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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’11 – Who do you want to see as the current Batgirl?

Each day this month, I’ll be posting a different poll question – each poll will last five days, and I’ll reveal the results of the finished polls every Tuesday.

This way, for this month, we can see what our readers feel about various comic book questions. For a month, you folks will decide! Click here to see the other questions that you can answer as well as checking out the latest poll results!

Read on for the latest poll question!


40 Comments

I like Barbara, but she’s too good as Oracle to “fix” back into being Batgirl. Never really like Cassandra Cain. Steph Brown gets my vote. (Plus, the Dick/Babs Tim/Steph parallel is too cute to pass up.)

We need a good natured Bat-character, and they seem to disappear lately due to the need for “bad-ass” characterization. Characters like Dick Grayson as Robin, cracking wise and puns with good nature aren’t in any Bat-book nowadays. I admit to not reading any Bat-book regularly since GMozz took over, just Batman and Son TPB and Gaiman’s 2 issues. Thats why I picked Babs as Batgirl!

I’m content with the status quo. That said, it would be nice if they could bring Cassandra Cain back once in a while.

It took a little time but I’ve really warmed to Steph as Batgirl. I would like to see something done with Cass, though. I think there’s a ton of potential in having her work either inside or outside Batman Inc.

How about the Huntress as Batgirl?

I can’t help it, I liked Cain as Batgilrl…but Babs will always BE Batgirl.

I don’t like that they’re basically ignoring Cassandra entirely, but I’m quite happy with Steph.

I chose Steph–and its not because I can’t have a combat superior Batgirl. Cain is just creatively dull, compared to flaws and journey potential that characters like Steph and Damian have currently.

In short, Cass came onto the scene already perfect in her combat capabilities, already obediant to her mentor, already accepted by her peers, and already having her moral compass set. And all those learning points happen in a angsty backstory so over the top for me and done in flashback, that I can’t resonate with Cass’ suffering and “growth”.

I say “growth” because I find her premise gives her a limited amount of elements to explore. ‘Oh wow’, so she has to learn to socialize. That can be compelling enough, but its only one learning curve to write about. Even then, the writer takes a shortcut and telepathically fixes her speech, instead of having her taught. Its not the worst thing, sure, but you have a situation where you miss out on that journey. Also consider that ‘eras’ change in comics, and while the martial arts frenzy propelled Cass to immediate stardom, its not without its own plataeu when the trend becomes exhausted. You need other/interesting character points to continue on and I find that she has very few.

Which is where I believe all the BAD editorial decisions came in. Trying to move her beyond a mere gimmick of the 90’s and to refresh the character, Didio & Co. tried to create new complexities for Cass to explore–and what they chose was disastrous. I won’t rehash that stupidity, but I think even the mind-control drugs as a later fix it cheated her out of some opportunities to explore that dark time in her life. In the end, I’m left with a character who supposedly has this significant role in the BatFam, but who I have little to no connection with.

Considering how Batgirl is one of the most enjoyable titles DC puts out every month, I say stick with Stephanie. She’s got a fun, lighthearted comic that has managed to largely fill the void left with the end of Blue Beetle and Palmiotti/Gray/Conner Power Girl.

As President Bush said, the past is over.

Stephanie hands down.

The current Batgirl series is one of DC’s best right now.

Why are we limiting ourselves to one Batgirl? There’s room for both Cass and Stephanie to have that role.

Why are we limiting ourselves to one Batgirl? There’s room for both Cass and Stephanie to have that role.

Because the question is, “Which of these three characters would you like to see as the current Batgirl?”

Babs is far and away my favorite character on this list, and I don’t care much about Steph OR Cass, but I think it would be ridiculous at this point to make Babs Batgirl again, so I stuck to the status quo.

Which of these three characters would you like to see as the current Batgirl?

I now that. For me, that which involves 2 of the 3 characters.

I possibly even know that. Lousy typing.

