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The Wheelchair Isn't Retconned: Batgirl #1 6-Page Preview

New preview pages reveal the fate of Alan Moore's 'The Killing Joke' in the "New 52."

One of the biggest stories to come out of the new DC Universe and DC Comics' 52 new ongoing titles is the return of Barbara Gordon to the role that made her famous -- Batgirl. The movie is definitely a controversial one, as many die hard Barbara fans would agree that comic characters evolve, and the crippling of Barbara in fact evolved her character and added a new dynamic to her role in the DC Universe as the only superhero that could fight crime behind closed doors. Her role became essential to the Bat family's detective skills, and she organized her own team of crime-fighting women, the 'Birds of Prey.'

Barbara Gordon had not allowed the wheelchair to hold her back, and many fans would agree it made her stronger. She became the mentor first to Cassandra Cain, who would take her place as Batgirl, and then to Stephanie Brown, the current Batgirl. Now this September, Barbara will return to her roots and to her past, and to the cape and cowl as she once again swings across the rooftops of Gotham City. This is certainly an exciting time for Babs, but what will that mean for the 20 plus years of character history since she was first shot by the Joker in 'The Killing Joke'? Until now, fans weren't sure how much of Barbara's character would keep and pass over into the new 52, but a revealing exclusive 6-page preview of the first issue of Batgirl in the New York Post answers a lot of unanswered questions.

== TEASER ==

"It’s tremendously exciting to see her smiling on the cover of her own hit book finally, ready to kick ass against Gotham City’s worst monsters," said the series’ writer, Gail Simone.

Batgirl, which is being written by Gail Simone may not be a hit book, yet -- but if pre-orders are indicative of anything, many of the DC's big 52 titles already have hit over 100 thousand pre-orders, and in the case of Justice League, 200 thousand. Needless to say, people are definitely going to be reading DC Comics this fall -- and that includes Batgirl comics.

The big reveal in this short preview, however, has to be the fact that DC is acknowledging the fact that Barbara had been shot in Alan Moore's 'The Killing Joke' and for a while, had been in a wheelchair. The big question remains, however, will her years as Oracle, when she fully came into her own as a strong, empowered, intelligent female character remain in continuity? Is the moment when tragedy struck (Babs getting shot by the Joker) nearly as important as how she dealt with the tragedy afterward? I never thought so. Check out the 6-page preview of Batgirl #1 which is due to hit stores on September 7th, 2011.

Source: New York Post

BATGIRL #1

Written by GAIL SIMONE

Art by ARDIAN SYAF and VICENTE CIFUENTES

Cover by ADAM HUGHES

Yes, it's really happening!

Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl – and she's going to have to face the city's most horrifying new villains as well as the dark secrets from her past. You won't want to miss this stunning debut issue from fan-favorite BIRDS OF PREY writer Gail Simone!

DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.99 US

On Sale September 7, 2011

91 Comments
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Posted by KRYPTON

Well it looks like things are becoming more clearer

Posted by Bestostero

Dang it I can't read some of the pages even after trying to blow them up! lol
 
I will absolutely pick up Batgirl, love Gail Simone, love Barbara Gordon, very excited for this title! I'm very intrigued on how they will explain this "home invasion" incident...

Posted by TheMess1428

Thank you, Gail Simone! This made me happy. I can't wait to read the next page now!

Posted by The Velvet Rabbit

Simone's great, Syaf's great (at least his covers are, anyway - I haven't seen much interior art from him), and Hughes' cover is amazing.    honestly, this has all the makings of a great title, but something just seems a bit off for some reason.   I like the paneling though - reminds me a bit of a lighter, less-gritty version of Elegy.   for me I think it's just that her personality is kind of Geoff Johns 'silver age-y', almost like she's abandoned everything she learned from her time as Oracle.   it's like her Oracle phase existed in the New 52 scheme, but it wasn't really relevant, if that makes any sense at all   o_O

Posted by InnerVenom123

Text quality is terrible. I can't read any of that. :( 

Posted by pikahyper

her right foot looks kinda weird in that first image o.o

Moderator
Posted by Radread

 
 Now this is going to be a great book.

Posted by elayem98
@xhavoc86 said:
Dang it I can't read some of the pages even after trying to blow them up! lol
Posted by Nwing77

I really can't buy into this book.  I have no issues with Barbara Gordon being healed and mobile, especially if the transition is done tastefully and enhances her narrative.
 
Its the whole going back to Batgirl I find completely needless and tacky.  If DC truly believed the conceit that her former iconic status was necessary for the role, then why isn't Dick Grayson back as Robin?  Because it would be stupid and there's some things that even a talented writer like Gail can't gap. 
 
