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I love Barabara Gordon’s new look and creative team. I also really hate it.
If you’ve followed my writing before you’ve probably become well aware I am very passionate about Batgirls. Why? I don’t even know exactly why, but the mantle of Batgirl and its many wearers strike me a certain way. They mean something to me. So whenever something comes up regarding them, I tend to pay attention.
Okay, see now what I don’t get is people who say they love Babs’ redesign because “finally a practical female costume in comics!!”
Because it’s absolutely true that impractical costumes are a problem that plague superheroines, but this is what Babs’ New 52 costume looked like before they redesigned it:
I’m purposefully using a picture that has her next to Batman - her costume was just as “practical” as his. Full body suit, sturdy-looking flat-heeled boots, no unnecessary details beyond the Bat symbol and cape (both of which Batman has too) - what exactly was so “impractical” about this?
For that matter, this is what Babs’ original Batgirl costume looked like:
That’s from the 1970’s, and her costume looks as practical as can be. Actually, I’d argue that Dick’s the one with the impractical costume, here.
So why are we acting like this is such a big deal that Babs “finally” has a practical costume?! She’s had one since practically the very beginning (once they stopped drawing her original costume with high heels, anyway).
Superheroine costumes are certainly lacking practicality on the whole, but Babs was never really an issue there. So giving her a practical redesign doesn’t really do anything to change the status quo - it just “fixes” what wasn’t broken to start with. Why not give Starfire a redesign where I don’t have to wonder how her top stays on, instead?
Kelly and I welcomed Scott Snyder to “3 Chicks Review Comics” this weekend for our Best of 2012 show. We talked to Snyder, who I named writer of the year, about the incredible success he had in 2012 with Batman, American Vampire and Swamp Thing and what we can expect to see from him next year.
There were some tidbits on what the next Batman arc will be as well as a some discussion about his unnamed Superman book including his thoughts on Lois Lane.
See? Scott Snyder gets it. This is why he remains one of my very favorite DC writers. That’s not to say I necessarily adore everything he writes, but I think he has a very clear understanding of these characters and their relationships and what makes them powerful. He’s one of the few writers I know who truly seems to sit down and think “What’s uniquely special about this character, and how can I make the story revolve around that?” before he starts writing, as opposed to so many writers who seem to change their characters to fit the plot. As someone who’s always looking for character-driven writing above all, I really appreciate that.
I wish the current writers of Action Comics and Superman understood Lois half as well as Snyder seems to. She is supposed to be a heroic figure in her own right, not just someone there to provide romantic drama for Clark. That is why she’s Clark’s inspiration. Because she’s a hero just as much as he is, without needing a costume or superpowers. But that seems to really have been lost in the New 52.
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