I was reluctant to give it a shot, but I’m glad I did, as I enjoy Stephanie as Batgirl. Barbara is too good as Oracle these days, and Cassandra is very underutilized, but has the potential to be a heroine with a new codename rather than just “Batgirl II.”

Woo. This one’s right up my alley…

So I voted Cass because well…”where Cass goes, so goes my nation” she’s my favorite Batgirl and thus gets my vote. Additionally I like Babs having moved on from that role…even if I wanted Babs out of the Oracle role (which I don’t) I would never move her backwards to being Batgirl…she transcended that name and costume long ago.

All that said and my technical vote for Cass aside, I would not want to undo the good that DC has done with the Batgirl book and the Stephanie Brown character by taking the book away from Steph. I also think Cass has probably grown out of the Batgirl role anyway…so my REAL choice would be to let Steph continue to have Bagirl, and bring Cass back either as another Bat (we have Batman Inc for a reason, right?) or perhaps taking up the mantle of Nightwing or another Bat-related character of her own creation.

What I would REALLY like though, is for DC to quit throwing her absence in my face. Fans complaining a lot about Cass’ absence right now is not arbitrary, it’s highly relevant and topical…we’ve got the return of Bruce Wayne from the dead, the re-uniting of his family, and a literal expansion of the Bat brand and yet his daughter is painfully absent and the references made to it – by oddly excluding her – as in Batman & Robin #20, Batgirl #15, in the very announcement of Batman Inc, etc. are just absurd.

Steph gets the vote for me. She has a good series going with a nice unique voice. Barbara works best as Oracle and it is an important role in the modern DC Universe. Cassandra deserves better, one would think with multiple Bat affiliates she could get a nice position and name to do her own thing. She also would be a decent Bird of Prey, although I’m not sure what her fit is with the current team (I’m not crazy about the Hawk and Dove part myself).

Steph.

Cassandra Cain was an interesting thing, and I wouldn’t mind her becoming something else, but I’m just loving the current Batgirl book. Yeah, it’s more of a throwback to the old, original Batgirl, less darkly serious as the Cassandra Cain stuff, but it’s relatiable and compelling and fun in a way that that Batgirl never was, never could be.

It’s not that one is inherently better than the other, I guess, just personal preference.

Stephanie was an easy choice here, consistently one of the best reads coming out of DC every month, and as others have mentioned we need a light hearted take on a bat character.

I like Kelly’s idea of bringing Cass back as Nightwing, but we all know that eventually Dick will go back to being Nightwing so it’s unfair to her to put her in a costume that she’ll eventually have to give up again, either take on a legacy character that has no chance of the original returning or create her own costume, but bring her back into the fold with the rest of the Bat family.

Scott Lyon aka @WonderScott

February 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm

My vote is for Steph to remain as Batgirl. She’s grown into the role and the book is great read. She’s got a Peter Parker/Buffy Summers voice going on and it’s refreshing in general and especially in the Batverse.

That said, I’m a fan of Cass Cain too… Her parentage and ties to the League of Assassins and Ra’s Al Ghul was creatively developed and firmly entrenched in Bat lore. I wouldn’t want to do without it, but see something new and a new moniker for her.

I think there’s room for both… If not all three. I like Flamebird too and hope she gets some great characterization, growth and challenges in Batwoman.

What can I say… I like my Bat family and support network big and expansive. There’s plenty of villains to go around.

I want Barbara as Batgirl. I’d like the other two to never cross my field of vision again.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 13, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I voted for Steph Brown, as although I thought Barbara tied into the Bat-mythos better, it would be such a gigantic step backwards for where the character has gone – even if it works, it would be as silly as turning Impulse into Kid Flash, bringing Barry Allen back, or dissolving Spider-Man’s marriage mystically.
Even if you love the stories that sprung from these, they are all shallow nostalgia plays first, stories second.

Reformed villains daughter, who we’ve seen turn to Batman’s side on their own, and work their way into the role, however, works fine, so Steph Brown wins there.
(and as I go into below, for me, it was just a two-horse race).

