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  1. #2821
    Spectacular Member km_sus's Avatar
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    Most readers and fans don't have these kinds of intense discussions when deciding if they like something.

    For most people it's:
    Barbara as Oracle stories = great
    Barbara as Batgirl stories = middling

    The same logic applies for Cass and Steph:
    Cass/Batgirl = Great
    Cass/Orphan = average

    Steph/Batgirl = Great
    Steph/Spoiler = okay

    It's simple logic for most people. Barbara had Batgirl for ten years and didn't do anything spectacular with it. I don't like going back to Oracle either, but at least we have proven results with that mantle. People push for Cass and Steph because their potential for stories in the role far exceeds Barbara's. Look at her overall run as Batgirl - bar Simone, it's nothing we hadn't already seen back in the bronze age.

  2. #2822

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    Quote Originally Posted by km_sus View Post
    Most readers and fans don't have these kinds of intense discussions when deciding if they like something.

    For most people it's:
    Barbara as Oracle stories = great
    Barbara as Batgirl stories = middling

    The same logic applies for Cass and Steph:
    Cass/Batgirl = Great
    Cass/Orphan = average

    Steph/Batgirl = Great
    Steph/Spoiler = okay

    It's simple logic for most people. Barbara had Batgirl for ten years and didn't do anything spectacular with it. I don't like going back to Oracle either, but at least we have proven results with that mantle. People push for Cass and Steph because their potential for stories in the role far exceeds Barbara's. Look at her overall run as Batgirl - bar Simone, it's nothing we hadn't already seen back in the bronze age.
    Excuse me? Oversimplification much?

    In the ten years of Batgirl they were able to push the technological side to make her an on-the-go cyber detective. The only thing that got in her way was editorial shutting down any revolutionary pitches that the writerís had, scalping it for Batman himself.

    Tell me: what -exactly- can be done with Cass and Steph that hasnít already been done? How many times can we re-tread ďCassandra doesnít feel worthy of the Bat symbol!Ē Or Stephanie facing her father? What can be done that hasnít been already done, and if there is nothing then why is it so awful for Babs not be afforded the same luxury?

    Also: why does the name matter? They literally do the same thing no matter what monicker theyíre under. Babs doesnít, but what she does do as Batgirl certainly isnít any worse than Cass or Steph, in fact itís more intriguing.
    Last edited by Domino_Dare-Doll; 03-04-2021 at 03:26 PM.

  3. #2823
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by km_sus View Post
    Most readers and fans don't have these kinds of intense discussions when deciding if they like something.

    For most people it's:
    Barbara as Oracle stories = great
    Barbara as Batgirl stories = middling

    The same logic applies for Cass and Steph:
    Cass/Batgirl = Great
    Cass/Orphan = average

    Steph/Batgirl = Great
    Steph/Spoiler = okay

    It's simple logic for most people. Barbara had Batgirl for ten years and didn't do anything spectacular with it. I don't like going back to Oracle either, but at least we have proven results with that mantle. People push for Cass and Steph because their potential for stories in the role far exceeds Barbara's. Look at her overall run as Batgirl - bar Simone, it's nothing we hadn't already seen back in the bronze age.
    That might be how it for you but what data is there that supports this is the case for everyone else. Cass and Steph fans might look back on their runs with rose colored glasses but their stories weren't general hits. Batgirl Year One is probably the most generally acclaimed and successful Batgirl story, while Simone's and the Burnside runs will probably stand with or exceed their runs. People push for Cass or Steph because that is their preferred Batgirl. The thing thats interesting is that Babs managed even without Batgirl, not necessarily as successfully, but Oracle has successes. Where with Orphan and Spoiler, well...
    Last edited by Godlike13; 03-04-2021 at 04:01 PM.

  4. #2824
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I think Steph and Cass' run hold up better than Simone and Burnside (which just seems like it was riffing off Steph anyways), but that probably comes down to personal taste. I don't think the Simone run is viewed very fondly overall or as Simone's strongest work with Babs.

    Granted, it's not like DC pushed Steph and Cass very hard in their own identities beyond putting them in team books.

