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Review Of 'Batgirl' #3

Growing pains: 'Buffy' or 'Batgirl'?

Growing pains: 'Buffy' or 'Batgirl'?

 
    Cassandra's belt
So I picked up Batgirl #3 today despite not being much of a fan of Stephine Brown. At this point I'm only reading it in hopes of catching a guest appearance by Cassandra Cain. From the start of the series it was easy to see what direction  Bryan Q Miller would be taking with the book, and to be honest, its sort of reminds me of the t.v. series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What we saw in the television series was a teenage girl dealing with the pressures of school, home, and family; while at the same time secretly fighting crime and hoping not to get caught by her mother. Maybe I'm just too old for the new direction Batgirl has taken. Frat parties, secret crushes, getting grounded, and crying about an ex boyfriend are things I'd expect to see in a Spiderman comic, not my Batgirl comics. Now remember, this is just my opinion. I am sure many readers can easily relate to the vulnerability of Steph. She is constantly searching for her place and it gives the reader a glimpse of a hero who does not always have the answers and lacks the self confidence of an established crime fighter. Her insecurities make her more human then the other characters we usually see wearing the "Bat suits."
 

 Ouch!
Right at the start of the issue we see Steph getting ready to infiltrate "Devil's Square" after members of Scarecrow's crew attacked Steph's first campus party (again with the collage thing; we get it, you're in school) using a new drug cocktail named "Thrill." We also get to see part of the reason why Steph has such low self-esteem. Barbra Gordon still seems reluctant to acknowledge Steph as Batgirl even going so far as to refer to Steph's utility belt as Cassandra's (I loved that part). Now even though I am not a fan of the character, this issue does provide us with the first real fight Steph has with a legitimate Rogue of Batman's. So, how does she fair? Well I won't give it all away, but I did crack a smile a couple times.


I will admit Steph is a fighter. Not necessarily skillfully, but emotionally. She refuses to quit or be told she is not good enough which is admirable. The only problem is, sometimes when people tell you you are not good enough, they right. It seems in this case Steph has won over at least one person. By the end of the issue we see where, and by whom, the new Batgirl suit comes from; which is good for Steph as she no longer has to run around in Cassandra's hand me downs. She has her own look now and one of the greatest minds in the DCU backing her up. Time will tell if she will be able to measure up to her predecessors.

This is just my own theory here, but I think Calculator's daughter, Wendy Harris,  will end up being Batgirl at some point. She keeps showing up with the most random appearances not to have an important role to play. I would eep an eye on her.
 
 
19 Comments
Posted by Mbecks14

I'm interested to see where this book goes. i have come to admire steph for never quitting. they tried to make her quit as Spoiler and Robin. multiple times. but she didn't. which is impressive. so i hope that she sticks around because I'm tired of her being thrown around and new ideas being shut down right after they're launched.

Posted by mattydeNero

I just ask why everyone in the Bat-family has to always say: 
 
"I'm Bat-[enter gender here]!"  Lame. 
 
Other than that, I thought the issue was a good way to round up the first three issues.
Posted by Ryonslaught
@Gambler:  pretty sweet review it hit all the right notes without giving any of the good bits away, 
perhaps a video review is in your future my friend :) hehe
Posted by Grim

i actually really liked the first 3 issues. I was a big fan of the Robin III/ Robin series', and this feels allot like some of Tim Drake's latter adventures, but with a girly twist. 
 As a Robin fan, i know enough about Spoiler to appreciate what they're doing with her now. The new costume. Her standoffs with Oracle.  
 the only thing i dont think i like about this series so far is that their treating Steph like shes some sort of "out of the shadows and into the spotlight character".... and shes not. Step has been all over the place in the Batfamily for a long time. She has already come to terms with herself several times (fighting her criminal father, Being robin, deciding to come back from her retirement, figuring out where she and robin are at relationship wise). So a "noob character" issue where she deals with her demons is kindof unnecessary. It would have been more appropriate to have her demons catch up with her first, and then haver her fight them off in the second arch, which would could have made the first arc about her actually proving herself to TIm and Dick and Barb. 
all in all, i liked 1-3. The problems i have are nowhere near as severe as the ones ive had with others. And i can tell from this first college frat party theme that the title at least has the potential to bring Steph to some dark places in the young adult scene in Gotham that Robin barely grazed. 
 excited, to say the least.

