From Batgirl #35 & 36.

With the surprising huge success of Harley Quinn, we've seen some interesting developments as DC & Marvel have been trying to capitalize on the large female readership that book has gotten. What we're seeing in Harley's home office, the Batman line of books, is an approach that you need more than just a female lead, but a different way of writing characters and telling stories with Gotham Academy and the revamp of Batgirl.

In Batgirl's case, the emphasis is on the girl part of Batgirl. She's still brilliant and capable, but now looks and acts her age, rather than the 30-something she's tended to be written as since the reboot. She lives in Burnside, Gotham's version of Brooklyn. She and best friend Dinah, who's older, more mature, and fronts a band while also being a costumed crime fighter (She has an impressive set of pipes), have been on the outs, but still come through for each other. She has an ethnically diverse supporting cast, too.

Some traditional Bat fanboys have griped about the lack of Grim'n'Gritty art and storytelling style, but these are the same guys who were going on about how Joker's Daughter was such a better character than Harley, boldly predicted upon her debut that she'd be a much bigger breakout character than Harley had ever been, and would supplant her when that new series flopped, as it was sure to do. Well, we saw how that worked out. That crowd has been very quiet of late on the subject of comparing Joker's Daughter's marketability to Harley's. Yes, Grimdark fans, there is room for variety in comics, even in the Bat books.

Don't get me wrong. I liked The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. I just don't think every superhero comic book has to be just like them.

One thing I like about the new Batgirl team is how they show Barbara's ability to retain and instantly recall any memory. It's done very visually.

Oh, Babs is hungover from a party, and Dinah is cranky due to everything she owned just getting blown up. She really needs to watch it when she yells at the insurance company...



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ebailey140

March 2015

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