Later this week, the four semi-finalist in the 2012 Kick Ass DC Woman tournament will fight for a place in the finals. I’ve asked some readers to write essays on why each entrant - Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, Dinah Lance and Wonder Woman should have your vote. Yesterday I ran essays on Stephanie Brown and Wonder Woman. Today we’ve had Dinah Lance and now Barbara Gordon. The writer of this essay Day Al-Mohamed hasn’t written for the blog before but I think after you read this essay you’ll see she’s a terrific writer. Her thoughts follow.
Barbara Gordon became the “new” (and arguably most iconic) Batgirl in 1967 in “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl.” Although preceded in the 1950s by Betty Kane as Batgirl, who some viewed as little more than window dressing for the “boys,” Barbara was an independent woman with an astute mind, a Ph.D., and a crimefighting skills that didn’t require she be regularly rescued. Although before my time, if you ever talk to any woman who watched Yvonne Craig as Barbara, they’ll tell you how the character was a symbol of women’s empowerment.
Actually, in the 1970s, the Department of Labor had an Equal Pay Public Service Announcement starring Batgirl. It is ironic that it was only this last year that the Lily Ledbetter Act was signed in to law the same year we saw the return of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. How many comic book/television characters are kickass enough to actually help DRIVE positive outcomes and change the law?!
Back in 1973 DC decided that being a librarian and a crime fight wasn’t enough for Barbara Gordon. So they decided to have her run for the United States Congress. Why? It seems mostly to get replace her back-up stories in Detective. But in story it is because she is frustrated by criminals getting a revolving door in the current penal system, Babs makes two important decisions. First to tell her father that she is Batgirl and two that she wants to run for the seat in Congress he’d been tapped for:
Jim, the best dad ever, of course supports her and her plan to “boot” the rascals, the current administration out.
Note: this includes Spoilers for Batman #4 and #5
Given the cover solicited for Batman, Inc. #5 it shouldn’t be a surprise that it will visit the future world created by Morrison in Batman #666.
Here’s Burnham’s alternative cover.
Another clue is on the final page and panel of issue #4
This is a reference to the future Bat-Universe that Grant Morrison laid out in Batman #666. That issue offered up a future dystopian version of Gotham with the Batman now an alienated violent Damian Wayne who, it is implied, has sold his soul to the devil.
Now there had been some question if the issue would still focus on the future world of #666 given that DC changed the solicit issue from when it first appeared in July
BATMAN, INCORPORATED #5
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art and cover by CHRIS BURNHAM
Variant cover by FRAZER IRVING
1:00 B&W Variant cover by CHRIS BURNHAM
On sale OCTOBER 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $3.99 US
• Return to the future world seen in BATMAN #666, where Damian has taken over the mantle of the Bat!
• The whole world has gone mad. The only sane people left are in Arkham Asylum - where Batman is the warden.
BATMAN, INCORPORATED #5
• War in the skies of Gotham City!
• Bat-robots versus Talia’s Man-Bat armies!
• Leviathan and The Heretic increase the hostilities to a whole new level!
But not only will Batman, Inc. #5 definitely look at the world of Batman #666 and we now know what role Barbara Gordon will play.
I finally got to meet Marcus To at New York Comic Con; what a nice guy. And I just had to pick up this lovely commission.
Marcus drew one of my favorite Oracle panels in Red Robin #12. Actually one of my favorite pages ever.
Artists’ Alley is set away from the crowded show floor and while it is a bit more of a walk, I think the space is worth it. For one thing there is natural light which after spending tim in the cinder block world of the basement of the Javits where natural light, personal space, short lines for the bathrooms and any AT&T 3G are absent, is a nice change.
As I walked in the first thing I saw was George Perez sketching away. Perez has an a great system; you take a number and then you can show up through out the day and if you are the next lowest number in line, you are at his table getting a sketch. I took a number and decided to return later in the day. And when I did, and got this very nice sketch of Batgirl.
I then stopped by to see Dustin Nguyen. Dustin showed me some of the artwork for an upcoming digital comic for Halloween starring Batman and Damian. I can tell you from the two pages I saw you have to pick this one up if only for Damian’s poutiness about not getting a piece of candy. Nguyen said he’s going to be doing a set of stories around holidays and they’ll be collected into a hard copy before. He’s very excited about it. He’s also excited about his upcoming Batman project for DC in 2013. He woudn’t tell me exactly what the book will be about other than it will feature Catwoman. He freely admits to loving Bat/Cat. And anyone who has seen some of his Bat/Cat artwork or read Heart of Hush knows that project is going to look great.
He was nice enough to do a quick sketch of Oracle for me.
With a sketch of Batgirl by Perez and a sketch of Oracle by Nguyen, what else could I possibly do to nerd out about Barbara Gordon? Easy, I trotted over in my Batgirl sneakers to meet the legendary Carmine Infantino and have him sign my Detective Comics #359 and thank him for creating her. And for creating Black Canary. I’m so happy I got that opportunity.