Fans complaining a lot about Cass’ absence right now is not arbitrary, it’s highly relevant and topical…we’ve got the return of Bruce Wayne from the dead, the re-uniting of his family, and a literal expansion of the Bat brand and yet his daughter is painfully absent and the references made to it – by oddly excluding her – as in Batman & Robin #20, Batgirl #15, in the very announcement of Batman Inc, etc. are just absurd.

The mini-series that made Cass his daughter may be popular with her fans, but it’s clearly not popular with the readership as a whole, nor the creators.
It wasn’t even written by a regular writer on any of the other Bat-books at the time, and came right before a major shake-up to the books.

She doesn’t actually bring anything to the table for the Bat-mythos to be tied in that closely – it’s great for her to be Bruce’s adopted daughter, but I’m not sure what it does for him.
As her origin is very similar to Damian’s, and her ‘displaced Bat-side kick’ role taken by Tim, I don’t see the writers or editors as seeing in particular need for the character.

@FGJ: While it’s true that I don’t troll boards looking for people who don’t like Cass Cain, and it’s true that I am far more frequently around FANS of Cass Cain…I’m not sure how you’re jumping to the conclusion that Cass being Bruce’s daughter is “clearly not popular with the readership as a whole”? How so? What are we basing that on?

Also, what does that story coming right before a major shake up of the books have to do with anything?

As for Cass Cain not bringing anything to the Bat-mythos, I couldn’t disagree more personally – does the fact that she brings much needed ethnicity and estrogen to the Wayne family really mean nothing? Regardless of that however, the fact that you yourself are detailing how closely related Cass’ origin/place/role is to Damian…leaves me only with the reality that Cass absolutely fills an important role…it just so happens that they’ve taken the role that she originated and replaced her with a boy.

This does not leave me feeling warmly about anything…

I like Damian quite a bit and am not interested in Cass replacing him…but to argue that there’s no role for her to fill…because though she had it first some boy has come in and filled it in her stead is…problematic to say the least.

This is a hard question, because I NEVER liked the whole “crippling of Batgirl” thing… they could’ve given her a more mature ID in a less tragic way, like they did with Robin/Nightwing. Barbara is my favorite of the three characters. Still, I voted for Cass. Why? Because she’s the only one who, so far, doesn’t have a true heroic identity of her own- Babs is unique as Oracle and Stephanie was better as The Spoiler. I think each character deserves to stand out on her own, not be subjected to the current trends. (That said, I could see Cass getting her own identity someday- maybe as a (good) Shiva?) How about letting that girl from Birds of Prey, what’s her name, be the Batgirl like she wanted?

I voted for Cass, because she is usually my favourite iteration of Batgirl. However, I enjoy Steph as Batgirl and her book has been top-notch.

But rather than passing the mantle again, I’d rather DC would just find a creative team who loves Cassandra Cain and put them to work on a book for her, as well as work on fixing her relationship with Steph, and with Babs especially.

Can I say Tim Drake?

@Kelly Thompson: I can’t speak for FGJ, like anyone here, there is no pure accuracy in guaging reader sentiment. However, I do recall a few web articles that featured the Bat-family or specifically the deconstruction of Tim Drake post-Identity Crisis, and comments would often trickle onto the subject of Cass Cain.

Mostly because fans of Batman were becoming more vocal over the ongoing joke of Bruce being an “orphan-collector”. What was once a poignant act from someone so emotionally removed, quickly became token to signify closeness when his absolute trust and brand was symbolism enough. Barbara is good example of this, and I’ll mention her again a bit later.

As for Tim, the decision to eliminate his family and support cast just to tie him closer to the Batverse was the height of cynicism in how DC was handling sidekicks and younger generation heroes. As not only did this cut away at nearly eveything that made him unique and distinctive amongst the Robins, but it also forced him toward the darker, super-angsty tone that was consuming the Bat books. Especially with what happened in the War Games arc–to address your concerns with estrogen and ethnicity.

