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Episode 81


 

What does Barbara Gordon have to do with the baby in Frank Miller's Batman: Year One?  What do I think about Ted Kord and Babs shipping?  And did I really say I wanted to kill-off Babs?  I answer these question and more on this shorter, but jam-packed episode.  I review Batgirl #32 and Birds of Prey #32, and Chris gives his Batman '66 review.  Reading with Stella and my literature recommendation round out this episode.

 

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  • Hi Stella,

    Love the show, have just read the Killing Joke.

    And while I do not like what they did to Barbara Gordon in the story, I think it was a very good story and as Oracle Babs becomes a much better charcter after the story then she was before.

    I look forward to hearing your thought on the book next episode.

    Yours,

    Chris Luke

  • Gail Simone

    Well, well. Stella, you got your wish! Dan DiDio heard your last podcast episode, and booted me off the Batgirl title. I hope you're happy! But remember, they fired me once already, and I came BACK! In all seriousness though, I'm really interested to hear your thoughts on the new Batgirl suit that will be drawn by the new creative team. Judging by the revamp and redesign, it "appears" as though the new version of Barbara Gordon, will be a bit younger. You cool with that, yo?       

  • Glenn Girol

    Congratulations Stella!

    I have to believe that your passionate and articulate advocacy for a smarter, better Batgirl was influential in the decision to radically change the direction of the book. I look forward to a Barbara who is brilliant, capable, and emotionally healthy starring in adventures that are finally fun to read.

    I also would like to offer an opinion on The Killing Joke, since I'll be on vacation when you do your special.

    I was in college when Dark Knight Returns and Year One came out, and while I had reservations about some of the tone and content (not least of which was the disappearance of a young Barbara from the Gordon family in B:Y1), it was fun to be a reader of comics when it was suddenly being portrayed as cool in the broader media, and the form finally being taken seriously as literature (the term 'graphic novel' was coined around then).

    After Watchmen, when news came that Alan Moore was writing the definitive Batman-Joker story, well, the comics reading world was in a frenzy.  I feel that it was pretty much predetermined that whatever Moore produced would be hailed as a classic.

    The Killing Joke is the story that curdled my enthusiasm for 'grim and gritty' comics.

    Barbara Gordon was a favorite character of mine since I'd crushed on Yvonne Craig as a kid watching Adam West Batman reruns. I found the violence visited upon her disturbing, and the presentation of it (by a writer with a seeming obsession for depicting unspeakable acts visited upon female characters, and approved by the exclusively male DC editors) appalling.

    I found the treatment of Batman equally upsetting. When Moore has Batman give the Joker that companionable embrace at the end, he's telling us that both Batman and Joker are sociopaths- everyone else are just characters in their little play. Only a sociopath could share a laugh with the man who had so brutalized his great friend Jim and his devoted ally Barbara. Grant Morrison has tried to come to terms with that final atrocity by claiming that Batman had actually killed the Joker at the end. But then Brian Boland responded by saying that he hadn't.

    It was such a long road from the scar of the Killing Joke to Barbara being restored as Batgirl that I couldn't quite get on board with your musings about perhaps being better off without the book. But I think that- at least in some part- due to your pleas, maybe (to paraphrase her dad at the end of The Dark Knight) Gotham is about to get the Barbara/Batgirl it needs, and deserves.

    Thank you!

    Glenn Girol

  • Stella

    Wow! First Didio now Simone! 😉 I’m sure it’s not REALLY you (Joe?) , but I do appreciate you writing in! You know, Simone can write, and there is proof of that in many of her books like Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman. I am excited to see what she has in store next, truly. I still believe that the new 52 was a tough thing to crack, and there was so much pressure on writing Babs as Batgirl, no longer Oracle. I thing there comes a time to take a break from a character and walk away, perhaps coming back after a time. It is like art: if you stare at something too long and not take breaks and look at it, you can overwork it. I am truly sorry that Simone was fired, if she was taken off unwillingly, but I believe this is for the best for Babs and I absolutely believe Simone has something great to offer DC. In my reviews I was always making a conscious effort to critique the material and character, not the writer personally. If any offense was taken, I do apologize. Please believe all was said because of my love of the character and my hope for her. I wish Simone the best!
    Ex animo,
    Stella