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So if you’ve ever read my blog you might know that my favorite female DC character is Barbara Gordon, particularly in her role as Oracle.
Oh, well at least there is Li’l Gotham.
I have quite a collection of convention sketches and commissions of the character from some great artists - Adam Hughes, Phil Noto, Cliff Chiang, Cully Hamner, Cameron Stewart, Marcos To and many more. I would not part with one of them.
But there was one artist on my list of must haves that I just didn’t know if I would ever get a piece from - Brian Stelfreeze. Stelfreeze was the artist on the very first standalone Oracle story. You can read a post on that story from writer Scott Peterson here but here’s some of it that is pertinent to my story.
Brian Stelfreeze. Oh MAN. He’d been one of my favorite artists since the very first time I saw his work. His draftsmanship, second to absolutely none in the industry—the guy could simply flat out draw like nobody’s business. But his design sense, his angular style which somehow had such fluidity to it, his flawless storytelling, so exciting yet so clear. Yeah. I could live with him watching my back.
So you imagine what I was like when I learned that Stelfreeze was coming to Boston Comic Con.
Actually those of you who follow me on Twitter know what my reaction was. I began trying to figure out to line up a commission. I talked to folks who already got one. I found out his Facebook page and messaged him. But the day of the con I had nothing.
So I decided I would just go to his table and wait for him to show up and beg him to do it for me. And I did. And I waited. Luckily the folks sharing the same area were incredibly nice even offering to text me when he showed up so I could walk around the con. Later I found Brian and I told him what I wanted (and indeed begged). He was incredibly gracious and he said he would be happy to do it. Of course, he had other things to do so it took awhile but it was worth it. Brian was just wonderful through the process, I spoke to him a few time to check in and then ran into him before breakfast on Sunday where we spoke about glasses (and no that didn’t have anything to do with Oracle). I had an appointment mid-Sunday afternoon I had to run to so I watched him finish up the piece and it was like watching a master craftsman in action as he put on the final touches.
And here it is.
Here he is working on it:
So once again thank you to Brian and his crew for putting up with me and thank you for making me very happy.
There’s a new creative team on the Batman Beyond book, Kyle Higgins and Thony Silas take over from Adam Beechen. But more importantly there is a Batgirl being introduced into the book. And the team for that and this picture make me very optimistic.
According to IGN Scott Peterson will be writing the arc introducing what looks to be a woman of color as Batgirl. For those of you who know your Bat writer history, Scott Peterson helped create the last women of color to become Batgirl, Cassandra Cain. You can read a post he wrote about creating that Batgirl here.
The character will debut in July and, as can be seen from the image above, by artist Annie Wu who will be collaborating with Peterson, will be involved with Commisioner Barbara Gordon.
Glad to see that finally there will be another Batgirl who is not a red head in the animated world. The team of Peterson and Wu makes me very excited for this arc.
And if that wasn’t enough to get me excited, James Tucker who is taking over the DCAU from Bruce Timm gave an interview where he discussed integrating other characters in to the DCAU.
“I can’t go into specifics, he says, “but I have a feeling when we announce our next slate of movies, people are going to be very excited because we will be using Batman, Superman and Justice League as a gateway to exposing other characters.”
Our challenge,” he continues, “is that people want us to do these other characters, but if they don’t sell that threatens the whole line. So the way to do it is to be smart. If we know we’re going to use Superman, Batman and the Justice League, how do we use them as gateways to these other characters? If Batman, Superman and Justice League bring in the average person who’s not a comic book fan, once you have them you insert a Huntress or a secondary character like Oracle as a means of introducing them to more of the world.
Anyone who mentions Oracle connected with DC or WB gets a big thumbs up from me.
I put up a post making the case for Lois and Clark Kent/Superman to earn your vote for Favorite DC Couple. I didn’t get any submissions for Babs and Dick but you can read this one from two years ago which is very good.
And here’s some vintage Valentines of them.
It’s down to just two couples! Lots of you had questions about what made a couple canon or non-canon in the tournament and I’ve answered them a few times but what better time to clarify than the finals? The rule was if a couple appeared in both the DCAU and DCU their status in the DCU took precedence. Hope that helps!
Anyway on to the two finalist couples where the subtext and text are barely distinguishable.
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy
Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Oracle and Dinah Lance/Black Canary
Voting is open until 8:30 EST. One vote per person, please.
To get to today, these two couples had over come 22 over couples in matches that were decided in some cases by just a few percentage points.