Posted by Queen's Halo

I was a little bit disappointed with issue 2, but the 3th made me wanna see what's going to happen next and I love the new costume.

Posted by vuviper
@Grim:  I thought it felt very Robin-y also. That's why I enjoy reading it even if I like Cassandra as Batgirl better. Its still enjoyable for me to read, it's just a different book than Cassandras series. I do wish we'd see Cassandra somewhere, in here or somewhere else.
Edited by Dr. Detfink

All along, Barbara was testing Stephanie to see not just how badly she wanted to be Batgirl but what kind of Batgirl she would resemble. Stephanie is a teenager who doesn't want to be the stereotypical girl who goes to prom, worries about what to wear, boys, etc. She wants her own identity and Batgirl gives her that. 
 
What I liked about this 3 issue arc is the way they distinguished Stephanie from Barbara and Cassandra. She's not as naive as Barbara was when she started. She already died once. At the same time, Stephanie is not going to be some edgy faceless emo ninja. 
 
As for Wendy, I see her groomed as Stephanie's Oracle.
 
And why is there always a point where the character says, "I am Bat..." well because every one looks up to Batman who is bad ass.

Posted by burr787

I liked this issue a lot, much better than the first two.

Edited by FoxxFireArt

Don't often see text reviews on the main page. Not as if it's a negative thing. I don't mind reading at all. lol
I can seriously see where you are drawing the comparison of this story to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Especially, in your comments on the Scarecrow's new drug hitting a college frat party. A mixture of everyday youth life, coming to a head with the supernatural. Am I the only one who thinks this sounds a tad below Scarecrow.
 
I noticed an interesting line used here in your review.
Gambler Said:

, not my Batgirl comics. 

You are rather possessive of comics you enjoy. I can relate. I hate it when a book, character, or comic I enjoy reading isn't shown a decent level of respect. Even more frustrating when the character you enjoy most simply disappears with little to no explanation.
 
Don't you think it would be a tad sadistic to bring Stephanie back as Batgirl, only to cause something to have her drop out again and replaced by another? It would be like treating the character as a punching bag.
Posted by Final Arrow

I was looking over the new bat girl series and MR likes them. But I have taken a step back and think that Steph is just a stepping stone to the next Batgirl! As Gambler has said the Calculators daughter has made some random appearances recently, but I do not think that she will be stepping up to the mantle any time soon. The" Bat" costume has changed hands as has robins and that got me thinking. Babs was a great fit to Bruce's old batman, where Cassie worked perfectly with the Darker Bruce, But Steph does not even fit in with Damien or Dick. I just don't see her as Batgirl, I think something is coming that will cause the change and then bring us to WHO IS NEXT. I would like to see huntress take the mantle again or someone who is closer to Dick so we can have a greater story.

Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau
@Final Arrow said:
" But Steph does not even fit in with Damien or Dick. I just don't see her as Batgirl. "
Pretty much agree. She doesn't seem to fit in with anyone in the Bat-Fam to be honest. The way she's written comes off as a flacky dizzy blonde, who's in way over her head.
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

Still think that Babs crippled Wendy
Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
" Still think that Babs crippled Wendy "
If not directly then indirectly. She sure seems to feel responsible.
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir
@Gambler said:
" @Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
" Still think that Babs crippled Wendy "
If not directly then indirectly. She sure seems to feel responsible. "

she seemed to not care that much at the time
Posted by Mbecks14

i feel like the writers forget that she was trained by Batman, pretty intensively, when she was Robin...so she shouldnt suck at being a superhero that much.

Posted by Media_Master

Good read!

Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau
@Mbecks14 said:
" i feel like the writers forget that she was trained by Batman, pretty intensively, when she was Robin...so she shouldnt suck at being a superhero that much. "
She also received training from Cassandra Cain. Just cause you get training from great martial artists doesn't necessary mean you become one yourself. She's a decent acrobat. But as far as hand to hand goes she's probably at the bottom of the "Bat-Totem pole."
Posted by NightFang

Nice review.

Posted by HaloKing343

Thanks Gambler! 
 
No vid?