The writing shown in the preview seems pretty generic so far.  Although, that maybe because its an "origin story".
Posted by cattlebattle

It's a Miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by The Velvet Rabbit
@Radread: agreed - I just wish it wasn't like some kind of an overnight miracle.   but I'm still gonna' read it, and I'm probably going to eat my words and end up loving it, too; Gail Simone and Marjorie Liu both have a bad habit of doing that.
Posted by WrenchNinja

Still won't read it. I love Babs, but this isn't right putting Steph and Cass under a bus. Oracle will always be more useful and important than her version of Batgirl. She can and did so much more as Oracle.

Posted by shroudofsorrow

Ugh.  I'm still disgusted with Barbara being Batgirl again.  She was OK as Batgirl for how long that lasted, but the real meat to the character is her time as Oracle.  The fact that they are undoing that one: confirms once and for all that there is absolutely no such thing as permanent change in comic books, and two: sends her back to a less interesting period in her life that was fine for when it was going on, but has since run its course.  In fact, honestly aside from Batgirl: Year One, I can't think of a single comic with Barbara as Batgirl that ever caught my interest. 

Posted by Or35ti

Sorry I'm having a really hard time reading the text and comprehending what's going on. Could someone explain this to me please?

Posted by batflasharrow96

That's not the point! What is so bad about her being out of the wheelchair (whether or not she ever was) is that it's an insult to comic readers bound to wheelchairs who view Oracle as their idol. Oracle shows she can be a better hero than many others who are completely healthy.

Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

Even with this preview, we still don't really know how well the story will be weaved yet.  It may or may not be a decision that some of us agreed with, but I'm willing to give this a chance.  Why?  At the end of the day, when compared to the many real horrors out there, it's not worth getting too upset about.  Gail is certainly talented, and whatever choice the higher-ups have made for her, she is going to make some damn fine lemonade.

Edited by Bestostero
@Or35ti said:

Sorry I'm having a really hard time reading the text and comprehending what's going on. Could someone explain this to me please?

From what I understand, she did get shot by the Joker, but she recovered somehow, because in the second page it says something like "Oh yes, feeling a creep crumble under my feet" "I don't even know how much I missed it" and the last page she kinda recounts the incident and says something like although she gets scared everytime she hears the door knocks, she remembers that she survived the brutal home invasion, she survived the joker, she survived the bullet.
Posted by danhimself

I'll be reading anything by Gail Simone!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Yes its rather small. I mean I could read it but I sure would be straining my eyes. From what I was able to make it, its obvious that The Killing Joke has not been retconned, but if the underlying theme of this is to try and show how she's walking and moving about again as Batgirl, I don't see it.  Maybe that's covered in more of the book when it comes out.  We will see!

Posted by Jake Fury
Posted by Outside_85

Had she been a living human being then it would have been awsome that she returned, but as a fictional character...I have to say i preferred her as Oracle.

Posted by Bestostero
@batflasharrow96 said:
That's not the point! What is so bad about her being out of the wheelchair (whether or not she ever was) is that it's an insult to comic readers bound to wheelchairs who view Oracle as their idol. Oracle shows she can be a better hero than many others who are completely healthy.
Why can't you still idolize her? I idolize her and I'm not a female, I'm not a red head, I'm not anything like Barbara, but I still value her as one of my favorite super heroes. I look up to a lot of super heroes that are nothing like me physically. 
 
Diversity was a huge topic for comics recently, and I find it extremely difficult to find someone that is a prominent Asian male super hero (other than the cliche brainiacs and karate masters), but that doesn't ruin my interest completely or make me turn away from a character because they don't fit that description. Maybe its not completely the same, but I think you should give it a chance.
Posted by haydenclaireheroes

this is the series I am most excited to read for the new reboot 

Online
Posted by shawn87
@pikahyper said:
her right foot looks kinda weird in that first image o.o
Exactly what i was thinking. Something just looked off
Posted by Or35ti
@xhavoc86: That's interesting. Thanks a lot man! I still can't wait to know exactly how she got the use of her legs back, and so strong that she's now able to leap rooftops again.
Posted by pikahyper
@shawn87 said:
@pikahyper said:
her right foot looks kinda weird in that first image o.o
Exactly what i was thinking. Something just looked off
It's definitely not a flattering pose, it makes her right leg look totally fat too.
Moderator
Posted by RareCheshire

Sold! Can't go wrong with Gail Simone with Babs!

Posted by The Poet

That is awsome! I was going to get this any way, but now I KNOW I am going to get this! Looks fun!

