Growing pains: 'Buffy' or 'Batgirl'?
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."
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.