Patrick: I was recently putting together a resume for a creative position, and I found myself completely unable to distill what’s special about me into a digestible collection of jobs and experiences. Just by virtue of being a human being for over thirty years, I’ve amassed a weird collection of skills and experiences, and the only reason I can believe that it’s all part of a single lifetime is because I was there to experience it all. I’ve got something of an obsessive mind, and a propensity to burn myself out, so my list of former passions is long. The point is, there’s a lot feeding into the person I am today, and while it’s easiest to say that I am the handful of things that have effected me most recently (i.e.: improviser, writer, comic enthusiast, administrator), that definition is woefully inadequate. The same is doubly true for superheroes, and Batgirl 32 revels in developments from the recent past while acknowledging a history (both real and invented) that demands to be honored.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Batgirl 31, originally released May 14th, 2014.
Shelby: I love me a good, jovial villain. Any bad guy can be evil and cranky, but when they’re amiable, pleasant, flirty even, that is hands down the best. Those villains are unpredictable and creepy. Best/worst of all: you can almost find yourself liking them. They don’t fit into the standard good guy/bad guy dichotomy, which creates a far more complicated relationship between them, the actual good guys, and the reader. I love complicated relationships with fictional characters (what’s up, John Constantine), so I’m thrilled to see Gail Simone and Fernando Pasarin welcome Ragdoll to Gotham City and Batgirl.
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Batgirl 28, originally released February 12th, 2014.
Shelby: Not that long ago, we had a glut of vampires in popular culture. Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood: we were inundated. It didn’t seem that unusual to me, though; my high school into college experience featured a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hellsing (the anime, not the awful movie), so “Vampires did it!” isn’t really that strange of a story for me. Outside of Legenderry and the occasional Halloween issue, though, vampires are not something I expect to see in the comics I’m reading. Needless to say, I was intrigued by the cover of this month’s Batgirl.
Spencer: “Blood is thicker than water.” This expression is usually used to describe how family has a special connection, how family has an obligation to stick together no matter what. It would be wonderful if that was always the case, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, families can be dysfunctional or abusive, or just go through hard times, and when this happens it hurts all the more because it comes from family; when the people who are supposed to protect us and love us unconditionally hurt us, it’s a special kind of pain. Batgirl’s been dealing with a lot lately, horrific events that would get anyone down, but they’re even more painful because family is involved. Fortunately, at least some hope is on the horizon. Continue reading
Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Batgirl 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Spencer: We expect our heroes to be there for us when we need them, but who’s there for our heroes when they need help? Batman turns to Alfred, Superman turns to Lois Lane, and Batgirl turns to…her psychiatrist? While Barbara isn’t the first superhero to see a shrink, it’s rare for one with a secret identity to do so. Babs is putting herself at risk, yet where else can she turn? The failure of Barbara’s support system couldn’t have come at a worse time; not only is she weighed down by guilt, she’s also facing the most frightening new villain to show her face in Gotham in years. Continue reading
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Batgirl 13 originally released October 10th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Shelby: What was the last really difficult thing you had to do? It could be something physical, mental, whatever. About a year ago, I ran a 10K, the longest race I’ve run yet, and it was hard. I had trained for it, but not enough that it was a walk in the park. Not only was it hard on my body, it was also hard on my brain. I had to spend a lot of time reminding myself that I could in fact do it, that the little voice telling me I couldn’t was wrong. After it was over, you know what I did? I immediately went home and ran a half marathon. No, no, I’m totally kidding; I had brunch and took a nap. I rested, I rewarded myself for accomplishing this difficult task. Batgirl is concluding her fight with Knightfall just as Death of the Family is ramping up; instead of resting her broken body, things are just going to get much, much harder for Barbara.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Batgirl 12, originally released August 8th, 2012.
Shelby: I am no stranger to the feeling of being unable to put a book down. There are some authors out there whose stories get their hooks in your brain; as you read, you reach a point of no return, a point that leaves you still reading at 2:30 AM on a work night because you just HAVE to know what happens next. Luckily for me, Batgirl is doled out in little bite-sized portions once a month, otherwise I would quickly reach that point. This title is so good, I can’t tear my eyes away.
Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Batgirl 11, originally released July 11th, 2012.
Shelby: I recently finished Frank Herbert’s Dune (highly recommended if you like old-school science fiction), and one of the prevailing ideas is that of plans within plans within plans. The idea is that your enemies, or your allies, are never what they seem: that every plan you see is part of another more intricate plan, and so on and so on. The only way to survive is to think the same way, to create plans upon plans until even your closest allies aren’t sure your motives. I’m beginning to feel the same vibe from Batgirl; enemies and allies are telescoping inward, and every motive revealed is another motive for another plan.
Today, Peter and Drew are discussing Batgirl 8, originally released June 13th 2012.
Peter: We are now out of the Night of the Owls. Babs is back in action fighting crime in Gotham. We get a new storyline and tons of new possibilities from here on out. Babara is an incredibly dynamic character so far. Gail Simone has been writing this character for a long time, from Oracle to Batgirl, and has done an incredible job getting Barbara back on her feet. The amount of time and detail that is going into this story is continuously setting it apart from many of the other books in DC’s current line-up.