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Written by CAMERON STEWART and BRENDEN FLETCHER
Art by BABS TARR
Cover by CAMERON STEWART
THE FLASH 75 Variant cover by AARON LOPRESTI
Blank variant cover
On sale JANUARY 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Things are going surprisingly well in Batgirl’s new life! But nothing good ever lasts long in Gotham City – and the other yellow boot is about to drop…hard!
There are signs that Halloween is on its way, for example, not one, not two not three books but four books debut today focusing on witches.
Let’s start with my pick for book of the week:
Kelly and I interviewed Scott Snyder about the book on 3 Chicks this week so go give a listen. We also reviewed the book and both agree it is one of the best things Snyder has done. This is scary. But so good.
If you have been reading Afterlife of Archie you’re going to love this. If you are interested in a dark look at Sabrina you’ll like this. If you just like good comics, you’ll like this.
Steve Niles takes your whatever warmth you might have towards families like the Munsters and The Addams family and kinda bleeds it out. There’s witch in this family along with … just read the cover. Buy it just for the Damien Worm art which is amazing.
Klarion the Witch Boy was created by Jack Kirby was most recently in Morrison’s Seven Soliders and Miller’s Batgirl. Now he has a book of his own. The fine folks at DC Comics sent a review copy over and I have to say this looks like the best work I’ve seen from Trevor McCarthy to date at DC. And Nocenti seems like a good fit for this book. The issue starts off stronger than it ends but has the potential for being fun and creepy.
Don’t know if you heard but DC Comics has a new Batgirl. She’s still named Barbara Gordon but this character looks and sounds different from the last version of Barbara Gordon. The book, or at least this issue of which I was given a preview copy, also looks and sounds very different from just about any book that DC Comics is now publishing particularly due to the “where the heck did she come from?” fresh art from Babs Tarr. While I’ve heard some comments that this version of Batgirl channeling the Miller/Steph Brown run it reminds me more of Beatty/Dixon/Martin’s decade old Batgirl: Year One. That’s a good thing. I still have issues with how DC Comics has managed the Batgirl character in the new 52 so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue to read this book.
This rebooted Batgirl along with last week’s terrific Gotham Academy, makes it is clear DC Comics is trying to offer books that will appeal to readers outside its traditional demographic specifically younger females. As someone who has been advocating for them to do this for years I’m thrilled to see them trying.
Josh Williamson’s Nailbiter has been on of my favorite new comics this year. Today he launches a new series which examines what happens when a child disappears into a fantasy world and then returns home. Think Wendy and her brothers post Peter Pan. Williamson is joined Andrei Bressan on art. It’s an intriguing idea and the team deliver a strong first issue.
Yes that’s the Justice League. But there’s much more. Get it and read it early if you don’t want to be spoiled. Thankfully that $4.99 price tag won’t last more than a few issues. Which is good since you’re going to want to read this arc - there’s some crazy stuff coming up.
Marcio Takara on art AND cats. Carol is so lucky.
The first issue of this was a surprise for me. Did you pick it up?
As was the first issue of this. Who is reading?
Vertigo is forgoing covers this month but here’s yet another witchy book for you.
UPDATE! Missed these earlier
Marguerite Bennett writing Sleep Hollow? I’m in!
Kelly and I loved the first issue - Jen Van Meter rocks!
And that’s it for me. What’s on your list?
Last week in Batwing: Future’s End #1 there appeared to be an appearance of what looked like the long missing from comics Cassandra Cain.
Several blogs picked up on this and I had numerous people asking about it to the point and surprised I hadn’t written about it.
And there’s a reason for that.
Hallmark has long has a relationship with DC Comics for merchandise such as Christmas ornaments and greeting cards. But now they have expanded their merchandise to include some other items.
Earlier this summer the company launched a set of “Itty bitty” toys featuring DC heroes including Wonder Woman:
That’s about the actual size of the doll by the way.
The line also includes Superman, Batman and the Flash. There are also Marvel versions including Spider-Man and Iron Man (sadly no female characters). They are $6.95.
But now Hallmark has released a particularly awesome Halloween item featuring Batgirl. And it is awesome.
In case you missed it, DC Comics announced a new look and new team for Batgirl this week. One of the cowriters of the book Brenden Fletcher is also co-writing Gotham Academy with Becky Cloonan.
Cloonan, the first woman to draw an issue of Batman, just tweeted out her take on Batgirl. I’ve notice that many of the concerns about the refreshed look of the character is that she looks so young. I confirmed with Brenden that the character is still 21, the age she was reset too during the new 52 launch. I think in Cloonan’s piece below she looks that age.
I actually don’t think the Babs Tarr and Cameron Stewart pieces look that far off from 21 either.
Very few comic artists are able to draw young women that look, well, appropriately young. Take a look at the eyesore cover where Wonder Girl is supposed to be in her teens (actually let me save your eyes - don’t look).
The style of art matters as well. I’ve been spending time rereading Cass Cain’s run as Batgirl and there were some points where both Cass and Barbara looked the same age due to the artwork.
There is an incredible amount of artwork that has shown up on my dash over the last few days featuring Batgirl’s new look. Most of it is being curated at the Batgirl of Burnside Tumblr set up by Cameron Stewart.
