Well, it’s June, so it’s finally time for me to take a more in-depth look at DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative. However, the reason this is only starting now in the middle of June is because…well, there’s a lot to talk about, both good and bad, and I can’t really imagine me going over ALL of my thoughts on DC Rebirth in one article. As such, I’m gonna be talking about several specific books in their own articles, what I liked and disliked about them, and then give overall thoughts on where I think the book might be headed. And obviously, considering I’m going over the events of these books, there will be SPOILERS, so if you aren’t caught up on them and don’t want to be spoiled, turn back now. So, with that said, let’s talk about Detective Comics.
Now, first and foremost, when I heard about this book initially, I was PUMPED. Not only was it going back to the old numbering, meaning we’d be hitting #1000 relatively quickly, but just look at the cover. It’s a TEAM book, featuring some of my favourite Bat Family characters: Batman, Batwoman, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain… … …erm, Clayface…Yeah, I’mma get to Clayface, but suffice to say, he’s one of the elements of the book that’s both good and bad. Regardless, though, this was gonna be great… … …Then some shit happened that made me a lot less excited. But I’ll get to that later. First, let’s talk about Tim Drake, AKA Red Robin.
So one of the first things the book did was re-establish everything great about Tim Drake. He’s the brains of the Robins, the one most on par with Bruce when it comes to detective skills, and is the one who builds a lot of the tech they use in their new base of operations. Bruce also gives him a new costume that’s more closely associated with the other Robins (remember, in the New 52, Tim was never Robin, and was always Red Robin), and makes it clear to him that he ALWAYS considered him a Robin, whether Tim did or not. Even Tim’s relationship with Stephanie Brown is re-established, much to my joy. And it goes a long way in explaining why these things were re-established here when you consider that, apparently, James Tynion IV is a big fan of the character and his original solo-series. So, for fans of Tim Drake, like myself, this was a great thing to do… … …Then Tim died.
Well, okay, anyone who has read the book where Tim Drake makes his final stand knows that Tim didn’t actually die. Before he could be killed, he was basically removed from the area by Mr. Oz, a character who has been cropping up in Superman’s stories for a while now, and was made Oz’s prisoner, effectively taking Tim off the board because he was an important link to a lot of different people in the DC Universe. What Oz’s motivations for doing this are is still a mystery, and I’ll get more into that when I talk about the Superman books, but that’s the situation as is. And frankly, while that DOES annoy me, that we finally got Tim back as he should be only to lose him, the fact is, this DOES play into a bigger story that even goes outside of this one book. Oz’s plans are one of the big mysteries of DC Rebirth, and Tim is now a part of that, as we see him trying to escape, make contact with Batman, taunt Oz over the loss of other prisoners, etc. He’s not just being benched permanently, it’s part of a storyline that’s actually going somewhere. But, I wouldn’t be lying if I said that fallout from his apparent death has led to things that DO legit bother me.
Now let’s talk about Clayface. First, let me explain that I actually do like his motivations for joining Batman. For those that don’t recall, it was established in the New 52 that Karlo’s abilities had evolved to the point where he could not only assume the forms of other people, his DNA would also change to whoever he made physical contact with. However, this came at a price: He could assume the form and DNA of anyone…except Basil Karlo. So, when we first encounter him in this book, he’s basically hit rock bottom, just sitting alone at a theater showing one of his old movies and not caring for crime or if he gets sent back to Arkham or not. It’s a position that I think a lot of us can understand and would probably find ourselves in if we were in his shoes. Thus, when Batman offers him a chance to become Basil Karlo if he joins Batman’s team to help Gotham, he accepts. And as a result of that, we see him start to change. He’s regaining his humanity and is legitimately wanting to help people again as opposed to feeling forced to. It’s a well-written redemption storyline that, hopefully, won’t be undone.