This miserable storyline destroyed and removed two bright women and a very strong ethnic character in one sweep. In addition to the looming threat of killing off Grayson, to replace him with the pro-violent Jason Todd, the foundation had been set for a VERY GRIM, GRIM, GRIM Batverse with Tim, Cass, and Babs becoming casual pieces of that pavement as they took on more Bruce-like qualities. The world was turning flat, grey, and one-note. Their characterization at the time did nothing for them to set them apart and their adoption did nothing emotionally innovative to make it note-worthy.

So, I agree with FGJ that Cass’ adoption contributed very little to the Bat-mythos. I personally don’t believe it resonated with as many readers as Cain fans want to think. It might’ve seemed like a last ditch stunt by a writer in a miniseries that was not being closely followed. Because, if you’re gonna go the extra mile of adopting a legal adult whose parents are not even dead–then its going to be by the one person that was her actual teacher and guardian: BARBARA GORDON.

That’s the difference between an adoption being written as poignant verses the token gesture of tying Cassandra to Bruce as his legal kid. Its ridiculous.

I do see Cassandra as family, like Babs, and I know DC will find a place for her under her own mantle, but I can’t lie. I am damn glad that Steph was brought back and Dick allowed to live to help lighten up this once bleak universe. And I don’t see Damian, either, as a copy or male replacement for Cass, because she’s too serious and socially underdeveloped for what he brings to the table. Damian is a little Napoleon with a snobbish background and an overconfidance of his own abilities–all which bring tons of unintentional comedic elements to Batman. Not something anyone could’ve said before.

They spent years building up her character giving her a history, love life, friction, and reasoning that most characters don’t get let alone ones who take on a major iconic name…it’s gotta be the character bred for the role over 20 years, it’s gotta be Stephanie Brown.

Babs ain’t going to walk again, she sure as hell ain’t going to take up the cape and cowl if she can’t walk so the idea of her being the current Batgirl or Batgirl at any point in the future is absurd. Hell she has spent more time in a wheelchair than she has in a cape and cowl and they are not going to throw that away just to give nostalgia to a name.

Cain has moved on from her role. She has matured as a character and if she was to be used her role is in a bigger use elsewhere.

I want Cass back. Bad. Make Cass a Robin. Or Batgirl. Two Batgirls is okay if there are two Batmen and a Batwoman right? Why totally drop her off the face of the planet?

Steph has a decent book. I like it. But what they did to Cass was horrendous. And I hate it still.

I’m Batgirl neutral. I like Betty Kane about as much as I like Barbara Gordon who I like about as much as I like Cassandra. Stephanie Brown is my favorite character out of all of ‘em, but I’m against combining established heroes into one character on principle.

So, draw.

I’m also in-continuity Robin-Neutral, although I’ve got a slight preference for Carrie Kelley and the Earth-two Dick Grayson.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 14, 2011 at 12:58 am

While it’s true that I don’t troll boards looking for people who don’t like Cass Cain, and it’s true that I am far more frequently around FANS of Cass Cain…I’m not sure how you’re jumping to the conclusion that Cass being Bruce’s daughter is “clearly not popular with the readership as a whole”? How so? What are we basing that on?

I know this isn’t an accurate gauge – and yeah, you caught me out generalizing – but that mini didn’t rocket up the charts, nor is the trade doing gangbusters, even though it has Cassandra Cain become Bruce’s daughter.

Also, what does that story coming right before a major shake up of the books have to do with anything?

Having read comics for almost two decades, I’ve seen it happen before – the old crew is still, or the temporary one, is wrapping up loose ends, and then the guys doing the shake-ups come on board, and generally ignore the last few months of story lines, as these happened whilst they were working on there’s.