Moderator
Posted by Baddamdog

I knew I was right to trust Gail. Good on you gal

Posted by Oghmata
@xhavoc86 said:
@batflasharrow96 said:
That's not the point! What is so bad about her being out of the wheelchair (whether or not she ever was) is that it's an insult to comic readers bound to wheelchairs who view Oracle as their idol. Oracle shows she can be a better hero than many others who are completely healthy.
Why can't you still idolize her? I idolize her and I'm not a female, I'm not a red head, I'm not anything like Barbara, but I still value her as one of my favorite super heroes. I look up to a lot of super heroes that are nothing like me physically.   Diversity was a huge topic for comics recently, and I find it extremely difficult to find someone that is a prominent Asian male super hero (other than the cliche brainiacs and karate masters), but that doesn't ruin my interest completely or make me turn away from a character because they don't fit that description. Maybe its not completely the same, but I think you should give it a chance.
I think the problem is not about who can or cannot relate to her. The thing is that being Oracle in her wheelchair was proving that being disabled does not mean needing to be taken care of or looked down on with pity. As Oracle she was one of the most prominent and greatest DC heroes, and when DC brings her out of the wheelchair and makes her Batgirl again it's like saying "Yeah, being Oracle was the only thing the poor disabled girl could do, but now that she walks again she's back as Batgirl because it's so much greater and more important !"
On a symbolic level, Oracle meant "Being in a wheelchair does not make me less of a hero, of a person."
Now that symbol kinda goes to trash.
Posted by sora_thekey

@xhavoc86 said:

Dang it I can't read some of the pages even after trying to blow them up!

Same here!

I don't understand this very much.

Moderator
Posted by EnSabahNurX
@Oghmata: Gail respects barbara as a character too much to just make her batgirl and ditch her oracle persona, I think this batgirl will be the fusion  of both characters and will be more interesting than just another female robin/batman, But i do favor the wheelchair bound barbara I knew it was never going to be permanent and I think gail would have left her in the wheelchair if DC people didn't want barbara back in the suit because she is the most recognizable batgirl because of the cartoons/TV shows and because she had the longest run as batgirl(I believe...) 
 
I'm giving it a shot just because she's one of my favorite DC characters and hope I'm not disappointed 
Posted by Duo_forbidden

I can't really make out the text, but I'm still excited for this series!

Posted by ReVamp

Was I the only person that knew this?
It was heavily hinted at... somewhere... LOL

Posted by ReVamp
@Jake Fury
Wait, was it ever confirmed/hinted at on panel that she was actually Sexually Abused?
Posted by Elpizo

As long as she remembers her time as Oracle and is a mixture of both personas, I think the comic will do just fine.
Posted by Roldan
@ReVamp said:
@Jake Fury:  Wait, was it ever confirmed/hinted at on panel that she was actually Sexually Abused?
if you have The Killing Joke, then look at the page where Joker shows Gordon the pictures of naked Barbara. Look at the middle ones where Barbara's making faces. Those faces suggested sexual abuse as well.
Posted by B'Town

I can't wait for this book! :) Babs is going to be Batgirl and I'm good with that, now. Gail is going to rock this.

Posted by Oghmata
@EnSabahNurX: I trust Gail Simone and believe she will do a great job with this Batgirl title. It's DC's editorial direction i'm complaining about. (I am one of these people who wish Bruce Wayne had remained dead...)
Posted by LoganRogue24

i like babs but i prefer steph as bg i will give it a chance though.
Posted by iaconpoint

The art is pretty good, I love the costume and Gail's writing. That said, I'm still never buying one issue of this series. It's principle. Dumping on Steph and the interest of moving forward rather than backward. It's like what would happen if Marvel were stupid enough to bring back Aunt May after the character had long since served her purpose and... oh wait... nevermind.

Posted by SmoothJammin

I'll miss Steph, couple years ago I never thought I'd find myself thinking this but I will..

Posted by CrimsonInuTears

... Just had a flashback to Scarecrow pushin Babs off a buildin in the ol animated series...

Posted by dondasch

This preview still has me more interested in how Gail Simone is going to have Babs walking around again.  Will it be something akin to how Bruce Wayne recovered in Knightfall ?  I can imagine something similar, but his recovery took a way shorter period of time than that which Babs will have had.

Posted by kitsuneconundrum

stem cells.

Posted by labarith

If she can walk again, it's a kick in the back for all of the wheelchair bound kids who buy comics.  End of story. 

Posted by Bat_Mite51
@Oghmata: Well Bruce Wayne never actually died.. so he can't stay dead.
Posted by Pepsiguy2

GREAT NEWS.

Posted by No_Name_

Good news: I swapped these in for higher resolution pictures. Now we can actually read the panels! Enjoy!

Posted by AndyPhifer

looks awesome

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