Posts Tagged ‘batgirl’
We’re all for the Golden Age Batman and Joker, and the Silver Age Batgirl is certainly a welcome offering to those of us who remember the wonderful Batman Family comics featuring Barbara’s Batgirl and Dick Grayson’s Robin. Mr. Freeze, well fine. But we can’t figure out the thinking at Action Figure World with that last comment.
We’ve got Golden Age JOKER, Silver Age MR. FREEZE and Modern Age BATMAN in the first series of BATMAN LEGACY figure from Mattel. If you’ve been upset by the whole reboot thing, then you might appreciate a throwback to the way things were–if only in one of these great figures. Check them out, available individually or as a 3-figure set.
And if you like those, then you might want to pre-order one of the next series, which includes Golden Age Batman, Silver Age Batgirl and Modern Age (of course) Catman! viaAction Figure World.
Of course Catman? We have nothing against him, but have to wonder how such a curious choice came about. Are we missing something?
There have been a number of document-based Batman features over the years. The Secret Files series DC Comics put out in the 1990s come to mind, but they were simple comic books. The newly released The Batman Files by Matthew Manning presents documents about Batman in a slick hardcover binder made to make collectors drool.
Top secret blueprints of the Batcave, Batmobiles, etc. Original Gotham City newspaper articles In-depth villain dossiers and Arkham Asylum psychiatric profiles File Printouts from the Batcomputer itself and much much more
Unearthed from the depths of the Batcave by Mathew K. Manning, The Batman Files begins with Wayne’s childhood drawings and continues along a time line of significant events in Batman’s life. Complete and authentic in every way possible, all of Batman’s friends and foes–from Poison Ivy, Catwoman, the Riddler, and Penguin, to the Joker, Batgirl, Mr. Freeze, and of course, Robin–appear throughout the dossier to provide a framework of the Caped Crusader’s entire career.
Completely outlining Batman’s war on crime, The Batman Files includes in-depth computer files, news articles, crime scene photos, blueprints, schematics, and actual maps of Gotham City that were collected, and in many cases even drawn, by the Caped Crusader himself.
High production values include black matte gilding, as well as a high-tech fabric cover–complete with a metallic Batman emblem to secure the secret contents within. Each detail of Batman’s life is carefully and faithfully detailed with the involvement of DC Comics inside The Batman Files–destined to be the must-have gift for every avid Batman fan and collector.
Of course, Batman fans who care what they get for their money have learned to be cautious before plunking down hard earned cash on anything with the DC Comics logo on it. ”What Batman is this?” we might ask:
The presence of Zatanna listed among Bruce Wayne’s boyhood friends is a red flag, as it could mean Paul Dini’s influence. Having just been ripped off on Arkham City, I won’t be buying another high ticket item until I know for sure what I’m getting,” said a Facebook would-be buyer.
“I see Commissioner Loeb in one of the documents. That indicates Batman Begins/Christopoher Nolan continuity.”
“Sorry Pal, I see Tommy Elliot, Vesper Fairchild, this is definitely got major contamination from the comics, recent comics. Smart money says wait and pick it up used.”
(The listed cover price is $100 US but is already selling on Amazon for $54, less than the used copies available.)
There have been hardcover Batman merch over the years, mostly collections of short stories, such as the Forensic Files of Batman, which conveyed an astonishing amount of introductory forensic science in the form of Batman adventures which illustrated the World’s Greatest Detective actually acting like a detective, an aspect that sadly lacking in most Dark Knight fare.
According to Superhero Stuff, today is Barbara Gordon’s official birthday!
While the rest of the blogosphere wishes her a happy birthday, we thought we would explore “The Curse of Batgirl” just to put a different spin on things.
Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara came onto the scene as Batgirl, and became known to millions in the third and final season of the TV show in the person of Yvonne Craig. Some say this began the curse by which the appearance of Batgirl signals a Batman franchise has exhausted its formula and its demise is soon to follow. While the 60s series did fail shortly after Batgirl’s arrival, the fault almost certainly lies in the show’s popularity. All the stars of the day wanted to appear as a “Special Guest Villain” limiting the fan favorites: Burgess Meredith’s Penguin, Caesar Romero’s Joker, and Julie Newmar’s Catwoman.
Her addition to Batman the Animated Series also marked a definite shift in the show’s look and tone, and not a change for the better. While later seasons and the barely-watchable Batman Beyond found its audience among the younger set, the triumph of the original Dini-Timm series was a memory. Barbara herself was described as “A power puff girl” and in the spirit of the old Filmation cartoon and the 60s TV show, she would be the one to spring any trap or jump to the wrong conclusion solving any problem in the course of an investigation.
She occasionally hinted at a romantic interest in Bruce, which was downright creepy considering the extreme youth of her portrayal and the presence of Dick Grayson in the series. Bruce naturally never encouraged it, which made her later allusions to an imagined chemistry in Batman Beyond seem deluded and bitter. It is a pathetic end for such a character, but Beyond consistently portrayed that core lack of respect for the first generation characters, part of its great flaw and the reason it is dismissed by fans who aren’t stuck in that adolescent piss-on-the-old-stuff mentality.
The less said of Barbara Wilson, Alfred’s niece and the Batgirl of Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin, the better. All sentient beings know it was Joel Schumacher who was the true death of the franchise. Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl was merely one of the symptoms, not the cause. Yet the inclusion of Batgirl certainly holds as a sign that things are not well.
But Batgirl is only half of the Barbara Gordon story. As comic fans knew, and a television audience discovered in 2002′s Birds of Prey, Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl is shot by the Joker and confined to a wheelchair. She continues her crimefighting as the super-hacker called Oracle. In comics she was part of a team called the Birds of Prey with two other crimefighters: The Huntress and Black Canary. This team was brought to television in 2002, replacing the comics version of Huntress with her original incarnation: Helena Kyle/Wayne the daughter of Batman and Catwoman.
The show quickly bombed but the fault lies in poor scripts, a depressing tone, and a decided bait and switch in the promotional materials. The WB ads focused on Batman and Catwoman’s romance, and those attracted by that ad would be disappointed to learn Catwoman was dead, Batman would never appear and that he would be dismissed in the general “down with men” tone of the show.
So once again, while Barbara is present, this time played by the lovely Dina Meyer, we can hardly lay the failure at her door.
The Birds of Prey in comics has been a long-running hit, the only success DC has found in a female-centric comic. That is certainly the work of writer Gail Simone. Simone continues to write Barbara Gordon in “The New 52″ the relaunched DC Comics universe where all recent history has been erased and all stories and characters “rebooted.” The shooting, the wheelchair and “Oracle” are gone, but Barbara Gordon remains, Batgirl once again.
Happy Birthday Barbara!
*While the Barbara Gordon Batgirl appeared in other animated incarnations like the 1966 Filmation cartoons and 2004′s “The Batman,” their success was never on par with the other shows and movies discussed, so the question of a ‘curse’ was never raised.