Neither Morrison, Dini, or Daniels seem that interested in doing anything with her, let alone having her be Bruce’s daughter, and if something happens continuity wise in a min i-series, and isn’t referenced in the ongoing books, for a couple of years after, it’s generally going to get swept away.

As for Cass Cain not bringing anything to the Bat-mythos, I couldn’t disagree more personally – does the fact that she brings much needed ethnicity and estrogen to the Wayne family really mean nothing?

The role she filled is now being filled by a different girl – there wasn’t an estrogen dip, with Batwoman, there’s now twice as much!

Regardless of that however, the fact that you yourself are detailing how closely related Cass’ origin/place/role is to Damian…leaves me only with the reality that Cass absolutely fills an important role…it just so happens that they’ve taken the role that she originated and replaced her with a boy.

I’d say the reality is that there was a good idea in Cass, but Morrison executed it better with Damian.

Lady Shiva’s child turned crime-fighter doesn’t have as much power/story telling pull in the Batverse as Comissioner Gordan’s child turned crime fighter, let alone Bruce Wayne’s child turned crime fighter (who he had with the daughter of one of his key enemies).

This does not leave me feeling warmly about anything…

You could reduce any change down to that level and get angry about it – doesn’t mean you should.

I’d be very surprised if it influenced the decision one way or another – Morrison chose to create a new character with a similar origin, so they jettisoned the original for a character who ties in to the roots of the main character (Batman) more, and also doesn’t have the continuity baggage Cassie picked up in her time in the role.

I like Damian quite a bit and am not interested in Cass replacing him…but to argue that there’s no role for her to fill…because though she had it first some boy has come in and filled it in her stead is…problematic to say the least.

With there being a new Bat-Girl, a new Robin, a displaced Robin and a new Bat-Woman – what would her role in the books be?
What would her crucial role/tie to Batman as a character be?

So, I agree with FGJ that Cass’ adoption contributed very little to the Bat-mythos. I personally don’t believe it resonated with as many readers as Cain fans want to think. It might’ve seemed like a last ditch stunt by a writer in a miniseries that was not being closely followed. Because, if you’re gonna go the extra mile of adopting a legal adult whose parents are not even dead–then its going to be by the one person that was her actual teacher and guardian: BARBARA GORDON.

That’s pretty much it – as a character in and of herself, she might be fine.

But they made her Bruce’s adopted daughter for no real story-telling reason that went beyond her – it didn’t help, or add to any of the other characters in anyway.

I am with everyone who likes Stephanie but wishes Cassandra was somewhere on consistent basis. She should be Bruce’s daughter and he has not done anything about that. Lame.

Oracle is great as she is. Cassandra is lucky she hasnt been ethnically cleansed yet for not being white over at Discrimination Comics.

For the love of all things holy, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Batgirl’s the best superhero comic DC or Marvel is putting out.

Cassandra Cain Wayne FTW!

Everything Kelly Thompson wrote? I second. And third.

Peace.

If the question had been who did I like best as Batgirl, the answer would have to be Babs, but, as others have said, she is too good as Oracle to shift. Cassandra is too much the product of “grim and gritty” for me, and the position has been shifted around too much so let’s stick with Steph

The sales figures don’t lie – Steph is getting a relatively big push compared to what Cass got, and quite a few more guest stars (both “cult favorites” and well known characters). The end result? Sales in the range that got Cassandra’s book canceled. Even accounting for shifts in the industry overall, her book is doing much worse than the last Batgirl book. And why wouldn’t it? In Cassandra’s book, the previous Batgirl, Babs, was given a prominent role and shown a great deal of respect. Not every Babs fan was mollified, of course, but an effort was made to make the book something that fans of the previous Batgirl could read without feeling they were traitors. That’s clearly not the case in Steph’s book, where Cassandra is not only absent, but never even mentioned, even when it means a slap to the face like the previous Batgirl being left out of Steph’s “short history of the Batfamily”.

I’d say that the usurper can go rot, but judging from her sales figures, the book is already well on its way in that direction.

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