While in Artist’s Alley I also chatted with Aaron Lopresti about Sword of Sorcery aka Amethyst. He’s working hard on the book as “every character’s appearance is their first appearance.” Those of you who thought that Amy and her mother looked too much alike will see moe distinct differences between them in upcoming issues. He also said the next few issues will focus on Amy in Gemworld.
But before I end this post here’s one last sketch. My son loves Tiny Titans and at past cons I’ve been lucky to have Franco sketch him Robin and Kid Flash. His request this year? Damian Wayne with, as he says, “the pointy teeth.”
DC’s newest Batbook crossover, Death of the Family, kicks off this week and the event has one premise - the Joker and his face, not necessarily together, come back to screw with all the Batfamily.
The Joker is Batman’s most famous and long running villain and through the years he caused quite a bit of pain for Batman and his family. Given the reboot we don’t quite know all of what he’s done but there is one of clear piece of Joker mayhem that is definitely still in continuity …
… the shooting of Barbara Gordon by the Joker in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. The panels above are the original. Here’s the replication (one of many, many, many that have appeared in DC Comics since then) from the current New 52 run of Batgirl.
That moment has tied the two characters together for two and half decades.
Prior to The Killing Joke the interaction between the Joker and Batgirl was fairly minimal despite their prophetical appearance in the infamous Super Dictionary from 1978:
Enemies indeed! Since the publication of the Killing Joke (TKJ) in 1988, DC has made confrontations between Barbara Gordon and the Joker fodder for many comics. In Death of the Family the two have their first post TKJ meeting in the new 52, and according to Gail Simone it will be “memorable.”
In USA Today today, Simone said ”Her payback is long, long overdue …It was immensely cathartic. It’s a brutal story: The Joker is the guy who haunts your nightmares, and he nearly destroyed Barbara once already.”
Here’s a look back at some of the previous interactions of the Joker and Barbara Gordon.
Today is Barbara Gordon’s birthday and I promised that I would post some con sketches. I have a lot of sketches and commissions of Barbara. I love them all but my two favorites are probably Barbara as Oracle by Adam Hughes and Batgirl/Oracle by Cliff Chiang.
Here are three I haven’t posted.
This is a commission from Kevin Maguire from Boston Comic Con:
This is a quick head shot of Oracle by Phil Noto:
I had this done a few years ago at the Granite State Con and I’ve forgotten the name of the artist. If you know who it is let me know!
I’m sure I’ll be adding others at some upcoming cons.
Today September 23 is the birthday of Barbara Gordon. And as we know she LOVES birthdays!
Hey, Babs you got your wish. Because of the reboot YOU ARE 22! (okay, I said that last year too.)
So Babs, let’s celebrate!
First’s we’ll decorate!
Then we’ll need a cake or maybe A LOT of cakes. The Batfamily is still pretty big and then there’s the Birds and the Justice League.
But before you have cake, some food of substance. What would you like?
Sure. Now on to the cake!
Or perhaps something pinkier?
(check out this cool kids “Batgirl/Princess party” here!)
Or maybe some cupcakes AND a cake?
And for favors Bat candy pops
Later today I’ll post a some new con sketches of Barbara.
In the meantime, leave a comment or a reply or why you like Barbara Gordon? And what’s your favorite iteration of the character - comics, TV, movies (really? really?) and I’ll post some later!
and found my new Oracle and Batgirl Heroclix had arrived.
This is my third Oracle figure and I’ll guess maybe number 34 Batgirl? I stopped counting a while back.
When DC rebooted the Batgirl title with Barbara Gordon it signed on a heavy hitter for covers, Adam Hughes. Hughes did some lovely work. In particular the cover he did of issue 6 is one of my favorite covers of the year so far.
The trade edition of the first six issues of Batgirl contains some sketches for covers not used and a reader was nice enough to send them along. I hadn’t seen these before and thought I would share.
First up are the preliminaries for the first issue. If you remember the image had a smiling Barbara Gordon as Batgirl flying at the viewer:
That final cover doesn’t reference Barbara Gordon’s transformation from Oracle or that she has regained the use of her legs. Instead the character seems to flying through the air. But a look at the preliminary sketches shows an attempt to illustrate the transformation more literally.
Okay maybe that’s me but today they unveiled not one but two Heroclix. The first is Batgirl. Let’s take a look:
At a certain point in the game, something happens:
When Batgirl hits one or more opposing characters, after actions resolve, place a Promotion Token on his character card. You may then roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and add 1 for each Promotion Token on his character card; on a result of 8 or higher, replace this character with DC10th Oracle on the same click number.”
That’s right she gets PROMOTED to Oracle.
What smart thinking about how to view Oracle.
I love how the card says “this chair won’t stop me.”
What more can I add to this but:
hat tip to the Mary Sue