Unfortunately, there’s a problem with Clayface being the one to receive this redemption arc, one that I was not privy to because, while I know a lot about No Man’s Land, I have not read it in its entirety. However, since his introduction as a member of this team, a friend of mine let me in on the fact that it was made pretty clear (if not outright stated) that Clayface raped Poison Ivy during the events of No Man’s Land. This was part of the story that led to Ivy being put in charge of Robinson Park and looking after orphaned children. And I know, I KNOW, someone’s gonna point out that this might not be in continuity anymore. And granted, that’s a legit argument. However, here’s my counter-argument: DC, while getting better at it as of late, has never made it fully clear what all is and is not canon from the pre-Flashpoint stories. So, until it’s made clear one way or the other, we don’t really know whether the events of No Man’s Land are or are not still a part of these characters’ histories. Furthermore, even if No Man’s Land and the rape are no longer canon due to it being among the ten years of history taken from the DC Universe, it still doesn’t completely erase what happened, especially since events in recent comics suggest those ten years are going to be reintegrated into main storylines. And you just can’t have it both ways by saying that all of the previous history is canon again, but that the rape never happened. Other than situations where characters couldn’t have been physically present due to not being introduced in the new continuity until much later, re-establishing the past history means it ALL happened. Now, if this was an alternate universe with its own history and incarnations of the characters, then I would say “Okay, I can overlook that”. But this ISN’T. Rebirth has made it clear that this is the same universe that existed pre-Flashpoint, just with ten years worth of history removed and elements of the WildStorm and Vertigo Universes blended in. And I’m not even saying it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do a story wherein Clayface redeems himself for those actions, it’s just that, be it because Tynion isn’t aware or forgot about that story, or either he himself or higher-ups at DC don’t care, there does not exist a story wherein Clayface at least attempts to rectify what he did to Ivy. Now, if they do so later, fine, but for now, it’s an issue that will always stick out to me. And if you think I’m wrong to feel that way, lemme ask longtime DC fans something: What was your initial reaction to seeing Doctor Light appear in the New 52 as a good guy who joined the JLA? My guess is probably revulsion, because you remembered that image of Doctor Light raping Sue Dibny, and then later being made into a serial rapist who was killed by other bad guys because even they couldn’t stomach him. You can’t simply pretend that didn’t happen when these are all still supposed to be the same characters. This is what the publisher did with the character, and you can’t simply brush it off because it’s inconvenient.
…*sighs* And, speaking of which, that leads me to probably my biggest disappointment with the book: Stephanie Brown. I have made it no secret that Steph is one of my all-time favourite superheroes, held the #1 spot for me for many years, and was the star of my favourite Batgirl title. Now, initially, I didn’t really have a problem with Stephanie in this book. It wasn’t until she left the team that I had a problem, and that wasn’t even really with her leaving the team. The thing is, Stephanie Brown finding fault and taking issue with Batman’s methods? That’s totally in character for her. They DO have differing philosophies and methodology as it pertains to helping people and dealing with crime. It’s not even that she leaves over Bruce’s tendency to inadvertently get others caught in the crossfire of his fight with villains, since it works as motivation for him to be more careful and do more to help those caught in his path. The problem is just how fucking hypocritical she acts, talking about how Gotham doesn’t need heroes when she goes out and specifically does superhero acts, all the while sabotaging Batman and saying how he shouldn’t be out in the open taking the credit. THAT is NOT in character for her. And she talks about how Batman should stick to the shadows and not let the general public in on his existence, when guess what? THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE USED TO DO!!! He DID stick to the shadows! He DIDN’T let people know he really existed! He was an urban legend, and the confirmed existence of him was known only to a select few. He only came out into the light when things in Gotham got SO bad that he HAD to, that his presence would’ve actually been a positive to Gotham. Then there’re hints that, in future issues, she’s gonna be teaming with Anarky. Now, Steph teaming with anti-heroes like Catwoman or the like, that makes sense. ANARKY IS A STRAIGHT-UP VILLAIN WHO KILLS PEOPLE. Her working with him makes no sense for her character. And the most insulting part of all of this is that the event that triggers it all is Tim’s supposed death, meaning it’s entirely possible none of this would’ve happened if not for the fact that her boyfriend bit the dust. Give me a fucking break!
