DC's big Convergence event seems set to bring back a lot of familiar faces, with solicitations teasing new stories featuring characters ranging from Ryan Choi through to the married Clark Kent and Lois Lane. But more than anyone else, it's the return of a certain blonde Batgirl that really got people talking.
After recently showing up in Batman: Eternal under her guise as Spoiler, this April sees the return of Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, for a two-part story from the creative team of Alisa Kwitney, Rick Leonardi, and Mark Pennington. Trapped under one of Brainiac's domes as part of Convergence, the two-parter sees Stephanie, Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake join forces to protect Gotham from -- what else? -- a giant rampaging gorilla. Gorilla Grodd, no less. And Catman's there too! With so much going on in just two issues, we spoke to Kwitney about what we can expect from Stephanie Brown's return this April.
It’s been some time since we’ve heard anything on the development of TNT’s proposed Titans series, based on the DC Comics Teen Titans, but at last pilot casting may have begun. That said, the leaked lineup for the pilot script may tease some major changes to the comic team, as well as some surprising Batman inclusions.
Take this with a grain of salt for the moment, as pilots are often subject to change, but Nerdist claims to have gotten an early look at the Titans pilot script, which in addition to the expected inclusions of Dick Grayson, Raven and Starfire (the latter two are teased at the very end), also features several notable new members. For one. a wheelchair-using Barbara Gordon will act as support for the team (not yet calling herself Oracle), while other members include DC heroes Hawk and Dove, in this continuity a male-female pairing, and lovers at that.
Batman's 75th anniversary came during an incredibly eventful year for the Caped Crusader, and not just in terms of celebratory publications and commemorative events.
After former Vertigo editor Mark Doyle took over as Batman group editor in February, things changed, and not just for Batman himself. Supporting characters such as Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon shifted into new roles. The world of Gotham expanded with books that focused on unexplored corners, like the GCPD's supernatural unit, or the city's mysterious prep school. Even the mainline Batman titles, Batman and Detective Comics, told bold stories that weren't typical Batman fare. Creators pushed into new territory and took chances with their books, and as a result the Batman line looks much different than it did at the beginning of 2014.
Mark Doyle deserves the credit for steering the line and bringing in the creators who made these changes. Comics Alliance sat down with Doyle and DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras to look back on Doyle's first year as Batman group editor, and to look ahead to 2015, as DC relocates to new offices in Burbank, California.
As you might expect, there is nothing that upsets CA's resident Batmanologist more than someone being wrong about Batman on the Internet -- truly the greatest of sins -- so this week, we're tackling a handful of misconceptions about the Dark Knight! Does Batman really only use his money to beat up crooks without addressing the root causes of crime? Watch and find out!
I'm going to go out on a festively decorated limb here and guess that you are, of course, already familiar with Mike Maihack's fantastic and adorable Batgirl/Supergirl strips. He's been doing them for a few years now, chronicling the perky, cheerful Kryptonian heroine, the slightly grumpier Gotham City vigilante, and their continuing adventures as best friends.
They're all pretty great, but my favorites by far are the annual Christmas specials. This year, though, they're even more special than usual, as Batgirl and Supergirl are joined by a special guest star for an evening of caroling in exchange for candy. It's a Christmas Miracle!
This week, we're turning our attention to the only incarnation of the Teen Titans that matters: Teen Titans Go, which has shown us an ideal version of the DC Universe where the heroes are mostly preoccupied with burritos and where Batman bros down with Commissioner Gordon instead of fighting any actual crime. But who are the best guest stars? Watch and see!
On Monday I reported on the controversy surrounding the most recent issue of Batgirl, issue #37, and the hurt it caused readers with the presentation of a character who played into transphobic tropes. On Tuesday we ran a piece by activist J. Skyler that further placed the story in the broader cultural context of transphobic media. In both cases, our hope was to showcase and respect the opinions of the critics and put their voices ahead of those of the authors or any defensive fans. These are critics who are often marginalized and shouted down; what they had to say about this controversy is important and must be recognized and listened to.
As I also mentioned on Monday, Batgirl is a book at the vanguard of a movement towards genre stories for young, progressive, predominantly female readers -- a more modern and diverse readership than the one traditionally associated with the superhero genre. Because of this, and because the creators apologized for their mistakes, I think Batgirl still deserves support. Issue #37 damaged the book's image and reputation, but it remains one of the best and most important superhero books being published today.
In my online discussions of transgender representation in media, I’ve mentioned that I expect a degree of transphobia is every medium I read, watch or listen to. That’s simply how pervasive the problem is -- and it may take the form of a joke, an off-the-cuff remark, or a non-essential character created intentionally or unintentionally to perpetuate stereotypes about gender variance or utilizing gender variance to underline said character’s psychosis.
It’s with a heavy heart I’m forced to discuss this long-standing media trope within the context of Batgirl, the one area of geek life I considered to be a safe-zone. Within the pages of Batgirl #37 we come across an impostor posing as Batgirl who ultimately plans to kill her in order to assume her identity. As you might imagine, my eyes nearly rolled into the back of my head, accompanied by an aggravated sigh, when the would-be murderer was revealed to be an individual assigned male at birth.
DC's new take on Batgirl has been one of the pioneers of a new movement towards mainstream comics for a progressive young female audience -- a movement whose other flagbearers have become a mantra of sorts in 2014; Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel, Gotham Academy, etc. In the hands of creators Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr, Batgirl offered a satisfyingly contemporary and feminist take on Gotham superheroics.
So it came as a particular disappointment when last week's Batgirl #37 contained themes and imagery that were transphobic and transmisogynistic, leading several critics to call out the creative team for their insensitivity. This weekend the creators offered a statement of apology, saying, "we want to acknowledge the hurt and offense we've caused."
We've been pretty stoked about the cover to Batgirl #37 ever since we saw it way back in September, but here's something that might surprise you about the glittering, rhinestone-studded costume for our favorite Gotham City heroine: It's not just for the cover. It actually appears in this week's issue, as Batgirl takes a break from crimefighting and decides to try her hand at the other side of the fence, starting with a daring diamond heist with a quartet of thrill-happy crooks.
If that doesn't sound like Barbara Gordon to you, well, there's a reason for that. It seems Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr have decided that Barbara's life just isn't complicated enough right now, and are giving her a criminal-minded impostor Batgirl to deal with on top of everything else! Check out preview pages below!
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