasoned and nuanced character because she had these incredible and diverse experiences.”

– from DC Comics’ “The New 52 and You” email sent to retailers,
addressing whether the publisher’s September relaunch will “undo events or continuity”

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47 Comments

I think that’s all I needed to hear. Gail is going to write the $#!+ out of this book.

Yeah; some things are concerns and some are not. Sure, Stephanie Brown and Cass Cain are good characters and shouldn’t be left out in the cold. Sure, Barbara’s great as Oracle and it’s kind of a step back to take her out of that role, and the implications of doing so are also kind of questionable. But what was never at issue is that Gail Simone can be trusted with writing Barbara Gordon.

and if the killing joke happened, and she was oracle, but robin never trained under batman because batman is only 25, but robin and batgirl were partners for a while and barbara was a congresswoman… how does this work? is there a flow chart?

Who says Batman is only 25?

Batgirl in Gail.Simone’s hands is enough for me to give this book a shot

i’m guessing at 25. with the call to appeal to a younger, hipper crowd of non-comic book readers, i have a hard time picturing batman being any older.

How to handle Stephanie and Cassandra….Batgirl, Inc?

Stephanie can be Spoiler again, and Cassandra has had a new identity for a few months now.

Gail Simone writing this is the best person for the job…but I still hate that they’re taking her out of the chair.

So Sean, you’re basically imagining a scenario based on absolutely nothing… and then saying it’s confusing? Why don’t you imagine a less confusing scenario, because it’s just as likely as your first idea.

If the KILLING JOKE happened, how come the Joker is still alive?

I know that I’m the demographic they don’t care about anymore. But I’m on board for Levitz Legion and Simone Batgirl.

I’m still uneasy about this idea, but at the same time I REALLY want to know how they’re going to repair a shattered spine. And I really want to know Babs’ justification for going from the most powerful information guru into the universe to another costumed hero.

Oh @stsean: I’m pretty sure the whole “congresswoman Gordon” thing was erased after the first Crisis

Here’s a novel idea…. READ IT FIRST. Hell I usually give a title 3 issues to turn me off. Granted some of things I hear from DC have my little inner fanboy nervous but I WILL try them first, THEN decide. I’ve read numerous posts with all sorts of “details” thrown out explaining why this is the single worst thing in the history of the world (mass murder, cancer, war, famine, death, don’t seem to hold a candle to the “horror” of “DC is changing MY comic”). Come on… best case a whole lot of interesting stories and new readers, worst case you buy a different comic.
>> Disclaimer: While I am not an employee or affiliate of DC, DCE, Warner, etc I have loved comics for a longtime and have dressed as my favorite heroes (DC Heroes) for parties and halloween in the past and have been referred to as “King of geekdom land” by friends and lovers<<

Jake wrote: “Stephanie can be Spoiler again, and Cassandra has had a new identity for a few months now.”

This new Black Bat identity will be taken away and given to a new character headlining his own title, which makes this raw deal of Cassandra’s look even worse than Steph’s.

Ricardo Amaral

July 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm

A couple of paragraphs before that statement, DC says it is restarting with heroes in their early days, still unexperienced. Apparently, this is not the case with BatGIRL. She’s a seasoned…uhn… never mind.

Are you sure, John? The new bat-character is called “Batwing” and he was introduced in the same comic as Cassandra’s new name.

@David Stewart

I’m not really understanding that statement, since the Killing Joke ends with The Joker being arrested…?

if the killing joke is still cannon proably means maybe gail is going with babs using an exoskelton to walk as batgirl. can not wait to see what gail does with barbara as batgirl after writing her as oracle. and stephanie no doubt will be spoiler again . cass just gets a new i.d and gets screwed again.

The only thing worse than DC putting Barbara in the chair FOR NO GOOD REASON, is having them take her out BECAUSE SHE ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH THAT WAY.

Isn’t going from being “The Oracle” to being “Batgirl” actually a step down?

I’m finding DC’s approach to this whole thing rather questionable. It’s like they want the pros of a Crisis on the Infinite Earths type continuity reboot, without having the balls to actually just go all the way. It’s just another rough, confused patch work, like they’ve been doing since Superboy Prime punched his way through time. At this point, DC’s continuity is so messed up it makes Marvel’s look smooth and sane.

I’m all for not messing with the Batbooks or their continuity (if it’s not broke, etc.), but it does seem like it could lead to major confusion with the “this character/title is rebooted, but this one is not” cherry-picking approach; basically the mess post-first Crisis all over again.

