Batgirl #2…blah.

Batgirl 2 cover

Batgirl #2.  Brian Q. Miller.  Comics/Graphic Novels.

So in all honesty I was feeling all “blah” about this before I even picked it up to read. And I previously said I was not going to read anymore once it was revealed that Stephanie Brown was the new Batgirl, but I picked it up anyway, I’m not sure why…half out of being bored…half out of curiosity I guess.

But here’s the problem, even if the issue was brilliant -which it isn’t – the issue itself is not particularly well written, it seems heavy handed, a bit whiny, and just incredibly dull.  This is the story arc for issue number two of a major relaunch?  YAWN.

However, the real problem is, I just don’t like Stephanie Brown.

I find her whiny and annoying, and really really blonde and really really white (which judging by this, DC has got WAY too much of going on right now).  I also find her to be just totally unexceptional, which, when we come to The Bat Family, is something I expect…not only expect…but NEED in order to buy the suspension of disbelief that Bruce would sign off on letting teens and pre-teens suit up and fight crime beside him.  You need to be exceptional in order to do that.  The only thing exceptional about Stephanie to me is her unwillingness to go away, which unfortunately comes off to me as obnoxiousness rather than something endearing.

Also, the fact that Dick and Barbara are allowing this to go on (Barbara may be giving her a hard time, but that’s hardly stopping her) is disrespectful to Bruce.  Bruce didn’t want her in that uniform.  He shut it down.  Have some respect for the man and Shut. It. Down.

Stephanie has no respect for the costume, for the symbol.  Or for those who wore it before her (Cass possibly excepted since they were friends).  Though she desperately wants to be part of the crowd, her wants are selfish and childish.  She gets a high off of fighting crime and she does it almost casually.  She’s not tormented by anything driving her to it, she’s just a really attractive blonde white girl going to college and putting on a costume at night for fun.

There is nothing interesting to me in this.  That was my last issue.

I miss Cass :(


  1. nevermore999’s avatar

    Bruce didn’t shut it down. He let Stephanie back in when she returned.who cares what he thinks anyway? The man was a dick to Cass and Steph and Oh, EVERYONE.

    And Stephanie’s wants aren’t selfish and childish, Cassandra is her best friend, she understands the symbol. She has as much tragedy as ANYone in her background, and she’s also being a hero because she feels it’s the right thing to do and she wants to make up for her mistakes in the only way she can. She said it in this issue.

    And wow. I guess I’m really blonde too. Because I have, uh, blonde hair. You can’t “act” blonde. I’m sorry, but that offends me. It also offends me that DC shoved Cass off to the side, and I do think there are too many blondes at DC and I hope Cass gets her due- but I like Steph too. I respect that you don’t, but I don’t think saying she’s a disgrace to the Bat and is selfish and childish when she clearly DOES have her reasons and IS a character a lot of people like is right. Maybe you just don’t like her.

  2. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    Nevermore999: Well, there are definite gaps in my reading history with Batman (especially since there are so many Bat titles) but I felt (again, from what I read) that Bruce did pretty much shut Steph down as a BAT. Spoiler, well he can disapprove, but it’s not his symbol, so he doesn’t really have power over that. As for Bruce being a dick…I kinda like that he’s a dick. I think it makes/made him a little more believable and real to me. I sometimes dislike how he treats other characters, but I don’t know, I guess to me, he’s freaking Batman, and so he gets a bit of a pass…and usually he comes around.

    As for caring what he thinks…all Bat characters spring from Batman and so I think I will always care what Bruce thinks, dick or not.

    I also (despite the bio image which is of me with dyed hair) am a blonde. Maybe that doesn’t make it more palatable for me to say I’m sick of white blonde girls, but as a white blonde girl I feel like I should stand up and cry out for some freaking diversity at DC…because if even I’M bored with it than maybe others are bored with it too – both those who look like me and are well represented and those that don’t look like me and are really underrepresented.

    I’d also like to be clear that nowhere in my post did I say or even imply that Steph was ACTING blonde. I just said she’s white and blonde and so are all the other young female superheroes and I’m a bit tired of it. I used white and blonde only as physical descriptors, not as behavior stereotyping. Steph being blonde has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t think she’s a great Batgirl, it’s just annoying that she is one in a long line of many when there is so much diversity lacking in their female characters.

    As far as Steph being a disgrace to the Bat and selfish and childish, that’s just my honest opinion – you obviously disagree – fair enough. But your comment “Maybe you just don’t like her” Uh, you think? That’s basically the premise of my post and I say it verbatim early on…”However, the real problem is, I just don’t like Stephanie Brown.”…so it’s fine that we’re going to disagree…but I’m not sure what you’re so riled up about, when I clearly state my bias early on…?

    Maybe just the blonde thing got you pissed? I’m not sure.

  3. nevermore999’s avatar

    I think I was just incoherent in general- sorry, college life makes me zombie like. You did say Steph was acting blonde somewhere in your post…orrrr maybe you didn’t. I’m just hallucinating things at this point. Sorry. I didn’t mean to come across as riled up either, because I wasn’t, so sorry if that irked you.

    Like I said, the lack of diversity annoys me too. I wish Cass could at least CO- star in the book with Steph and the fact my love for Steph is but in conflict with my general hatred of that sort of thing and my love for Cass…it’s not fair for DC to do this to me, really.

  4. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    Nevermore999: No problem. But thank you for the apology. I definitely didn’t say (and definitely didn’t mean to imply) that being a blonde makes anyone anything (although personally since I find myself awesome and brilliant, I kind of lean towards that being what ‘blonde’ makes someone…but I digress).

