Batgirl by Francis Manapul

Batgirl Francis Manapul

Manapul is also doing some fabulous work on the current Flash series, you should definitely check it out. While I love the sumi-e style I would have loved Manapul to do more of an action pose, I love how he creates a sense of movement in Flash…

And yes I know I’m behind on reviewing Batgirl issues…oops! Please don’t send Ace after me! I’ll get right on it and hopefully start posting more in general.

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Two Cents: Batgirl #5

I’ve gotta be honest here, folks.

I didn’t like this issue.

Probably the most significant moment in the issue was the family drama of Barbara’s mother’s return, which is a new direction for Barbara’s past. While we now know that instead of the route of Commissioner Gordon’s adopted daughter/niece/obscure relative, as is the case in past Batgirl comics, Babs is in fact his daughter. But the reveal of Barbara’s mother was not nearly so dramatic nor did it answer any questions; instead, Barbara’s still nameless mother tries to explain herself, Barbara walks away in a huff, ho hum nothing we haven’t read before…and then there was me constantly trying to tell the difference between mother and daughter.

Seriously. The exact shade of red hair (and not a hint of gray for Momma Gordon), not to mention the exact same face, eyes–hey, it looks like they even use the same lipstick colour. Riight. And a couple of pages later you see Jim with the same  brilliant red hair. Which is totally realistic. You know what would have been cool? If Babs’ mom looked a bit more like future Barbara in Batman Beyond.

But then again, I’m biased.

You know what else would have been cool? A villain who isn’t some buxom Emma Frost lookalike with magical changing hair. After the Mirror, I was hoping for Gail to pull out a more disturbing, darker, reminiscent-of-Batman-rogues-gallery-but-brand-new villain whom I can actually hate, or perhaps care about at all. Gail is usually good at writing those…Secret Six’s Junior, anyone?

Oh, and that opening shot was really nice also…you know, with everything else DC is doing to promote strong self-respecting women in their new line of comics. </sarcasm>

NOT.

Well, I won’t stop reading the series, but this definitely was a downturn for me. But that doesn’t make me judge, jury and executioner…what did y’all think about the opening of this next arc?

Batgirl: suiting up!

This comes thanks to Gail Simone’s Tumblr…I love the often overlooked splash of freckles across Babs’ face…and what beauty in the details (bats across the smokey Gotham skyline, the white design of the cape, and more…just keep staring at it!)

Batgirl’s Bryan Q. Miller will write Smallville comics!

In the same way that comic book characters are never really dead, a series finale is never really a finale…especially when there’s a second life waiting in comics!

According to MTV Geek News, the beloved Superman show Smallville is continuing on the shelves with “Season 11,” which will pick up right where the series finale left off. The comics are to be released digitally in April of this year, followed by print editions in May.

This eleventh season will be written by Bryan Q. Miller, loved by Batgirl fans for his work on Stephanie Brown’s run, until its untimely end thanks to the DC New 52 reboot, and art by Pere Perez, who also did work on Batgirl.

“Six months after Clark Kent donned the cape and took to the skies to save Earth from Apokolips… enter Season 11!” Miller teased for The Source [DC’s official blog]. “New allies abound! New enemies afoot! And old friends return where they’re least expected!”

According to The Source, the series will feature key cast members from Smallville, including Chloe Sullivan-Queen and Green Arrow, whose own CW series is currently in the works.

After the incredible disappointment of Stephanie’s end as Batgirl, and then not seeing Miller picked up as a 52-writer, I am very relieved that he’s remaining in DC and writing what could potentially be an excellent title.

Also, how interesting that DC is choosing Smallville to be a digital-first title. The push to digital is exciting, but it could result in lower sales.

Will you read season eleven of Smallville??

This week on Tumblr

Gorgeous portrait of Yvonne Craig by Aadi Salman, thanks to happysorceress

Gotham Girls by gabzillaz, thanks to Stephanie Brown tumblr thepurplebat

Babs by Jeprox, thanks to Gail Simone’s Tumblr.

Batgirl: Vampire Nights

DC Women Kicking Ass reports that funding site Kickstarter has a new project: Batgirl: Vampire Nnights.

Batgirl: Vampire Nights” begins when Robin falls into the clutches of a vicious vampire gang. Batgirl and Catwoman forge an uneasy alliance as they try to take down the coven of vampires. The short promises to have plenty of horror, film noir and satire of the world’s hottest super heroines.

Wait, what?

See here for more, but a warning ahead of time: you may get a headache thinking about it too much.

Particularly if you imagine the vampires as sparkly.

See? Headache.

Helena Wayne is back! …wait. What?

You’re Captain Obvious by now if you have to say that there’ve been a lot of changes in DC 52. When Huntress got booted off Birds of Prey, fans were concerned that she may have been erased from continuity. But she was, in fact, given her own miniseries, giving fans reason to hope again–particularly because it’s written by  one of her creators, Paul Levitz.

Well, one of the Helena Bertinelli creators.

It’s become increasingly apparent that Huntress is not Helena Bertinelli, the character we’ve come to admire and love over the last twenty years. Instead, she is Helena Wayne, Huntress’ original incarnation. According to her history, she is the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle born on an alternate Earth — she was killed off and then rebooted with a new history two decades ago. If this doesn’t make any sense, you’re not alone — see Helena Wayne’s history and recent DC 52 appearances on DCWKA’s excellent article here. (And most DC characters have a history like this, if that makes you feel better too!)

Of course this is a travesty. Helena has become her own independent, vibrant character over the last twenty years (as well as one of my favorite heroes) and does not need to be revamped, her history thrown away to make her more “accessible”–much like undoing Clark and Lois’ marriage, getting Barbara Gordon out of the chair, dumping Secret Six, oh yes I could go on. But my own and other fans’ grievances aside, it seems more constructive to look towards the future than complain about what’s already be done.

The big question is: is Helena really Bruce and Selena’s daughter?

Well, here’s what Helena looks like:

And her possible parents:

Unless the two look spectacularly young for their age (possible but improbable), or if this is another alternate universe situation (like DC would do that this early), I’m going to say definitely no.

And more substantially, DC has bachelor-ized their leading married men: Superman and Flash. (Apparently, that’s more interesting and realistic [/sarcasm], but that’s another rant, for another time.) I highly doubt they’d make Bats a daddy at the same time.

I think, instead, Helena is a Wayne, but isn’t Bruce’s daughter. Instead, I’m willing to bet she’s his cousin–or, if DC really wants to shake things up, his sister–maybe a half-sister he never knew about (possibly an illegitimate child, given up for adoption before Bruce was born, etc). In this way, Helena is still a Wayne, while still keeping Brucie available for his many, many love interests. But at the same time it gives Bruce a new family tie to contend with, someone who isn’t his apprentice, who can challenge him in a different way.

The big question is, can DC pull off a twist that will keep new fans involved and engaged, without feeling like they’re losing their Helena–particularly when so many fans have come through this new transition disappointed and shortchanged. And how much, if any, of Helena Bertinelli’s history or past (particularly her connections with the mob) bleed over into this new version, is yet to be seen.