Batgirl #6

After the sparkly greatness that was Lauren Faust’s Super Best Friends Forever, it’s tough to follow it up with my continuing disappointment with the Batgirl title. But it is my sworn duty as this blog’s batsketeer (not really, but you know what I mean.)

As I expressed last time, while I usually love Simone the new series so far has failed to live up to my (probably unrealistically gargantuan) expectations and that continued in this issue.

Batgirl vs Bruce Wayne? Snore, because of course Bruce is faking it all along. Barbara’s mom making muffins when she returns home? Double-snore-mom-stereotype. And Gretel’s “fall” in the finale also fails to impress; I still don’t completely understand her backstory and I never felt a sense of danger, or a real threat, from her.

I think Simone has an incredible opportunity in this title, one that’s being missed–giving Batgirl her own villain. From what I know, Babs always fought in Batman’s shadow, and then usually was matched up against second-rate Gotham rogues. This changes a little bit with Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown fighting their respective villainous fathers, but Barbara Gordon doesn’t have her own Joker or Lex Luthor.

And we know Simone can write a great villain, including Junior (Secret Six) and Alkyone (Wonder Woman) ; but the Mirror and Gretel? They’re one-shot, third tier, never-to-be-heard-from again baddies. Why not give someone who challenges Babs a little? Someone who hurts her, who haunts her, who really forces her to stretch to her limit. Simone can make a wonderfully twisted story that puts her characters through hell but brings them through on the other side changed, grown up, and better. She can do that with Babs, if only matched with the right villain, either old or new.

And I’m not sure if it’s DC telling Gail to take it slow, to ease everyone into this new title, or something else. It’s not like we’re being introduced to a new world or a whole slew of new characters…and lots of other titles, not just DC-related (gasp!) are competing for our attention.

When it comes to the DC pile, I’m reading Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Flash, and Batgirl is at the bottom.* That’s really painful to say. I’ll keep going only out of love for our heroine but something needs to be shaken up, and fast.

*If you’re curious, I’m also reading Morning Glories, Saga and Wolverine and the X-Men; and catching up on Fables, Sandman and Atomic Robo.

Super Best Friends Forever short!

The short Super Best Friends Forever, featuring Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Girl, just premiered on DC Nation (DC’s new programming block on Cartoon Network). This is the first of five SBFF shorts–very, very short, the first clocking in at 75 seconds–all animated by Lauren Faust, animator for Cats Don’t Dance, Iron Giant and writer for Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. Check out the whole thing below!

Supergirl and Batgirl try to convince Wonder Girl to take her older sister’s Invisible Jet out for a spin, because of, you know, big priorities–like TPing Lex Luthor’s secret lair and stopping in Mexico for burritos.

For the short minute or so that it was, SBFF is light, cute and frolicking, giggling fun, though it didn’t throw itself off the goofy deep end like, say, a reincarnation of PowerPuff Girls. The animation is beautiful yet minimalistic (Wonder Girl reminds me of Samurai Jack, it’s the eye shape, I think)–bright, vibrant, and a wonderful combination of Faust’s style and the DC heroines.

And hey, look–the women actually look normal! WG’s a little thin but Supergirl is curvy! She’s not a twig! And boy does it look good on her!

Batgirl is spunky, endlessly cartwheeling–a gymnast  just like her origin story–and her bouncing enthusiasm is honestly a whole lot more like Stephanie Brown than Barbara Gordon, which is a good thing to channel for a series like this.

Wonder Girl rounds out the team well, obviously the most mature of the three. She’s got an interesting accent going on, it sounds either Latin or Greek, regardless playing into the exotic origins of Themyscira as well as WW’s Greek mythology roots.

A superhero something airing on TV about girls just having fun, and not feeling like they have to be serious or say something about the “situation” of women in comics/society? It’s about FREAKING TIME. Now let’s have a full TV show already.

Kudos, Laura Faust, and can’t wait for number two!

And, um, Babs? Save me a burrito.

The New Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Trailer!

I had a good list going of things to get done this summer…respectable, productive things. But now that I’ve seen this trailer, all that’s out the window. As if I didn’t have enough fun playing the original, kicking Joker, Two Face and Riddler butt as Batman, smashing each pole, bench and tree in sight order to collect more bolts…and generally careening the Batmobile into every and every object on the screen. The game also allowed my brother and I to engage in some (rare) teamwork fun, just like Sonic the Hedgehog in days old past…though he would find it endlessly funny to punch Alfred in the face every time we went to the Batcave.

I am more than excited for the next Lego Batman installment especially because the game widens the playing field to the Justice League, though we only see the Man of Steel in this trailer. Where’s Wonder Woman, the Flash, GL and so on? Once again it seemed like the Batman/Superman show, and while they’re the moneymakers just a moment or two of any other superhero would have been welcome. Especially Wonder Woman. There are so many great ways the characters could be introduced–so much inside, self deprecating joke potential, knowing the wit of the previous Lego games–I was hoping for one of those moments.

I’m also hoping Batgirl (duh), Black Canary and Huntress are playable characters (Birds of Prey, anyone?) but I guess I shouldn’t get my hopes up too much.

What do you think about the trailer?