One of the more creative and daring changes to come out of the New 52 run by DC is the changes made to the storyline and character of Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl. She is younger. She is fresher. She is geared toward the demographic of young, Democratic, Liberal readership that DC somehow has deluded itself actually reads something beyond the pamphlets they hand out as they pester you from going about your life. Save the orphan squirrels of Zimbabwe! Or you are a heartless jerk who is destroying our Mother Earth and so on and so on…
In this rendition of Batgirl, Barbara Gordon is a college age student again. She has, through hard work and medical advances, gotten use of her legs again and has moved to the small suburb of Burnside. She has lost the firm butt and boobs of her previous self, and is a thin fit young woman. This daring act, creating a heroine with something far closer to a body image that is realistic, should be applauded by DC and the fact that it actually caught on should open some eyes.
But where it fails and where this hipster addition to Batgirl lore drops the ball is in its timeline. This Batgirl should be retro, to the time before the Joker brutalized her. This should be Barbara Gordon in the early years, not some twenty something who somehow time warped herself into modern day Batman mythos. Because in doing son they have completely wiped aside the importance of Oracle. Barbara Gordon in a wheelchair fighting crime with her mind and her broken body. How a person who cannot walk, still contributes greatly in life and love and it a powerful force to be reckoned with. Sorry DC, but you completely screwed the pooch on that one.
Instead, despite the terrific artwork and storytelling, we have a book that tiptoes and apologizes so that it is politically correct. For this it will never be a true part of the Batman universe because, being part of the Batman means never having to say your sorry, you dumbass.
Having railed on all this I admit that Batgirl of Burnside is one of my guilty pleasures in comics. I like the artwork and I like the character. She just isn’t Babs. She isn’t Barbara Gordon. This is DC comics being unwilling to write and draw a good comic about a beautiful older woman who has had some hard times in her life but is still strong and still relevant.
This is DC Comics being a coward.