Well, they revealed Batgirl’s identity in the first issue, which is good. And I have to take back my bitching and moaning about the idea of trying to drag it out. Officially, thank you DC for not dragging it out. Unfortunately…
Steph IS Batgirl. Bummer. I was looking forward to a great positive female centered book to read again, but I really have no interest in Stephanie Brown. She’s such a poor man’s Batgirl I can’t really get excited about it. And frankly, for whatever reason, I don’t really like Steph as Spoiler OR Batgirl. I’m just not a fan (maybe it was the fuchsia costume – I mean fuchsia? really?) I was willing to put up with her as Spoiler because well, who the F cares. But as Batgirl? No thanks. I will say that I think DC did deal with Cass’ exit pretty well. She basically said:
I was Batgirl for Bruce, Bruce is gone. Have at it.
Which sounds like Cass – and is maybe what I would do (no, I haven’t fantasized that I’m Batgirl…well, not lately). But because DC has always been so anti-Cass, when Bruce comes back I suspect it won’t be as easy as Cass just taking the mantle back. I also think the little opportunist that Steph is, she’s not going to be willing to give it up. Is there an interesting story there? Perhaps. Knowing DC they’ll make Cass not want it back…which is possible…but still not what I want. I fear change, have I mentioned that?
I also think, and forgive me, because there are definitely holes in my DC Bat-Universe reading over the years, but I really hate it when non-powered, non-trained teenagers dress up like superheroes and fight crime. I know, I know, The Teen Titans are awesome – and they are – but A) most of them have powers and B) they don’t live in Gotham under Batman’s rule.
DC has tried to sometimes deal with the consequences of this non-powered superhero kids running around in tights thing (Jason Todd almost staying dead…Spoiler almost staying dead, etc.) but it really doesn’t work. I mean, I accept the Robin premise because it’s dated back to a time when let’s face it, though wonderful, the stories were a bit more simplistic, and written with exclamation points! at the end! of every! sentence!…so I can forgive Robin in concept…and at least the original Dick Grayson version was already trained as a brilliant athelete and famous acrobat (who also totally had that shit in his genes). Barbara Gordon, though I love her, is a little harder to forgive, but again, these are dated concepts so I have to give them some leeway. So Robin gets a pass in general as a concept and Batgirl #1 (or #2 if you’re counting Betty Kane) I give a pass to as well. But it’s better when I don’t have to hand out passes.
And so this is why Cassandra Cain as Batgirl is so inspired (and to a lesser degree so is Damian as the new Robin) – she is a trained assassin from basically birth (she and Damian also both have it in their genes) – she gives BATMAN a run for his money – and by his own admission – she’s basically a living weapon – so hells yeah throw her in a goddamn costume and let her fight some crime. I can SO get behind that idea. She’s also interesting as all get out. AND not white. Yay!
But Stephanie Brown? Really? Kicked out of the superheroing gig at least twice by Batman? Having no powers and really not being trained well enough? Having borderline questionable decision making and instinctual skills? White, blonde-haired and blue-eyed?* And DESPERATE to be a part of the “popular crowd”?
Eh. I’m just so not into it.
But some people like Stephanie Brown and so some people will be happy and this whole post is basically just the equivalent of me stamping my feet because I’m not getting what I want. And as a fanboy (girl!) through and through, I stand by it.
So I’m not going to pick up the book (as previously mentioned) and I’ll just keep my ear to the ground and if things develop and it looks like Cass is coming back, or something unfortunate happens to Steph and she’s forced to step down, I’ll come a runnin’, until then…see ya.
*I say this as a white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed person myself (yeah, the hair looks dark in the bio photo, but it’s red – not black – and it’s totally fake).