Then again, if they were totally rebooting the Batbooks, that would probably the final straw to drive me away from DC for good.

As for Bruce’s age, I wouldn’t worry about; the guy has been dunked in a Lazarus Pit how many times? He could easily be in his late fifties and still look 30. Anyway, I think that even younger audiences accept that anyone who is as much of a hard-as-nails badass as Batman is is probably a slightly older guy anyway, a la James Bond, Raiders-era Indiana Jones, Dirty Harry, etc. Nobody would expect (or accept) Shia LaBauf as Batman, for example.

knightoftomorrow

July 2, 2011 at 12:12 am

It’s been my impression that things have not really changed with the Batman corner of the universe. I seem to recall hearing that while super humans are just now starting to show up, that Batman has been around for quite sometime and is older than the other characters. Dick was Batman, and Barbara was Oracle. It doesn’t sound at all like things have changed with the Batman comics. I would imagine the only things that didn’t happen were the things that involved other heroes like Superman.

I don’t see why Barbara shouldn’t get out of that chair. If people can grow new limbs and come back to life there’s no reason to keep that woman in that chair. Everything she did in it can be done out of it. She can be Batgirl and function as Oracle. They’ve already said she’s still part of the Birds of Prey.

I loved Secret Six more than just about any other book. I also loved Batgirl under Bryan Q. Miller more than just about any other book. The fact that they are taking Gail off Secret Six and Miller off Batgirl is not only a tragedy but a very stupid decision. I plan on not even giving the new Batgirl a try. This is just about the only part of this whole “not a reboot” reboot that has me legitimately angry.

Surely it makes no sense not to even give it a try. These are talented folks working on this book, let’s cut them some slack.

Even over and above the entire issue of having Barbara Gordon out of the chair and walking again, I can’t help but side-eye the idea that she — a successful information broker, former political figure, and all the rest — would just cheerfully go back to being Batgirl.

Not just back in tights, not just returning to superheroing, but right back to the persona she used in her salad days — right down to the basic costume design.

That’s a backslide in character development if ever there was, and one that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Why is it that “The Killing Joke” is considered a “great story” that MUST remain in continuity? As if Barbara becoming Oracle instead couldn’t have happened any other way. I remember TKJ as being pretty STUPID, especially the part where Batman laughs along Joker right after arresting him for his brutal attack on Barbara, who is, you know, a close friend. But noo, Alan Moore, title recognition, blah blah.

OBrian Tallent

July 2, 2011 at 7:16 am

As Bryan Miller has proven he can write the Stephanie Brown character quite well, why not just give Spoiler her own book and let Bryan write it. I would be most happy with that compromise. :)
(And what’s Marcus To doing these dayss? Let him draw it and all will be good!)

It seemed to me that Calculator’s daughter (Wendy?) was being groomed to become a potential Oracle-type figure. So if Barbara did become Batgirl again, there could still be someone in the info-jockey position.

I wonder what storytelling was like 20,000 years ago? I imagine something like this: “So, what happened to Garg’s parents in the past?” and, “…but that isn’t how Org tells the story…”

I don’t get why, if her history still exist and she was Oracle, Batgirl isn’t a prime piece of the Birds of Prey crew. Why wouldn’t Barbara be adventuring with her best pal Dinah? It just makes ZERO sense to me that they are not working together.

The KILLING JOKE is a great comic and everybody loves Oracle, but I actually would have prefered a total reboot.

Rebooting just half of their universe doesn’t strike me as a good strategy for creating a more straightforward, reader-friendly universe.

All I needed to know is Gail is on this book. Sold! And I’m a 40 year old man. Will keep this until Gail is done. Wish there were some interviews with her.

You know, I appreciate the whole “try it before you complain” point of view. However, here is my two cents. I have been a loyal customer and reader of DC for over thirty years. I have bought floppies, trades, and nonsensical miniseries that read like they were conceived by a three year old. I know many other readers like me, some older and some younger. In one fell swoop, DC seems to be telling me and others like me, while we are willing to take your money, your continued business is less important to us than the mythological “new and younger reader.” Unfortunately, DC seems like they need to learn the same lesson Coke learned during the
‘New Coke” fiasco. Thing is, at around a dollar a bottle, folks were willing to come back once Coke learned their lesson. At almost four dollars a book, will DC be as lucky?