  5. #2825
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    I would actually argue that, from my perspective, Cass tells a dramatically different type of storytelling in style than Babs does - some of the friction there comes from how differently they appeal to audiences. I *am* a dude, and frankly, there have been times where I felt like Cass’s Batgril book was more immodestly appealing to my demographic because of the action-heavy nature of her storytelling and the more “universal” nature of her “gimmick” as a someone who understands body language better than dialogue. That *is* something I regard as beyond Babs’s reach... just in the way that an extremely intricate and detailed narrative is out of Cass’s reach.

    With Steph... I think the schism forms more bluntly from the fact that Steph was an “accidental success” compared to Babs having been considered as an “intended superstar”, and the simple needless drama that the New 52 unleashed in the fanbase. In an accidental way, it makes the character’s meta-narrative bleed into her textual narrative, something that I think Babs only occasionally achieves because of different creative directions.

    Babs also doesn’t necessarily have bad solos, but rather ones that *had* a chance to unite the fanbase and maximize the appeal of her return to action... but wound up aggravating wounds and arguably making her less appealing to naysayers in a needless way. Nothing was gained from making Steph and Cass verboten, or from trying to make Babs a “street level” fighter without her Oracle abilities, or from pursuing some vague, ethereal “status quo” she needs to hold exclusively. Her return was a success... but it feels like a weird combination of some good “pushes”, strong creative talent, and a fervent fanbase with a lot of unforced errors regarding her successors, abilities, and place in the family.

    It left the door wide open for feeling (rightly or wrongly) like Babs’s modern appeals still mainly rooted in nostalgia, and to a degree beyond Steph and Cass... a feeling that might be remedied by letting them share the mantle in publishing for a while, not as a permanent status quo, but to try and create a similar goodwill that many Robin fans have.

    (Don’t get me wrong; there’s still tensions between Robin fans, but there’s a reason everyone loves Dick Grayson and usually at least one or two other Robins even if they dislike one for various reasons. DC accidentally created a scenario where it seemed like if you supported one Batgirl, or was at the expense of the others - which is not good.)
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  6. #2826
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    Its actually not that up in the air. Batgirl Year One is probably one of the most successful Batgirl stories to this day.
    That's a stand alone mini series, not an ongoing. I don't know if that would make for a good comparison with Cass's sustaining an ongoing series for 73 issues back in a period where comics were slightly more available than what they are now. Babs's series haven't made it much beyond 50 before needing to be rebooted, and now she's just Nightwing's supporting character.

    And again, I think if Barbara as Batgirl got an ongoing series at that time or a bit earlier, she'd move units. We just can't know for sure how it would compare to Cass's though because it didn't happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    That might be how it for you but what data is there that supports this is the case for everyone else. Cass and Steph fans might look back on their runs with rose colored glasses but their stories weren't general hits. Batgirl Year One is probably the most generally acclaimed and successful Batgirl story, while Simone's and the Burnside runs will probably stand with or exceed their runs. People push for Cass or Steph because that is their preferred Batgirl. The thing thats interesting is that Babs managed even without Batgirl, not necessarily as successfully, but Oracle has successes. Where with Orphan and Spoiler, well...
    Are you sure you aren't looking at Babs's runs with rose colored glasses? Because while Year One was great (probably one of the few Dixon comics I like), what I've read from Simone and (ugh) Burnside weren't terribly memorable. Doesn't help that the latter had Barbara looking like a teenage girl in a dumb costume. The best she's looked in recent years is 3 Jokers, and that had the misfortune of continuing the tradition of her being "The Girl" and passing her to Jason cuz it was his turn now I guess.

    I'd say the earlier Cass issues (roughly the first 30 issues or so) and even Steph's run were better not just for the two leads but also for how Barbara was written as well. I want some great Babs as Batgirl content (preferably a stand alone, continuity light one where she doesn't look like she's 14), but personally the stuff they've been producing for her is less than stellar and even the other Batgirls who I'm less fond of have better content in comparison.

  7. #2827

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think Steph and Cass' run hold up better than Simone and Burnside (which just seems like it was riffing off Steph anyways), but that probably comes down to personal taste. I don't think the Simone run is viewed very fondly overall or as Simone's strongest work with Babs.

