Stop Crying Over Cass, Batgirl is a Barbara Gordon Book in Disguise
Posted September 22, 2009on:
Bring it on Stephanie haters, I’m loving the new Batgirl book. The move from the dark & twisty, accepted by the Bat-family Cass Cain to perennial screw-up and Bat-family black sheep Stephanie Brown has upset a lot of fans, but putting Steph under the mantle of the Dark Knight Damsel has opened up a great opportunity to showcase Barbara Gordon.
Look, Babs approved wholeheartedly when Cassandra assumed her old masked identity. The boy Bats all loved her too. Cass loved Bruce. Bruce died (sort of). Cass is just NOT into it anymore, and I don’t blame her. Steph is a ditz. She’s sloppy. She screws up, ALL THE TIME. Babs does not approve. Babs wants Steph to go the hell home.
But Babs is Babs, and she knows Steph isn’t going to just go home, so by issue #2, everytime Steph gets in a tight spot, the Oracle is there in her ear. Cass could always manage well enough on her own, she didn’t need Barbara half as much as Steph will. The new Batgirl run seems to be setting up Steph as the brawn and Barbara as the brains, and with Birds of Prey cancelled, I’m all for it.
For years, we’ve all watched Barbara deal with what the Joker did to her. Part of me hates that in a world where dead heroes come back to life weekly, Barbara Gordon still can’t walk. But, in a very bizarre way, getting stuck in that chair forced Barbara to become so much more than a hot vigilante babe. And it’s not because of some lame “overcoming adversity” bullshit. She’s not the magical handicapped girl – no, not EVEN.
With Batman dead (sort of), Barbara is, in many ways, the ringleader of Gotham’s caped vigilantes right now. Dick might be wearing the mantle, but it’s Barbara that’s keeping everyone together. Not only that, but with Martian Manhunter dead too, Barbara’s even keeping the wider caped community in contact.
Stephanie Brown is a screw up, but dammit – she tries. I can forgive her for not being Cass. Barbara Gordon is a badass, and even if her legs started working tomorrow, she’d still be so much more as Oracle than she would be in any kind of spandex.
Babs is just as front and center as Steph in the new Batgirl book. And it’s awesome. Even if you HATEHATEHATE Stephanie Brown, you should pick up the new Batgirl. I’m reading it with vodka and whatever juice I happen to have in the house. You should just read it, period.