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Episode 132

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Join Dylan and John as they cover Batgirl: Silent Running. The books covered include the first six issues of the Batgirl series from 2001. Cassandra kicks off her own series but is she too good at fighting? Does Batman allow a metahuman loose to build Batgirl’s confidence? All that and more can be found here and be sure to leave your comments below.


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  • Donovan

    Having just finished, I would say to your central concern that the one criticism I would agree with was the shifting of her brain happening very early into the run. I think that’s a fair thing to not enjoy. However I’d also say that her fighting skills and communication abilities are tackled in the very next arc/volume. She never really learns to read and her speaking ability very slowly progresses throughout the entirety of her 6 year 73 issue title. She never grows to be articulate, and always has difficulty expressing herself. Her reading disability even leads to a falling out between her and Oracle.

    I don’t agree with the critique that her being a good fighter makes her an inconsequential asset to Batman. I think that’s drastically shortchanging her abilities. She’s for all intents and purposes the best fighter in Gotham, and possibly in the DCU (she regularly ranks in the top 5 for reasons that occur later in the series). I agree that having supreme fighting skills only makes her limited, but I’d also contend that it’s not as though everyone else in the Batman family are so well rounded either. Tim’s a better detective than he ever was as a fighter, Dick’s a much better acrobat than Bruce is and is as good an athlete as a detective, Jason kind of sucked at all three comparatively, and Oracle’s computer skills to my understanding only grew once she became Oracle. Most every other costumed crime-fighter are average at most things save for some martial arts specifications like Wildcat and Black Canary. Labeling Cassandra as essentially useless because she is only good at one thing is an oversight because it diminishes the effectiveness of that one thing. She’s superhumanly fast and can dodge bullets. She can tell what a person is going to do before they do it due to her body language reading and training. That’s not anything that’s found in any other DC costumed character. If the criticism asks what’s so special about a great fighter, my response would half to smart-assedly be what’s so special about a great detective, as it essentially questions both occupations and damns them for their singular efficacy.

    Ultimately though a number of your concerns are by and large tackled and addressed throughout the series. It’s still to this day the first and longest-running Batgirl title, and that’s for a reason.

    • John

      Thanks for the long comment. Having now read the second arc, i’m less upset about the direction of the series than I was in this recording. I appreciate the preview of what’s to come with this title. Cassandra has quickly become one of my favorite characters and i’m looking forward to covering more of this series as it progresses.