    Granted, it's not like DC pushed Steph and Cass very hard in their own identities beyond putting them in team books.
    Babs didn’t rip off Steph. Steph wouldn’t have had a run focussing on tech start up groups, Steph wouldn’t have had a story relating to recovering from PTSD and trying to ‘be’ recovered without realising what recovery means. Steph wouldn’t have worked in using social media to predict crime and behaviour. Burnside isn’t Steph, it’s for Babs all the way.

  8. #2828

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    That's a stand alone mini series, not an ongoing. I don't know if that would make for a good comparison with Cass's sustaining an ongoing series for 73 issues back in a period where comics were slightly more available than what they are now. Babs's series haven't made it much beyond 50 before needing to be rebooted, and now she's just Nightwing's supporting character.

    And again, I think if Barbara as Batgirl got an ongoing series at that time or a bit earlier, she'd move units. We just can't know for sure how it would compare to Cass's though because it didn't happen.

    In fact: Burnside has already proved to have lasting impact -outside- of the comics: Harley Quinn’s tv show has utilised that design, DC Superhero Girls went with the purple motif and tech-savvy approach, the merchandise alone of her. It was popular and appealing because, finally, female readers didn’t feel sexualised; it was a costume that was afforded the same level of respect as Jason’s, as Damian’s and all the male heroes. It was a groundbreaking statement, which is exactly what Barbara Gordon has stood for since her inception.

    Are you sure you aren't looking at Babs's runs with rose colored glasses? Because while Year One was great (probably one of the few Dixon comics I like), what I've read from Simone and (ugh) Burnside weren't terribly memorable. Doesn't help that the latter had Barbara looking like a teenage girl in a dumb costume. The best she's looked in recent years is 3 Jokers, and that had the misfortune of continuing the tradition of her being "The Girl" and passing her to Jason cuz it was his turn now I guess.

    I'd say the earlier Cass issues (roughly the first 30 issues or so) and even Steph's run were better not just for the two leads but also for how Barbara was written as well. I want some great Babs as Batgirl content (preferably a stand alone, continuity light one where she doesn't look like she's 14), but personally the stuff they've been producing for her is less than stellar and even the other Batgirls who I'm less fond of have better content in comparison.
    But all still critically acclaimed and all still perfectly capturing what makes Babs Batgirl: her resilience, her meticulous methodology, her determination and how she often does operate with half the tech and yet twice the brain. You’re being incredibly disingenuous in your analysis: Gail Simone’s run showed perfectly the effects of PTSD in a superhero. She’s newly recovered and finding her sense of self, she needs a way to reach out and take back her life by protecting others. Granted, Burnside was lighter in tone, but what that offered was a place for Babs to show how unique she is: she dealt with how social media can act as a predictive means of crime-fighting and investigation, showcased how her eidetic memory works in action and more importantly, addressed disability and -attempted- to bring in an actively disabled hero who wasn’t as behind the scenes. Scott’s run reconciled the two final differences without sacrificing the best of any of it (save Frankie Charles). It was only editorial that screwed her and Castelluci over.
    Last edited by Domino_Dare-Doll; 03-04-2021 at 04:39 PM.

  9. #2829
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino_Dare-Doll View Post
    Babs didn’t rip off Steph. Steph wouldn’t have had a run focussing on tech start up groups, Steph wouldn’t have had a story relating to recovering from PTSD and trying to ‘be’ recovered without realising what recovery means. Steph wouldn’t have worked in using social media to predict crime and behaviour. Burnside isn’t Steph, it’s for Babs all the way.
    I don't think the tech start up groups and social media aspects were all that far in Burnside's favor (or stuff that couldn't have fit with Steph's stories, to be honest).