Thing is, most people, you ask them who Barbara Gordon is, they reply “she’s Batgirl” while a very small number reply “She’s Oracle”.

“Thing is, most people, you ask them who Barbara Gordon is, they reply “she’s Batgirl” while a very small number reply “She’s Oracle”.”

Then Dick Grayson should be Robin, it should have been a complete reboot. Instead they half-assed it, keeping the stuff related to Batman and Green Lantern despite how it mucks up the entire line.

Should’ve started anew. Dick Grayson is Robin, gets his own title along with the Batman & Robin book, Batgirl appears in a year or two.

There is one word for this whole relaunch: clusterf****. Colossal Cluster****.

Apollokid9000

July 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

While I don’t think the “rolling back” of Barbara back to Batgirl was needed, this clearly states how DC is approaching this.

The old question of ” If Barbara lives in the DCU with Mother Boxes, Cosmic Treadmills and whatnot, how come she can’t find a way to walk again?” was answered by DC Herman Edwards style.

Why Not!?!

She was still Batgirl, became disabled, became Oracle and is now back to Batgirl. All be it, a mote experienced and seasoned Batgirl.

We’ll just have to see how it goes.

This is probably the book I will look forward to the most. Barbara”Batgirl”Gordon is back baby.

Who is the artist going to be on this book?

I”m sure this has been brought up on a board somewhere already by someone much more qualified but what about a relaunched “Gotham City Sirens” book featuring Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, Wendy as Oracle, Stephanie Brown as Spoiler, and Cassandra Cain (with her old costume) as Blackbat. This way we can have Gail Simone writing Babs and (awful shameless plug incoming) some unknown casual blogger (me pls whoever is in charge at DC) write the Sirens book. This way we could see all three Batgirls patrolling together and ending Cassie’s strange exile from the main bat books (aside from cameos) and have the reunion the interwebs many fanfiction writers want in Steph and Cass. Plus we could have a bit of fun and one issue only have all three dressed in Bab’s extra costumes and patrol as Batgirl.

And keep wendy as Oracle (with no Babs there needs some techie awesomeness keeping the bats in the know) this way Bryan Q. Miller’s great Batgirl run isnt completely dumped.

While I completely trust Babs as Batgirl in Gail Simone’s hands, I honestly feel that DC doesn’t really have a clear picture as to what they’re doing here. It just seems like “Flashpoint” came around and they suddenly decided to “launch” their titles all over again.

Everything, including their premier character, Superman, is going to start all over again (with three different versions, it seems). However, Geoff Johns’ baby, Green Lantern, is going to continue and everything is going to count. Batman is supposed to continue as well. If the entire line of characters is supposed to be restarted and younger, how are they going to make this work? Batman and Green Lantern are much older characters? How do you reconcile the parts that the other heroes played in their stories? This is feeling like a total “One More Day” scenario where we’re going to need another event all by itself just to explain everything.

Kal-El wrote:
> I don’t see why Barbara shouldn’t get out of that chair.

because the fact that she still had the strenght to be a hero even after being crippled meant something. it was a very powerful message – especially for people that, in the real world, can’t just grow their limbs back – that elevated the character from being just another bat-vigilante from a real and unique icon.

of course it’s possible to write good stories with barbara gordon as batgirl, and i’m sure gail simone will do it. but will the character have the same powerful meaning she had before? i don’t think so.

besides, isn’t the next dc relaunch also about diversity? what does it mean to have more non-white superheroes if you ‘erase’ your only high profile character on a wheelchair?

Gail will surely write her soooo good since she like Barbara as well! i cant wait for this!

“Isn’t going from being “The Oracle” to being “Batgirl” actually a step down?”

Yes, it is. Doesn’t matter how hard DC’s PR spin and retro-fans pretend otherwise. Bab’s returning to merely being a Bat-satellite ornament is not even a sideways promotion.

“Thing is, most people, you ask them who Barbara Gordon is, they reply “she’s Batgirl” while a very small number reply “She’s Oracle”.”

False analogy based on a false premise from outside media. If you asked ‘most people’, they probably wouldn’t even know Batrgirl’s back story, no matter which incarnation. She’s just not that iconic.

I said, “Most people”. Not “Everybody”.

A more “mature and nuanced” Barbara Gordon … who still calls herself “Batgirl”.
Even Sue Storm-Richards became Invisible Woman eventually.

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