Thursday, March 30, 2017

Batgirl and the DCEU

You may or may not be aware that I'm a fan of DC's Batgirl.

I'm not sure if I've made that clear or not.

If I haven't, I apologize.


I must not have made it clear up until now. At any rate, to retread that ground, Barbara Gordon is a character that I very dearly admire. In almost every iteration, her origin comes about in that she sees someone doing something about the crime and corruption that plagues her city and makes her father's life that much harder, and takes it upon herself to do something as well. And when that something brings about a tragic situation, she doesn't allow herself to be victim; she takes what she has left and makes something even more powerful out of it. In my opinion, Batgirl/Oracle/Barbara Gordon is one of the most powerfully conceived and written characters in the superhero genre, and I personally have a Batgirl in some form or another nearby to keep me going when times get rough.

News has broken today that DC is looking to expand their universe a little more, and as such is negotiating a deal with Joss Whedon to write and direct a Batgirl movie.

I'm very worried. I'm very worried and I don't want this to happen. As much as I'd love a live-action realization of Batgirl, especially one tied into Ben Affleck's Batman, I categorically do not want Joss Whedon within a country mile of this project.

Don't get me wrong; Joss has contributed a great deal of good to entertainment. Back in the day, when he did Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse he was on fire. He had a real talent for making believable and respectable heroes and villains out of both male and female characters, something that hasn't always been handled well. But lately... look, I like the Avengers movies, but that tone only works with Whedon's snappy, irreverent dialogue. Batgirl has bits of light-heartedness, but she faces very serious and very dark threats, and survives and thrives against terrible odds. Batgirl does not live in the Avengers' world.

I worry that Joss is going to adapt the Burnside Batgirl -- the one with the leather jacket and yoga pants and social media fixation, who fights cross-dressing gold lamé-suited villains -- and not the one who's been hardened by the world, who wears the composite armour and fights Dollmaker and Joker, the Barbara Gordon who once faced down DC villain Prometheus from her wheelchair with nothing but her escrima sticks and her wits.

I have no confidence in this project, unless I get verification that it's not Burnside and that Gail Simone is being brought in to consult on it. As much as I may disagree ideologically with Simone, she's contributed the most to the character, and has the most respect for who Batgirl intrinsically is, and I don't feel like Whedon will be able to faithfully recreate the character onscreen with it. Without Simone, Barbara's just going to end up being a 4-foot-11 kung fu waif. And that's not Barbara Gordon; that's Cassandra Cain.

Basically, Joss:
Not This
Do This

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