Courtesy of @lo_third
Correct @millernumber1! The one is Stephanie’s Batgirl logo.
Yep, I know- but I Steph as well.
I just saw Barbara Gordon everywhere & the 2 logos. (That and the Clayface thing w/ EBK). I have no excuse other than It’s been a long week already.
Anyway the important thing to know today is: this is not Clayface, —Factual fact.
And I <3 you too
DEF not Clayface.
But does she tell you to shoot her because she’ll bleed, proving she’s not Clayface?
Darn good detective work there @millernumber1.
One of the many reasons why I love this cover here:
Good stuff Natali S. #DC359
@millernumber1 You should tell that to the person who insists she’s Clayface. Sounds like it’s their head cannon for now so I can’t seem to persuade otherwise. Hi btw!
That whole series of covers are excellent! Great choice—and congratulations on you new roommate!
Who has been insisting that Steph is Clayface, though? This sounds quite a serious delusion!
@millernumber1 It was someone in a HQ club discussion—had a whole theory that I couldn’t chip away at. It was an interesting take atleast!
Here’s this, btw, everyone
I have read all of the Batgirl comics on DCUI, including Batgirl and the Birds of Prey! I will apologize in advance as this is a bit long but I figured this was the perfect place to state my thoughts.
My quick thoughts on all of the Batgirl books:
Batgirl vol 1 and 2 - Cassie Cain
These were a pleasure to read. There was a solid story and evolution of Cassie. I liked the fact that she was always an outsider, even when she was included, and even more enjoyed the conversations between Babs and Bruce about Cassie’s well-being. She is a great and fleshed-out character.
Batgirl vol 3 - Stephanie Brown
Poor, poor Stephanie. The beginning of her series was uneven and by the time she was beginning to gain traction as Batgirl and as a character in general, the book was canceled. I think this series will always be my “What if it wasn’t canceled?” series. There was so much room to grow and evolve and it was never given a fair shake. I did enjoy what we have but I wanted more, so much more. I might as well include the Convergence Batgirl books here. Those weren’t so good. It picked up on storylines from vol 3 but it was too little and too late. I will say it was nice to what Stephanie was up to, in the timeline before New 52 but it was a throwaway story that could later be pointed to when fans wanted more Stephanie Brown as Batgirl.
Vol. 4 - Barbara Gordon
Babs is Batgirl and the lead character as Batgirl in her own series for the first time. As much as New 52 hurt Stephanie Brown as Batgirl it reintroduced Babs as Batgirl. Gail Simone’s run is AMAZING. I love how Gail Simone has connected herself to Barbara Gordon through the years and she was the perfect person to make her walk again. Nothing was taken for granted and the stories were great. Then she left and we saw a new team of writers and artists. On top of that, Babs moved to Burnside and there was a new cast of characters. I like this era but it didn’t flow too great coming out of Gail Simone’s Batgirl. The tone of the book changed drastically and often felt like an Archie book with superhero stuff happening. Burnside is definitely a lot of fun, even if it is different. I will say it took a moment for it to grow on me.
Vol 5 - Barbara Gordon
This picked up where Batgirl of Burnside left off. More Archie-like moments but it was often fun, like the ending of vol 4. Then in the middle of the series, there was a writer change and I enjoyed this almost as much as I did Gail Simone era Batgirl. The story was more concerned with crime and being a detective. Barbara’s personal life was still a major theme but the crime took center stage.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey
I thought this was the true successor of Batgirl of Burnside from vol 4. Black Canary and Batgirl were picking up where we last saw them in vol 4 and then the addition of Huntress was just a nice touch. Honestly, I think this was one of my favorite Huntress story arcs that I have read and I have read almost all of Helena B’s adventures.
Fascinating thoughts! Was this a first time read for you on all of them, and did you read them all relatively recently? I’m always really curious how new readers come to the series!
Interesting that you read Cass as an outsider - I’ve always seen her as really close to the heart of the group, since Batman understands her intuitively, respects her as an equal or superior in combat, and gives her a Batcave of her own. She definitely doesn’t fit into “normal” society, but as a reader, I feel we always feel that the Batfamily, rather than “normal” society, is more interesting and desirable.
