Posts Tagged ‘Stephanie Brown’
Ever since World’s Finest debuted in 1941, DC Comics has had a comic chubby for Superman/Batman team-ups. I mean, granted, they go well together what with all the differences between Bruce and Clark. But when I heard DC’s plan to bring back a World’s Finest limited series I was confused. I mean, Bruce is dead (sort of) and Clark is busy soldiering on New Krypton. So, how the hell do you showcase the world’s finest team-up when the world’s finest are kind of, well, anything but?
Apparently, Sterling Gates figured it how to pull this one off. Just because the main heroes are a tad predisposed, it doesn’t mean the other characters from their respective corners of the DCU can’t mingle a bit. Even better, Gates manages to pull out some of the lesser used heroes; case in point, issue one teams up Red Robin and Nightwing (the Kryptonian son of Zod, not Dick Grayson). World’s Finest #1 is all about the duo trying to rescue a kidnapped Flamebird (Nightwing’s partner/girlfriend) from the combined clutches of the Penguin and the Kryptonite Man, who are looking to sell her to the highest bidder (yeah, that’s pretty fucking creepy).
There’s more talk than action throughout most of the book, with a lot of chatter between either Red Robin and Nightwing or the Penguin and his cohorts. I’m usually bored to tears by an overly chatty book, but Gates manages to keep this book moving, even with a lot of dialogue. Actually, my only complaint was with Julian Lopez’s art, which occasionally felt a bit goofy. There’s one panel in particular of Red Robin with this giant grin lifted from a Golden Age comic. Yes, I understand he thought Nightwing was Conner and he was psyched for a team-up but, man, the guy is trying to solve his adoptive dad’s murder. Considering how pissed off Tim seems directly before and after this panel, the grin seems almost inappropriate. But that’s just me.
What the hell though, I’m going to go ahead and recommend this book. I’m excited for the other three upcoming team-ups (Damien Wayne and the Guardian, Stephanie Brown and Supergirl, and the first ever Dick Grayson Batman / Superman pairing) and issue one did have an interesting cliffhanger at the end. Slow starts be damned, I have a feeling that this book is seriously going to pay off in the end.
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.
This is a recap post. As such, it is SPOILERRIFIC. We clear? Okay. Batgirl #1 starts with a bunch of dumb boys racing to see who can stop just short of a wall while some gangleader takes bets on who’ll die, because criminals in Gotham are always psychotic or stupid. A bat-with-boobs swoops in, stopping both cars – but she’s sloppy and causes a lot of property damage and broken bones in the process. That alone should have told you who’s under that cowl.
Dick-Batman and Damien-Robin are skulking somewhere high above the action, just WATCHING, like dicks. They call her sloppy (she is), and Dick says she’s not as good as the OTHER Batgirl, kicking off the spotlight on the romantic tension between Dick and Babs that DC has promised to carry on throughout the year, DAMMIT. Just do it already.
Next page? SPLASH SPOILER ALERT it’s STEPHANIE BROWN, the Bat-family’s bitch. Batman & Robin (whoever they might be at any given moment) couldn’t give less of a shit about her most of the time, unless she’s literally DYING. Her relationship with Tim was full of dramz and afterschool specials that would never get a comics code stamp. A few Red Robin‘s ago she promised to stop patrolling in the Spoiler persona. Yet here she is, inexplicably wearing Cass Cain’s Batgirl costume, which I guess is her way of getting around that whole PROMISE she made to Tim Drake. I mean Wayne. Whatever.
Next, Stephanie’s mom brings her WAFFLES in BED. Best mom ever. But this was SPOILED at SDCC this year. I had prior knowledge of these waffles, dammit! Mom is proud of Steph for going to college and being normal, no more of that vigilante stuff. She steps towards Steph’s closet asking “What are you going to wear?” The Batgirl costume is hanging up in there, so Steph freaks out and gets between her mom and the closet door. I don’t know about you, but to my mom, that would have been a sign to open the closet door and figure out what the fuck I was hiding in there. But no. Mom leaves. Sigh of relief.
Next, Barbara is watching a ladies wheelchair basketball game, coached by Bruce’s friend Dr. Leslie Thompson. Leslie wants Barbara to play basketball with them. Barbara is FML Alan Moore made me so psychotically angry can’t deal. She takes the subway home, and some muggers go for the chick in the wheelchair. Babs gives them what-for, and enjoys the hell out of it and Barbara Gordon is so fucking awesome I can’t deal.
Stephanie in Philosophy 480 at Gotham U. She’s being flakey and not paying attention, drawing Bat symbols all over her notes. Spacing out, she flashes us back to…
Three weeks ago: Steph as Spoiler and Cass as Batgirl are fighting some thugs. There’s a cute little team up jinx moment here that is actually adorable, but when the fight is over Cass is all fuck this shit Bruce is dead and I don’t WANNA. So she gives her Batgirl costume to Steph and disappears.
Next up, Babs has dinner with Commissioner Dad. All the cops still love Barbara cos she was their “little red-headed mascot.” Babs is touched, maybe, but also non-plussed I think. Commissioner Dad wants to hook her up with the hot new detective at GCPD. Babs is annoyed. Dick Grayson calls, and she’s MORE annoyed, cos omg DO IT ALREADY.
Steph is at home, NOT doing her homework. She’s trying to find a way to rationalize breaking promises to at least three different people and going out on patrol anyway. She’s got a police scanner. Homework or vigilante-ism? Guess which one Steph picks?
There’s a riot in Gotham. Commissioner Gordon is there, his guys are getting killed left and right. Nick (who I think might be Hot! Detective) is with the bad guys. They’re roughing each other up until a little bat punches through the window. She does a pretty ok job of beating up the bad guys, but as usual, she kind of fucks it up, almost getting Hot! Detective Nick killed in the process. Nick radios back to Gordon; “I met my first Bat-person! …Wait? Which Bat are you again?” Stephanie skulks off, annoyed.
Next morning, the gratuitous shower scene. I guess she’s college age now so this isn’t THAT icky. Steph is tired, and thinks maybe she should have just done her homework instead of going out and beating up bad guys willy-nilly. She walks downstairs to see…
A VERY annoyed Barbara at her kitchen table. Steph’s mom is held up at work. Babs is annoyed as fuck. Babs tells Steph to have some waffles. This should be a fun talk…except, END of issue.
Yeah, I’m going to keep reading this as long as it’s Barbara-heavy. Honestly, Steph just needs Barbara in her ear at ALL moments of her life, in costume or not. I feel bad for Stephanie. Everyone loves Barbara, but Steph’s been consistently pulled into the Bat-family only to be unceremoniously dumped out of it how many times now? Maybe wearing the Bat-symbol for real will force her to grow up and be a little less nuts and a little more bad ass? Probably not, but getting this much Barbara in a book is good.
I’ll go ahead and a give it a 3.5 out of 5. It was kind of cheesy, but this is meant to be a lighter title, and I LOVE the Gordons so it gets a big boost for that alone. The second they stop showing up though…well, let’s just say I’m less likely to fork my money over for a Batgirl book without at least a Barbara cameo. Just sayin’.