    I wasn't even just talking about the stories directly but just the vibe and personality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Domino_Dare-Doll View Post
    But all still critically acclaimed and all still perfectly capturing what makes Babs Batgirl: her resilience, her meticulous methodology, her determination and how she often does operate with half the tech and yet twice the brain. You’re being incredibly disingenuous in your analysis: Gail Simone’s run showed perfectly the effects of PTSD in a superhero. She’s newly recovered and finding her sense of self, she needs a way to reach out and take back her life by protecting others. Granted, Burnside was lighter in tone, but what that offered was a place for Babs to show how unique she is: she dealt with how social media can act as a predictive means of crime-fighting and investigation, showcased how her eidetic memory works in action and more importantly, addressed disability and -attempted- to bring in an actively disabled hero who wasn’t as behind the scenes. Scott’s run reconciled the two final differences without sacrificing the best of any of it (save Frankie Charles). It was only editorial that screwed her and Castelluci over.
    The PTSD and horror got to be too much in Simone's run as it went along.

    If we had gotten more of Scott's take on Batgirl, I feel like her return would've been much better received than it ended up being. And she's a Cass fan.

  10. #2830

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I don't think the tech start up groups and social media aspects were all that far in Burnside's favor (or stuff that couldn't have fit with Steph's stories, to be honest).

    I wasn't even just talking about the stories directly but just the vibe and personality.

    The PTSD and horror got to be too much in Simone's run as it went along.

    If we had gotten more of Scott's take on Batgirl, I feel like her return would've been much better received than it ended up being. And she's a Cass fan.
    No, Stephanie wouldn’t have been able to engage in Burnside: she’d have no knowledge of the inner workings of the technology that was being used like Babs did, didn’t have an eidetic memory to navigate with; the emphasis was on puzzles and problem solving, plus sociology and disability, all out of Stephanie’s purview. Burnside was specially made for Babs to establish herself and her unique approach.

    Again, editorial screwing Babs over because Simone did want to head in a lighter direction. And yes, Scott was a Cass fan, but unlike Tynion she saw the value in Babs as Batgirl and pushed it further. That’s the difference here.

  11. #2831
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    The PTSD and horror got to be too much in Simone's run as it went along.
    Simone's Batgirl run actively made me wonder if I was mistaken for thinking she was a good writer. The OTT grimness and (by her standards) stilted internal narration boxes made for a read that was just "oK' but could get exhausting.

    Then I re-read her BOP, Secret Six and even Red Sonja (which came out a little after) and I remembered Simone could be great. I think a clean slate reboot for Batgirl with better art and Simone free of editorial interference could have been great. Team her up with Nicola Scott or something and we'd be aces.

  12. #2832
    Astonishing Member Gaius's Avatar
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    edit: woops, wrong thread

  13. #2833
    Astonishing Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Pretty dead on.

    I think a component that is missing from modern Joker is just that he's not funny. The best Joker writers can make him genuinely funny in a disarming way, and without that, he's just a nothing character doing blandly "shocking" things.

    One of the best things about BTAS being on a kids network was that the censorship forced the creators to leave the Joker's worst actions to implication and let his on screen actions be outside the box and clever. And when he had clearer murderous intentions he'd at least be thwarted.
    Yes, I keep thinking with modern Joker is mainly "remember when you used to be fun?"

  14. #2834
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino_Dare-Doll View Post
    -Exactly-

    Cass and Steph shouldnít have been erased, but even if they -were- there then it never would have been good enough. Just like how when they came back and had their own identities: nope, just not good enough. Well what are they actually doing now thatís any better to Babs or more revolutionary? Punching and talking? Why! The Genius!
    Pointing out that Cass and Steph are badly written doesn't make Babs better written.

  15. #2835
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino_Dare-Doll View Post
    Cassandra and Stephanie arenít in the same league with Babs as Batgirl. The Batgirl role isnít that of a side-kickís, itís a statement: it stands for independence and defiance against adversity. Itís about being underestimated and triumphing because of those assumptions: all Cass and Steph bring to the role is that of a side-kick. A soldier in Cassí case.

    Barbara as Batgirl represented a true peopleís hero: someone whoís known tragedy and given her life to ensure that no-one should ever suffer that way again. Her sense of empathy is what drives her and her iron-will shines brightest as Batgirl because, with half the tech but twice the brain, she really showcases how important it is to -never- give up.

    Steph and Cass arenít so compelling because they can operate the same way and have the same stories under any name.
    Cass was the first Batgirlto have a solo comic. Saying she was a just a sidekick and a soldier is incredibly disingenuous.

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