Steph’s Batgirl run is one of my favorites of all time - I guess I can kind of see some uneven parts of her first year, but it feels so carefully considered and crafted that it all fits together for me. I do think that it could have become better and better if it had gotten another year, but for me, it’s close to perfect - the series that made me a Stephanie Brown is my favorite character fan for life.
Convergence: Batgirl is…yeah. I have fond feelings about it because I spent an hour talking to Alisa Kwitney about it at my first con, and she was very nice and clearly really liked the book, but it definitely isn’t something that really enhances too much about the original run. Other than having Cass and Tim being more central to the plot.
I have to admit, Simone’s Barbara Gordon really feels reactive and passive, having things happen to her rather than initiating like she did when she was Oracle in the Birds of Prey run that Simone did in the early 2000s. To me, it felt very much like Simone caught the villain writing bug from writing Secret Six for so long, and her villains feel like they have plans and motives and agency, while Babs just…has things happen to her and around her. (Plus the final issue feels too much like it steals from the mid-run finale of Red Robin by Chris Yost.) Burnside wasn’t really my speed, but I did start to enjoy it more when Babs started mentoring Steph and Harper!
With the Rebirth volume, I’m interested that you felt the crime plots were more important than the personal plots - it felt the reverse to me, since it felt like Babs had three bad boyfriends in less than two years. I liked the original arc, where she goes to Asia to find new skills and adventures, but when she came back to Gotham, she seemed to regress a bit in those skills and the threats she faced.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey is a fun little series, though I do feel that the conflicts tended to be resolved a bit too easily for me to really attach to the struggles. It had a lot of fun art, though!
Ah, my long storied history with Babs. Somehow I found Birds of Prey back in the early to mid-2000s and I have that book to blame for my comic book hobby to this day. Granted, Superman might have had something to do with it as well. Anywho, whenever I fall out of comics I get that itch and read a Birds of Prey comic or few and I am brought back into the fold pretty fast. The second to last time this happened, Birds of Prey was ending and I picked up all the books from that series before New 52 began. It was only natural to read the Batgirl book that was coming out. This might also be why I gravitate to that initial Simone run.
Last year I read the entirety of Gail Simone’s Batgirl when the omnibus came out, even though I had access to it on DCU/DCUI. I picked up the Batgirl of Burnside omnibus in late January and decided to sit down and read it early this month. This led to a binge of every Batgirl volume that I haven’t read. I should also mention that I have been reading Batgirl books off and on via DCU/DCUI such as Year One, Batgirl Special, DC 1st Batgirl/Joker, and so on. I still have to read my copy of DC Showcase Presents Batgirl and plan on getting the 2 volumes of Batgirl Bronze Age Omnibus. Those will have to wait as I have the Batwoman omnibus on a shelf and I found myself reading Catwoman books.
I also agree with your takes on the series for the most part. You hit the nail on the head with Batgirl being reactive in Simone’s run but it sort of made sense to her character at that time. Considering she just started to walk again, it felt natural for her to be in that position. Then again, you might be onto something about the villains.
I read a few key comics like Tec 767 in high school, but in college I really started falling in love with longer runs, and Simone’s Birds of Prey is the first run I truly loved, and still love today. It’s such a masterpiece of character exploration and relationship development.
I will always admit that anything from the Bat-office those first few years after the n52 started will be tinged with a huge amount of bitterness on my part. I had just falling deeply in love with Steph as a character, and DC not only cancelled her series, but they erased her from existence. And then they erased Helena Bertinelli from existence, too, so I just stopped reading all DC Comics in 2012, and didn’t come back until 2014, when James Tynion and Scott Snyder brought back Steph in Batman Eternal. I’ve read a lot of the stuff I missed since then, and really enjoyed some of it (particularly Jeff Parker’s Aquaman), but there’s still a dark pall over so much of those first three years of DC for me.