In terms of the other characters, I like that the book makes use of people like Batwing, Azrael, and Bluebird, heroes who don’t have their own books and are able to get some stories told about them here. I also like that the book was able to tell a story that directly led into Batwoman getting her own solo title again, which is always a good thing. Batwoman is a popular and important enough character to deserve her own book, and I’m glad they’ve done so. I also like that it’s made clear that she and Bruce are equals on this team, as they should be. Not sure why they completely shaved her head at the beginning, but whatever, minor nitpick, and at least it’s growing back out again as of late.
One problem I have with the book that’s actually a bit smaller than the ones I’ve mentioned thus far is the fact that Kate’s dad was made a villain. I mean, I GUESS when you look at the story as a whole and how it unfolded, it kinda makes sense. Still, I kinda find it problematic if, for no other reason, it pushes Kate to be more like Bruce, since she now no longer has a father to go to. And frankly, the story of him going after a super-secret organization that Batman doesn’t believe exists, but then it turns out they do and that they’re a far bigger threat just makes Batman look like an idiot, especially since this isn’t even the first evil group he thought never existed and then was proven wrong about.
So, now for where I think/hope this book is going. Well, first off, it’s pretty clear that Tim being alive will come out at some point, especially with Superman apparently having to deal with Mr. Oz more directly in upcoming events. What they’ll do with him at that point is anyone’s guess, but I’d imagine him being confirmed alive will probably be what leads to Steph and Bruce resolving their issues. I honestly hope they DO actually work what happened in No Man’s Land into a story, with Clayface feeling the need to make right what he did in some way, shape, or form. CAN he be redeemed is a question everyone needs to ask themselves, but personally, I’d at least be fine with them giving it a legitimate attempt. At least acknowledge that he feels guilt over what happened. And hopefully, Kate and her father can resolve their issues as well, and WITHOUT him dying in some way. Honestly, what I think would be a good move after Tim is brought back into the fold is for Bruce to maybe take a step back and let the team do their own thing. Let us see how the group can function without Batman taking direct control of it.
One thing I’m legitimately worried about is that, with the recent reveal that the Outsiders are still canon, the team in this book will be disbanded and replaced with the Outsiders. I’m not against the Outsiders getting back together, and I would be in favour of them getting their own book or integrating this team into their ranks. However, I hope this team is not completely broken down for the sake of bringing them back. I feel like that would be a disservice to these characters.
Most importantly, though, I want Detective Comics to remain a team book. Detective Comics basically just being another Batman book in the New 52 seemed like a waste, whereas now we have actual stories we can tell with it. And, to be honest, despite everything bad I’ve said that’s happened in this book…it’s still a lot better than another Bat book I could name, which I’ll be getting to eventually. For now, lemme know what your own thoughts on Detective Comics in DC Rebirth are, and join me next time for something a bit more…wonderful. Ja né!
…SO, today was kinda nuts. Before I go in-depth on all of the big announcements, since I fully expect more news to come out soon enough, let’s instead take a look at some of the art revealed for the new books and a few quick notes I took for the different titles.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll go more in depth soon enough, though. Lemme know your own thoughts below, and we’ll see how things pan out from now to May 25th, 2016. Ja né!
DC Comics recently announced the event that is clearly intended to be the Crisis On Infinite Earths anniversary event, and it’s not exactly what I was expecting, but I’ll nonetheless take it. The event is referred to as Convergence, and it follows up on plot hooks going back as far as Justice League International’s finale, and heavily involves recent revelations from Superman Doomed and Future’s End. Long story short, Brainiac (or rather A Brainiac) has been bottling people and cities from various worlds across different universes in the Multiverse. In fact, some of these universes don’t even exist anymore, meaning that this version of Brainiac managed to survive the Multiversal reboot of The New 52, as did the people he’s captured.
