Ok, so for the last 3 posts I have gone on about why I think the relaunch is happening. Today I want to wrap this up by going the other direction and discuss what I think about what will be happening.
My biggest issue right now is the derailing of characters that have seen a lot of growth over that last few years. The relaunch appears to be sweeping a lot of it aside.
First, the one everyone is talking about: Batgirl. Since the 60’s Barbara Gordon was Batgirl. She was the plucky girl who wanted to be a crime fighter like Batman and Robin. She was often the third wheel of the Batman characters.
Then the Joker shot her.
And he didn’t even shoot her as Batgirl. He went after Barbara Gordon as part of a plan to destroy her father. The result was she was left paralyzed from the waist down.
This resulted in her going from a third wheel bat character to a major force in the DC universe.
Rather than wallow in self-pity, Barbara used her intellect, drive and cunning to re-forge herself as Oracle, information broker for the superhero community. She trained to be a bad-ass fighter even from a wheel chair and formed a team of heroes to work directly for her called the Birds of Prey. In the process she became a role model for people dealing with disability that the public embraced.
And now that’s over.
Come September Barbara will somehow be healed and become Batgirl again. DC has said that they are not rewriting her history. The old stories I have mentioned are still be her back story. But instead of being a strong woman rising above the adversity of being confined to a wheel chair coordinating heroic efforts across the globe, she will be leaping the rooftops of Gotham City fighting one crime at a time.
I note that no one has said anything about Stephanie Brown, the daughter of minor Batman villain the Clue Master that Barbara took under her wing and trained to be the new Batgirl. I guess she will either be ignored, killed, or go back to her previous identity of the Spoiler.
Another point is that several other characters are getting completely rewritten, so that unlike Barbara, the previous backstory is just gone.
So if you had been following any of the Teen Titans almost all of them are getting completely new backstories. Wonder Girl, the mortal daughter of Zeus, taken under Wonder Woman’s wing and trained to be a hero. She has gone from Heroic leader of the Teen Titan’s to a thief being recruited by the team to help on a mission so they can keep an eye on her.
Why this complete change? We have no idea.
Finally we have Zatanna, one of the premier magic heroes. She has been headlining her own book, which has been very well written and is in the middle of a story that from where I sit doesn’t seem like it will be wrapped up in a satisfying manner in a couple of months. Well that book is over in August and Zatanna will now be part of Justice League Dark, the new magic based team. Maybe her storyline will continue there, but I doubt it and she has to share the stage with the other magic heroes.
I notice I have focused on female characters. They are not the only ones this is happening to. Superboy, Kid Flash and Red Robin are getting complete overhauls as well. And theirs all all just as annoying as Wonder girls.
However I could be wrong. This does not have to be gloom and doom. Batgirl is being written by Gail Simone, one of DC’s best writers. If anyone can take this and turn it into a compelling story it is Gail. Too bad they had to cancel her excellent Secret Six to do it.