If you haven’t, go take a look.
This morning DC Comics unveiled a respin/refresh of the Batgirl book. Gail Simone who has been the main writer on the book for the past three years is leaving. Cameron Stewart, mainly known by DC readers as an artist, will co-write along with Brenden Fetcher who is also co-writing Gotham Academy. Art is by Babs Tarr bringing a new full-time female artist onto DC Comics just as Nicola Scott has announced she’s leaving the publisher.
Just last week I wrote about the announcement of Gotham Academy and wondered if it finally meant that DC is targeting female readers. This week we see this Batgirl respin that I have been told by sources close to the book is aiming for the female audience.
The “refreshed” Batgirl has a new costume, new town and will have a new supporting cast although some of her current cast including Alysia Yeoh will be seen. The costume is very cool if you haven’t seen it.
Given the house style that is preferred by senior management at DC Comics (i.e. Jim Lee and David Finch) it is a treat to see an artist as different as Babs Tarr on-board at DC Comics.
The book’s creators said in the official PR interview that the book mixes the best elements of “Veronica Mars” and “Girls,” with a dash of “Sherlock” thrown in for good measure.” And the tone?
"We really wanted to make this a book with a light tone, of fun and adventure and mystery, and let the rest of the Bat-family deal with the darkness. She’s got problems, and conflict, and enemies to fight, but our priority was to make this a really fun, rollicking read."
I haven’t read the current Batgirl run except for the previews and my feeling and of those that have read it, is that it was a fairly dark book that reflected Dan Didio’s statement about the Batfamily last year
"They put on a cape and cowl for a reason. They’re committed to defending others — at the sacrifice of all their own personal instincts. That’s something we reinforce. If you look at every one of the characters in the Batman family, their personal lives kind of suck…
Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon, and Kathy Kane — it’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s also just as important that they put it aside as they know what they are accomplishing as the hero takes precedence over everything else. That is our mandate, that is our edict, that is our stand with our characters.”
So now we have a book with a young Batgirl that has a lighter tone and is likened to Veronica Mars … just as we did three years ago with Bryan Q. Miller’s run on Batgirl.
I was a big fan of that Bat-book not just because of its writing but because of the opportunity I thought the book presented.
If DC comics is seriously interested in gaining new female readers, particularly younger ones, this book may not be the key but it is damn close. Gail Simone has often said that Birds to Prey is an on-ramp into comics for women. I took that on-ramp and agree. I think that this version of Batgirl* can do the same thing for a younger female audience.
That post outlined a series of ways Batgirl could be used to outreach to female readers and to my non-surprise absolutely nothing remotely like any of of those ways were pursued.
Now, I am happy to see DC Comics bring books like Batgirl and Gotham Academy that are targeted to female readers who are as I have repeatedly and repeatedly the fastest growing demographic in comics.
Given Marvel’s success with Ms. Marvel, I’m not surprised to see DC offer up a book with a similar feel. (But I do wish they could have realized they had it three years ago and without ditching Stephanie Brown as Batgirl and Barbara Gordon as Oracle).
I hope that both books are great and do great. If they are could lead to more books that aren’t grim and gritty and targeted to the “core” audience of males but rather hit that growing demographic.
What do you think of the respun Batgirl?
As this illustration by Kevin Warren makes clear, when Wonder Woman gets down to do some real ass kicking she brings out the scrunchie.
But if one chooses to not use the useful but much derided hair accessory you could use these headbands from UnderArmour.
They also have Batgirl and Supergirl headbands. They say girls sizes but I found them in the women’s department so I’m not sure how big they run.
If you do still enjoy a hair tie, sadly Under Armour seems to only offer those for Batgirl and Supergirl
I saw these in Sports Authority and it looks like they are available online as well.
DC Comics debuted their covers for September today but not all the lentricular covers were ready. So I animated some of them for you.
At the Batman Eternal panel at Emerald City Comic Con, they revealed new art from the upcoming Batman Eternal weekly including a page that appears to show the moment that leads to this from the "Thanksgiving Teaser"
At the DC New 52 Panel at the Emerald City Comic Con, Gail Simone said her upcoming arc in Batgirl - issues 32-34 will include something or someone she’s been asking for since the start of the new 52. Simone said she’s “asked and asked”. When the moderator asked if she could say a name, she answered “probably shouldn’t.”
So what could it be? A returning pre-52 character? Weil they finally mention Oracle? What do you think?
Also here’s a look at the panel, which you’ll note is a rarity for DC at shows in having two female writers on the dais.
That’s a Lego Batgirl Keychain. And I’m giving one away. Like, reblog or leave a comment on this post by midnight EST Monday February 24 and you’re entered.
Alex Garner is the best cover artist this book has had since Hughes. He’s hitting it out of the park every month.
Written by GAIL SIMONE
Art by FERNANDO PASARIN and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by ALEX GARNER
1:25 BATMAN ‘66 variant cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
On sale MAY 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Clandestine meetings, tapped phones, video surveillance – Barbara Gordon is being watched! Who has it in for her, and how can Batgirl investigate without compromising her secret identity?
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