According to what I’ve read up on, the current New 52 books will be taking a two month break in April and May (so I guess I’ll be saving a bit more money than usual, lol), which explains why all the current arcs in the storylines are ending at the same time. During this break, there’ll be a weekly series for Convergence, as well as a number of two-part miniseries that’ll cover different worlds involved in Convergence. Basically, seeing what these characters have been up to since the last time we saw them, and probably tying into the greater events of Convergence. And since I’m seeing worlds based on the last year or two of the pre-Flashpoint New Earth, the pre-Flashpoint Earth 2, Superman Red Son, Kingdom Come, and several others, I would imagine there’ll at least be SOME comics in this event that’ll catch my attention.
So, a common theory among fans right now is that, following Convergence, the current reality of The New 52 will be adjusted to include a number of characters and concepts from past continuities. Others are suggesting that this is the end of The New 52, and the restoration of the previous continuity. Honestly, I’m hoping for the former, since there has actually been some great stuff in The New 52 that I would hate to see wiped away. Plus, if that happened, what the hell would’ve been the point of the past 3+ years? It would’ve just been a complete waste of our time. With that said, there’s plenty of the previous continuity that I would like to see integrated into the current one, and plenty of BAD stuff we’ve seen in The New 52 I would like to see done away with. So, with that said, here’s a list of changes I’d like to see after Convergence is over, be it returning characters and concepts, or the end of current ones…
This is actually something that is possibly being teased for before Convergence, if I’m correct, that is. Basically, I took notice of the fact that solicits for Superman #38 promised a new costume for the Man of Steel, and that his pelvic area was hidden or otherwise obscured on the cover of every book he was on that month. My theory is that he’s either returning to the old tights, or his current costume is being adjusted to resemble it and its colour scheme. Honestly, either one works for me.
Now, there ARE a ton of heroes on Earth 2, but they aren’t really so much a team. Bringing back the Justice Society would be a huge benefit to the Earth 2 books. But beyond bringing back the JSA, I would also bring back some of its members, like Jade, Wildcat, Doctor Mid-Nite, Liberty Belle, possibly even the Kingdom Come Superman, and so on. That said, I think I would wanna keep the newer costumes for those that have been around in The New 52. No offense to the original designers, but I just think the newer costumes look a bit better.
I’m sorry, but the romance between Superman and Wonder Woman needs to end. Like, NOW. This was doomed to fail from the beginning, and I think reader response has proven that it did. It really says it all when even Man of Steel knew well enough to have Clark and Lois together. I don’t even care if they’re married or not, I just wanna see them back together. That said, wouldn’t necessarily have to cancel Superman/Wonder Woman, just make it about them teaming up to fight supervillains instead of ‘the fauxmance’. Speaking of Wonder Woman, though…
Seriously, we need the old Wonder Woman back. Badly. Beyond the obvious, having her be the compassionate diplomat once again, her back-story and the history of the Amazons needs a change from the current New 52 version. What bothers me most about the changes to her back-story isn’t so much the fact that I mind her being the daughter of Zeus. That much I can live with. Rather, it’s Hippolyta bending over backwards for Zeus (or was it forwards? I honestly can’t remember), and the HORRIBLE changes to the Amazons, making them pirates and rapists. That, above all else, needs to be undone. If you wanna keep Diana as a demigod, fine, but fixing the situation with the Amazons is a must, and the circumstances surrounding the tryst of Zeus and Hippolyta need to be changed to make her look better. Finally, just a cosmetic note, I think I’d want the silver on the Wonder Woman costume made gold again. Gold just looks better on Diana than silver, to be honest.
