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Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl Rising

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  • Posted July 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    There was some considerable controversy among comic book fans wh

    There was some considerable controversy among comic book fans when <i>DC Comics</i>
    chose to make Barbara Gordon the post-New 52 reboot Batgirl once again. Not only did the editors at <i>DC</i>
    replace Stephanie Brown with Barbara Gordon, but they rewrote the continuity so that Brown was <i>never</i>
    Batgirl to begin with.

    After reading the first volume of Brown's stint as Batgirl, <i>Batgirl Rising</i>
    , I can say that, as much as I like Babs, I'm really disappointed as well. Stephanie Brown is an amazing Batgirl, because she is so relatable. She is smart, fit, and a trained fighter, to be sure. But she is also refreshingly <i>normal</i>
    . She isn't one of the top martial artists in the world, as Bruce is, or an Olympic level gymnast like Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson (Nightwing) is. Nor does she have the genius level intellect that Batman and Tim Drake (the third Robin, Red Robin post-reboot) have, and isn't built like a tank like Bats and Jason Todd (the second Robin) are. She is a smart, tenacious girl who just wants to make up for her mistakes and the mistakes of her family. I love this about her.

    What was also neat was her relationship to the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, who, in this pre-reboot continuity is still the physically-disabled information broker Oracle. At first, Babs is very hostile to Stephanie becoming Batgirl. While part of this is Babs' concern over how Brown nearly died the last time she fought crime, this is more of a case Barbara being somewhat jealous of Brown's taking up the mantle when she is unable to do so. When she realizes this, she decides to become a mentor in order to better protect and help Stephanie by guiding her. In a way, her relationship to Stephanie is reminiscent of an elderly Bruce's mentorship of Terry McGinnis in <i>Batman Beyond</i>
    .

    I also enjoyed the family dynamic between Steph and her mom. It was really sweet, and a breath of fresh air in the sometimes somber Batman family titles.

    I can say now that I, too, loved Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, and really hope <i>DC</i>
    brings her back into the current continuity for a prominent role once again.

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