Saturday, August 15, 2009

Batgirl #1 Preview Pages

You can go check out a five-page preview of the new Batgirl series on DC's The Source blog. In it, someone wearing the Cassandra Cain costume fights the "129th Street Bangers," some kind of car gang. It features the deathless line, "Boys are stupid" to explain its somewhat nonsensical set-up and reads like a dumbed down comic book version of The Fast and the Furious. Take a moment to absorb that concept. Also, Batgirl has a grappling gun that goes "POOT." Absorb that... if you dare.


The visual storytelling is a bit confused. Lots of those cliched overlapping "widescreen" panels all the kids are into nowadays with their video games and their whippets and their ewoks and whatnot, and way too many cropped figures. Batgirl fires her poot-gun on page two but artist Lee Garbett doesn't see fit to show her swinging on the line. You know, to relate an action to its result. Instead he renders the poot-gun panel a non sequitor by abruptly cutting directly to Batgirl diving from the air onto the speeding cars.

She might as well have shot a flare gun. Or even a real gun. Then he sends her directly through a windshield unharmed. She also somehow manages to cartwheel over the car, fire her poot-gun under the body and latch onto the rear axle-- although Garbett evidently doesn't feel we need to see how this works either, so it's not exactly clear what she's trying to do or how she hopes to accomplish it-- and lands safely on the street.


This is pretty silly stuff even by the ridiculous standards of superhero comics. As a preview, it fails to excite me about the possibilities for this new series. Actually, it makes me feel uncomfortably nostalgic for Adam Beechen's Redemption Road mini. But I don't know-- if you thought the Wanted movie was awesome and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra floats your boat, you might dig the hell out of this. I'll stick with Nana.

Is this Batgirl Cassandra Cain? Her actions and costume say yes, the dialogue says probably not. Unless she's undergone yet another personality change. In a few years, some clever writer may be revealing that Cassandra Cain's traumatic childhood left her with multiple personality disorder. I don't know enough about any of the other Batgirl candidates at this point to decide if writer Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl characterization is right or wrong in those cases. But my gut feeling is this isn't Cassandra.

Some of the commenters suggest if she's not to be Batgirl anymore, Cass would make a killer Nightwing. I second that emotion. That's much better than that one guy's "She's gonna team up with her mom and become a villain again" suggestion from a few weeks ago. Listen up, DC! Make Cass Nightwing and do a series that's not... well...


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