Beyond some of the more obvious heroes to bring back (Blue Beetle, Donna Troy, Plastic Man, Renee Montoya, Cassandra Cain, Elongated Man, the Blue Lantern Corps), one that I would like to see make a comeback is Proxy, AKA Wendy Harris. Seeing as how Babs is currently Batgirl, and I actually rather like what they’re doing with her nowadays, bringing Proxy back to fill her role as Oracle would seem like the best option. The loss of Oracle, as someone who helped to coordinate the various heroes on Earth, has been significant, and is still being felt nowadays.
I cannot frakking believe I forgot to mention this before, but bringing back the Birds of Prey would be amazing after this, and here’s why: In the final issue of Gail Simone’s run on Batgirl, we learn that Babs has the means by which to get ahold of pretty much EVERY SINGLE SUPERHEROINE ON EARTH. That means she could conceivably form a team out of ANY of these women. You wanna see a team-up of Strix and Katana? Catwoman and Batwoman? Zatanna and Raven? Misfit and Vengeance Moth? Starfire and Bleez? Any and all of these are now possible. Heck, she’s also in touch with Helena Wayne, so she could conceivably call in help from Earth 2 superheroines like Power Girl, Red Tornado, and Aquawoman someday. The Birds could actually succeed the Justice League as the greatest assortment of heroes on Earth at that point. People, just TRY and tell me you would not read a book like that. 😀
Anyway, that’s all for now. Leave a comment below on stuff you’d like to see change following Convergence, and we’ll see if we get any of these wishes. Ja né!
…Just…Just, dammit, Gail. I thought we had an understanding that I was NOT going to get anything of Future’s End, that I was not interested, and that I was not going to give DC my money for this event…and then, not only did you make Stephanie Brown Batgirl again, not only did you bring back Cassandra Cain as Batgirl, and not only did you make Lucius Fox’s daughter Batgirl (I thought it was Nell to be honest, but whatevs, I’ll take what I can get), but you brought back the Gooperangs. I LOVE THE GOOPERANGS! XD
Okay, for realsies? What makes this comic so awesome is a couple of things. The first, as I’ve made clear, is the three Batgirls, not only for being there, but how they interact, work together, and play off each other. Of all the stuff revealed to be in this possible future of Future’s End (and yes, let’s not fool ourselves, it’s a POSSIBLE future, regardless of what DC says or wants us to believe), this is one of the very few things I would LOVE to see be a thing in the future. But the other thing that makes this comic awesome is Barbara. Despite some truly AWFUL things that happen to her in the future, and finding herself delving into the wrong side of the law at times, we see in the end that, no matter what happens, she is always Babs, and she will never give up nor give in. In many ways, it feels like one last love letter from Gail to Babs…Oh, and also, because Bane is the main antagonist and is used brilliantly.
I will say, though, that one problem I have with the comic is Babs’ costume as the Bête Noire. I get that she’s supposed to look like a cross between Batgirl and Bane, but does she have to have the collar and the megaboobs? Also, and I get that this is totally a me problem, but I still think Babs should’ve gotten married to Alysia. Though, on the flip side, it’s nice to see her with someone who is apparently expecting their child, so that’s another happy ending hinted at.
Ugh, so yeah, I did in fact buy one comic in Future’s End, and because it’s so good, I have little choice but to mark it as highly recommended. There, YOU WIN, okay DC? But only because you had an evil genius writing this book who knew exactly how to loophole herself a way to get damned near every Batgirl fan what they wanted with this one book, so to The Simone, I say this: Well played, Gail. I honestly don’t know whether I hate you or love you with this book. lol
What I Bought Yesterday – Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure for the Nintendo 3DS (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Well, despite the fact that there were no comics that I wanted to check out this week, I am still here to talk about…
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget this time. I just wanted to wait a day before I gave my thoughts, since this is not a comic or movie, it’s a video game. Let’s take a look at Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure for the Nintendo 3DS!