Voting is open until 8:30 PM EST. One vote per person please!
Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Joanne Lane!
Dick Grayson/Robin, Nightwing and Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Oracle!
Renee Montoya and Helena Bertinelli won yesterday’s match. That leaves just four couples in the semi-finals and today they will battle to decide who goes to Thursday’s final.
And here are the two matches:
Ted Kord/Blue Beetle and Michael Carter/Booster Gold
and Match 2
Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance
Renee Montoya/The Question and Helena Bertinelli/Huntress
Voting is open until 8:30 PM EST.
One vote per person please.
The winner of yesterday’s matches were Batman and Catwoman and Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. They join Friday’s winners Lois Lane and Superman and Kate Kane and Renee Montoya.
Twenty-four couples came into the contest but only two couples will go to Thursday’s final. You will decide who they will be.
Kate Kane/Batwoman and Renee Montoya/The Question
and Match 2
Bruce Wayne/Batman and Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Barbara Gordon/Batgirl;Oracle and Dick Grayson/Robin;Nighwing
One vote per person. The polls will close at 8:30 PM EST.
The winners of Friday’s matches were Lois Lane and Superman and Kate Kane and Renee Montoya.
Here are today’s matches. The semifinal, consisting of today’s and Friday’s winners, is tomorro. The final is on, what else, Valentine’s Day. As in past years I’m going to look for a guest post on why each of the finalists should win. The post will have to be turned around fairly quickly so if you think you would be interested drop me a note on what couple and a link to something else you’ve written at dcwomenkickingass at the yahoo address. Here are today’s matches:
Bruce Wayne/Batman and Selina Kyle/Catwoman!
Tim Drake/Robin, Red Robin and Stephanie Brown/Spoiler, Robin, Batgirl!
Dick Grayson/Robin, Nightwing and Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Oracle
Wally West/Flash and Linda Park-West
There is also a non-canon match today so look for that too. Polling closes at 8:30 PM EST.
One vote per person, please.
The winner of the previous non-canon tournament was Blue Beetle and Booster Gold.
Today’s match is:
Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance!
Huntress and Power Girl!
Voting closes at 8:30 PM EST
The Source has been showing panels from the new 52 “name that quote” promotion they have going on and this one showed up today:
Dinah is saying, “Good to see you, Barbara.”
You know I’d just about forgive the entire reboot if she threw Babs down on that bed and they went canon with that all the subtext from the previous iteration of the series.
But they won’t.
A few thoughts anyway. One, did Barbara get collagen shots on her lips? Two, Canary always called her Babs, that seems off. But then I stongly suspect their relationship is quite different here as we have this from the series’ editor:
Black Canary is, for the most part, the same incredible character she’s always been.
But a surer sign is this about Canary’s best friend:
Her good friend Starling has been by her side since college and they make a fun duo. For anyone who’s ever had that awesome BFF that’s nothing like you but seems to understand you anyway – you’ll immediately recognize and love the dynamic between Black Canary and Starling.
I do recognize that! It was what Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance had for 120+ issues of the original Birds of Prey!
You know since it appears that Barbara is in this issue (unless this another redhead named Barbara who Black Canary knows) and she’s in issue #4, why did they reboot Birds of Prey? Wouldn’t have it been easier to just put Babs in the tights in Batgirl and let her be Oracle in BoP?
Oh, well. That ship has sailed …
According to the series editor, Katana joins the Birds “thanks to a nudge from another of Black Canary’s old friends” so I would assume that’s what Babs is doing here.
I’m torn on this book. I actually think Starling looks like a cool character. I’ll see how I feel next week.
Barbara Randall Kesel is one of the key writers in building the history and character of Barbara Gordon at DC Comics. While Kesel didn’t write many stories that included Barbara, the ones she did write are seminal. Among among them the post-Crisis origin story “Flawed Gems” which was named one of the most memorable moments for DC women earlier this year and the “Last Batgirl story” the only standalone Batgirl comic published prior to The Killing Joke. Kesel also wrote the Elseworlds: Batgirl/Supergirl special and she has the rare distinction of writing Barbara Gordon as both Batgirl and Oracle.
Earlier this week I interviewed Barbara about her work on how she got started writing at DC, her work on Barbara Gordon both pre and post The Killing Joke (including her follow-up pitch for Barbara Gordon that was passed over to have her become Oracle) and what it was like being a female creator during the 80s at DC and how things have changed since then.
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