    I think the biggest sin of all for me with this whole DC Steph/Cass thing, is that I dislike Steph a lot LESS when she’s Spoiler. I even kind of like her as Spoiler (sometimes). I just don’t understand why she has to be Batgirl.

    That’s where DC has screwed me but good…because now, through no fault of her own, I find myself liking Steph LESS, in part because I’m pissed that Cass is getting the shaft – and I know DC says they’re going to deal with the Cass issue, but I honestly don’t believe them – they’ve never dealt fairly with her…why would they start now?

    As for Steph and Cass sharing or co-starring in the book…I don’t think I would/will like that. I wouldn’t mind a Birds of Prey style book in which Batgirl and Spoiler often star together, but I just personally don’t think Steph is remotely on par with Cass and can begin to share that costume/identity. I did like the friendship that was developing between Cass and Steph, if only because it’s so rare to see good female friendships in superhero comics, and hanging out with Cass is also the best way for Steph to get better as a fighter and be more serious about being a real vigilante – which I also appreciate.

    As a true Steph fan, can I ask you a question? Did you really like issue #2? Independent of the whole Cass v Steph v Babs nightmare…because I found it to be really subpar, and I also thought (and this drove some of my dislike of Steph in my original post) that Steph was really disrespectful to Babs.

    Now, Babs was totally being a bitch and wearing her obviously conflicted emotions on her sleeve, but I guess I feel like she’s earned that right…and Steph was just nonplussed about the whole thing. Totally insensitive, and just not respectful. I mean, what about ASKING Babs, if you can please wear her costume…the identity that she created years ago…that she probably never imagined she would see other young women wearing in her stead? That would be the respectful thing to do considering the way the writers presented this scenario…and so I felt like they didn’t have Stephanie ask because that’s how Steph “is” all headstrong and do whatever the hell she wants…but maybe I’ve got the character wrong and so do these guys…? What do you think?

  5. nevermore999’s avatar

    I actually did like it, though it had it’s flaws. Steph and Babs relationship has always been kind of strained, and I do think Steph would see it as: Cass gave her the costume, the mantle has been officially Cass’s since Babs handed it over, so the fact that Cass said yes is good enough. I do think Steph was TRYING to communicate with Babs back in the cave, but understandably, Babs was upset and cut her off.

    I would rather Steph not be Batgirl myself, because I love Cass and I like Steph better as Spoiler…or Robin. However, DC, in their infinite wisdom, has decided Cass isn’t right for the role (mostly because the terrible Beechen pinned mini didn’t sell) and after a Batgirl Corps (Steph and Cass sharing the mantle, plus maybe Charlie) Steph is the best choice. I definitely DID NOT want Babs back in the cowl, which was very close to being DC’s choice, if you check out the DC Nation. That would be getting rid of an amazing disabled character AND making sure Cass was shoved to the side for good- with Steph in the cowl, there’s a chance Cass can return and share the mantle, or maybe even Steph can go gracefully back to being Spoiler. As it is, I can’t help but be fairly content- Cass is safe, Babs is safe, and Steph, after having been screwed over multiple times, is finally getting a shot at being written as something other than the local Batfamily whipping girl.

    And I can’t deny being Batgirl has gotten my girl an action figure and appearances in other titles, something the fangirl in me is super excited about.

    If you’re curious about my thoughts on the quality of the issue, I did a review here you’ll probably violently disagree with:

  6. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    I read your review and while we definitely disagree, it’s not at violent as either of us would think. I think that I dislike the same stuff that you disliked, but I unfortunately also disliked some of the stuff you liked.

    As I said in my post, and as you pointed out. I just don’t like Steph. Something about her rubs me the wrong way, it kind of always has. HOWEVER, I haven’t read all the Steph/Spoiler stuff that is out there. I always picked at it and never committed. What would you recommend I read to get a feel for the REAL Steph. Maybe I’ll give it a try and see if I can turn myself around on her.

    As for Cass coming back as Batgirl and Steph stepping back…don’t you think that would be really insulting to Steph? That just seems really harsh to me – and I’m not even a fan!

    Lastly, the only thing (to me) that’s good about Steph being Batgirl is that Babs isn’t Batgirl. Leave it to a bunch of dudes to even come up with the idea that Babs could go back to being Batgirl. She has so transcended that role. As Oracle she has evolved so beyond that…besides, she hasn’t been a “girl” for a very long time. Oracle 4 Eva. 😉

  7. nevermore999’s avatar

    I don’t think it would be too insulting if handled right. Steph respects Cass, and if she thought Cass was comfortable taking up the role again, and she decided she was more comfortable being Spoiler- I dunno, it could be handled well

    On the other hand, I think maybe Cass could be better off not being Batgirl- she’s been so screwed over by DC in that role and the way the Batfamily treats her- I’d like to see her come into her own.

    Totally with you on the Oracle forever. She’s thirty-ish and a cybergenius- she’s way past being Batgirl.

    As for Steph, well, if you don’t mind reading scans I did a “Super Steph series” thing chronicling her history here. I pretty much fell in love with the character when Jon Lewis wrote her for a while, and then just kind of liked her in general. Anyway, here it is:

    It could be you just don’t click with the character (or that I’m TOTALLY WRONG) so I don’t expect the post series to make you like her or whatever. I also made a Steph wiki which gives a pretty thorough account of her history and various stuff, if you want to take a look:

    And FINALLY, here’s where I reccomend to various good Steph arcs and whatnot:

  8. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    nevermore999: Thanks for the links – I will definitely check them out and see if I can turn myself around and Steph…I’ll report back. :)

  9. variant girl’s avatar

    Batgirl has been a huge pile of steaming dog crap, and I agree I miss Cass.

Comments are now closed.