So the game begins with two siblings, Maxwell and Lily, who are the main protagonists of the game. They’re currently engaged in a dispute comic book fans always seem to have at one point or another: Who is the better superhero, Superman or Batman? Well, they decide to find out, as both have very unique powers that can find the answer: Maxwell has a sketchbook that can make whatever he sketches real, and Lily has a globe that lets her and whoever she wants travel wherever she wants. So, Maxwell tears a page from his sketchbook, writes ‘Gotham City‘ on it, and slaps it onto the globe, thus making the DC Universe real. However, in his excitement, Maxwell made a terrible mistake, as it seems the page he tore had something on the back: Doppelgänger, his evil twin, who aligns himself with the villains of the Justice League and goes on a rampage in Gotham, Metropolis, Oa, Atlantis, and more. Thus, the goal is to try to undo the chaos that Doppelgänger and the Injustice League creates.
The game works as many Scribblenauts games do: You control Maxwell and use his powers to solve different puzzles and scenarios, only this time, they’re spread across several iconic locations in the DC Universe. There are a lot of ways to go about solving these, by creating items, summoning heroes, adjusting pre-existing objects and people, and more. Sometimes you’ll have to do something very specific, while others can have multiple options with varying levels of reward. Many puzzles are non-mandatory, for the most part, but the only way to move on to new levels is to complete these puzzles and earn reward points. Fortunately, the non-mandatory ones are randomized, so if you don’t like the ones presented, you can just leave the level and come back. Also, Superman villain Mister Mxyzptlk will occasionally present optional challenges when you enter a level that will limit what you can and can’t do while there for that trip, but if you take him up on his challenges and succeed at solving the scenarios, they’ll grant you additional reward.
So, given that this is a crossover game with DC heroes, who all shows up? Just about EVERYBODY. Not only are there the major A List superheroes, like Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern, with multiple variations for many (although usually defaulted to their New 52 versions), but there are so many others in the game as well, and each with summaries of who these characters are for anyone who isn’t familiar with them. And yes, the roster includes Stephanie Brown as Spoiler, Robin and Batgirl. Yes, it includes Wally West, Donna Troy, Helena Bertinelli, Cassandra Cain, Renée Montoya, both Aqualads, and so many more. Everyone should have at least one favourite hero in this game. Heck, even Linkara’s favourite superhero of all time, Danny Chase, is in here. And that’s just the heroes! You can summon villains too (although why you would ever want or need to, I have yet to discover), and yes, there are a crap ton of them too, with their own bios! This isn’t just a game, it’s a freaking encyclopaedia! I think there was only one or two moments where I searched a character and couldn’t find them, and even then, the number that are in with their own unique assets kinda makes me forgive that pretty easily.
Now, I do have one complaint about the game, and it centres around the version I got. This game is also available for the PC and Wii U, and one of the features of the game that was promoted pretty heavily was the Hero Creator, where you can create your own heroes by mixing and matching parts of other heroes, colouring them to your liking, giving them their own unique powers, etc. And as you’ve probably guessed by now…yeah, it’s not in the 3DS version. That was a MAJOR let-down for me, as I was planning to create versions of my own superheroes, The Hexagon, in the game.
I do understand what is the likely reason it wasn’t put in the 3DS version, though: Putting in as many characters and variations of characters with their own unique powers that can be used for battles or puzzle solving, on top of a lot of the different stuff already in a standard Scribblenauts game, and even making copies of their weapons, gadgets, and costumes that Maxwell can create for himself, was pushing on the game’s memory too much. Plus, you can make adjustments to heroes by summoning them and adding adjectives to them, like Fast, Flying, a different colour, stuff like that. And, the 3DS DOES have something unique to it, in that it has Streetpass support, here you can unlock hero costumes for your Mii. HOWEVER, all of that said, if it wasn’t going to be in the 3DS version, they should have made that explicitly clear from the beginning. And I checked, I checked the crap outta news sites, and other than speculation, there was NOTHING solid either way.
Overall, though, while I feel disappointed in missing out on the Hero Creator, I am still enjoying the heck out of this game. If you’re a fan of the Scribblenauts series, I think you’ll really like this installment. Also, if you’re like me and are a comic book fan that was curious about getting into Scribblenauts, I think this is the way to go. But hey, feel free to let me know what you think of the game in the comments section below.
Anyway, next week is October, which means my regularly scheduled comics can start coming out again! So, be sure to check in as we venture to Earth 2 to see how the future JSA is getting along, and we check in on The Movement. Ja né!
- EXCLUSIVE: “Batman” #497 Cover Parodied By “Scribblenauts Unmasked” (comicbookresources.com)
- Scribblenauts Unmasked kind of snuck up on me (destructoid.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: “Scribblenauts Unmasked” Parodies “Action Comics” #1 Cover (comicbookresources.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: “Scribblenauts Unmasked” Experiences a Cover “Crisis” (comicbookresources.com)
- Scribblenauts Unmasked comes with free digital comic (vg247.com)
- Scribblenauts Unmasked Launch Trailer Flies Into View (mynintendonews.com)
- The new Scribblenauts is out. (kotaku.com)
- Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure is Out Today! (graphicpolicy.com)
- Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure review (gamesradar.com)
- ‘Scribblenauts Unmasked’ gets launch trailer – watch (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Interview: Caleb Arseneaux, Senior Producer on Scribblenauts Unmasked (comicvine.com)
- Scribblenauts Unlimited finally hits Europe in December (gamesradar.com)
Weren’t expecting one so soon, were ya? Well, when I went to the comic book shop on Wednesday, I found that they had essentially cartons of the Batman HeroClix, 5 to a box, and I decided to buy one today. Did I see Stephanie Brown inside? Sadly, no. Did I find some awesometastic figurines regardless? Heck yeah! So let’s go over the ones I got today.
And first up, here’s someone who is actually good friends with Miss Brown, who also once served as Batgirl, and has a history of getting the shaft from DC, Cassandra Cain, now acting as the Batman of Hong Kong for Batman Incorporated, Black Bat.
And next up is Bruce Wayne‘s closest confidant, assistant, butler, and surrogate father who can also serve the role of field medic, here is Alfred Pennyworth.
Another member of Batman Incorporated, here is Jiro Osama, AKA Mr. Unknown, the Batman of Tokyo.
…A flock of brown bats…Meh, they’re kinda cool I guess. ^_^
Anyway, that’s all for now. Hopefully I find that Stephanie Brown figure…Though I will admit, I should probably try to get some villains too. I only have three. Ja né!
Okay, I apologise if I sound like a conspiracy nut throughout this, but for the past year I’ve been trying to find answers as to why Stephanie Brown isn’t around anymore in DC Comics, and really, all I end up finding are more questions. I’d ask Renee Montoya to solve this for me, but she’s not really around anymore either. Nor is Cassandra Cain, Wally West, and a bunch of other characters in DC’s line-up prior to the relaunch.
For those who don’t know the character, here’s a short synopsis of her history. Originally a vigilante called the Spoiler, Stephanie Brown is the daughter of criminal mastermind the Cluemaster. She quickly allied herself with Tim Drake, whom she had an on again off again relationship with, and temporarily replaced him as Robin when he was forced into temporary retirement, only to be fired by Batman for disobeying orders on two occasions (I don’t see him firing Damian for disobeying orders and killing people, but let’s not open that bag of feral cats). After an incident where she was believed to have been killed, she returned to Gotham originally as Spoiler, but following Cassandra retiring as Batgirl due to disillusionment, Stephanie took up the role. She earned the trust and respect of the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, and often-times worked closely with Tim Drake, now Red Robin, and the new Batman and Robin (Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne). Apparently following Barbara’s surgery that granted her the ability to walk again, Stephanie returned the role of Batgirl to her and resumed work as Spoiler, but I only know that because of a tell-all book written on Batman and his allies that was released recently. Otherwise, she has not appeared once since the reboot.
Now admittedly, the current Batgirl title written by Gail Simone is AWESOME, and is worth your time and money. Personally, I prefer her in her role as Oracle, but if DC was gonna put her back in the role of Batgirl, I’m glad Simone is handling that. In fact, I’ve tweeted back and forth with her a number of times, once in particular about Stephanie Brown and if she would consider maybe bringing her back, not necessarily as Batgirl but possibly as Spoiler working as a partner of sorts with Barbara since their duo worked so well. However, she claimed that the character “wasn’t available”, and that she didn’t know anything more on the subject.
That struck as a bit odd. Gail Simone is the writer, right? Aside from making sure her stories stay in continuity with the others, why should DC Editorial care at all if she wants to involve Stephanie Brown in those stories ONLY? And why wouldn’t Simone know anything regarding why the character isn’t available?
Well, some other odd things happened recently too, like the change to the Smallville comics (seriously, Smallville has it’s own comic series, and no, I don’t know why) wherein originally Batman would appear for a storyline that would see him accompanied by a female Nightwing that would turn out to be Stephanie Brown. This was later blocked by DC Editorial and Nightwing was changed to Barbara Gordon. Another odd bit was changes to the new Teen Titans books so that there were no previous incarnations of the group prior to the relaunch and that Tim Drake was apparently ALWAYS Red Robin. And when I say changes, I mean literally that the new comics originally stated that Tim Drake WAS Robin and that there WERE previous incarnations of the group, both of which seem to be backed up by other comics in the DCnU, and yet in the collected graphic novel/trade paperback/whatever you wanna call it, the dialogue boxes were changed to deny these previous facts.
- This Just In: New Development for Tim Drake [Spoiler] (comicvine.com)
The most recent thing that happened that I took note of as odd was the pulling of the DC Nation block on Cartoon Network. Now I’m not really a fan of Young Justice, but I couldn’t help but notice something very interesting about a character that appeared in the episode set to air until it and the block were pulled until January. Fortunately, the episode was released on iTunes, revealing THIS.
And that’s when it finally hit me: There’s some sort of communications issue between DC Editorial and their writers. The reason for the changes to Tim Drake and the Titans is either because DC Editorial didn’t make it clear from the get-go that they wanted those changes instituted from the beginning or because they made the decision much later. So where does Stephanie Brown fit into this? Well, based on what I’ve seen, what I’ve read, and from the newest incident regarding Young Justice, it’s pretty clear that DC Editorial has blacklisted Stephanie Brown and won’t just frigging say it or explain why.
Now, there’s been a number of rumours backing that up, but because these are just rumours, take them with a grain of salt. The rumours suggest that Dan Didio, the man behind the relaunch in the first place, is a HUGE fan of the original characters that took on various superhero aliases and hates their later replacements, which seem to suggest why in the DCnU, Barry Allen is the only Flash and Wally West either never existed or was never either Flash or Kid Flash, the main Green Lantern comic focused primarily on Hal Jordan and Sinestro while the other Earth-born Green Lanterns were instead demoted to side stories Green Lantern Corps and New Guardians, Dick Grayson gave up being Batman and returned to being Nightwing, and oh yes, Barbara Gordon became Batgirl again and her history as Oracle MAY have been retconned (still looking into that), and Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain are nowhere to be found (although Cassandra was last seen operating out of Hong Kong, so I suppose she could still be there and we just haven’t seen her). Now of course, I could bring up how there were characters that took up the identities of Flash and Green Lantern BEFORE Barry and Hal, but I wouldn’t wanna chance it and have THEM demoted as well.
So what does that mean for Stephanie Brown? Well, it means that unless you’re watching the fan series Batgirl: Spoiled, which I admittedly am not all that impressed by yet but if you like it feel free to follow it, don’t expect to be seeing Miss Brown any time soon, possibly ever. This seems especially telling given some other stuff that’s come up as of late, but I’ll get into that some other time. Ja né!
- Stephanie Brown fights crime, boredom in Batgirl: Spoiled premiere (robot6.comicbookresources.com)