Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Battle for the Cowl:Batgirl

the clues so far

Despite what DC expected its the fight to fill Batgirl's tights that is the most mysterious and compelling in Battle for the Cowl. Everyone knows Bruce will be back so who cares who will fill the tights for a few months. With Batgirl we have a permanent change. All sides have their supporters and detractors so lets look at the clues and decide.

Our first clue is the Batgirl #1 cover by Phil Noto. Deliberately designed to be vague this may not be much use. What we do know is that it is Cassandra Cain's costume but we already know from Dan Didio that Cassandra will not be part of the Batfamily following the events of Battle for the Cowl. The muzzle of Cassandra's costume has been ripped off (or some suggest the cowl is sewn to the face, I doubt this). She's a smiler and shows a confident pose.

Our second clue is the Solicit
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott

Cover by Phil Noto
Variant cover by J.G. Jones

In the wake of "Batman R.I.P." and BATTLE FOR THE
COWL, a new heroine has emerged in Gotham City, and as she begins her nocturnal crusade to take back the night, she will truly learn what it means to wear the mantle of the Bat. But who is this young woman, and why has she donned the cape and cowl?

Most believe that an old Batgirl is the new Batgirl but how does that tie to the solicit? Is the solicit throwing us off? Should it be taken as truth?

Now for a look at the contenders

1) Bette Kane
Stalked the Pre-Crisis streets as Bat-Girl, the sidekick of Batwoman Kathy Kane. With the return of Batwoman as Kate Kane in 52 and a familial bond suggested with Bette could we be going very far back? Also note that Kate's moniker 'Flamebird' has been usurped by Thara Ak-Var who currently stars in Action Comics. She does need a new identity. Her days as Bat-Girl are out of continuity now so she could be considered a 'new heroine' as Batgirl and learn about carrying the bat symbol. Pre-Crisis she was introduced as a love interest for Robin and in Nightwing's Origins and Omens we see him kissing Batgirl. A very strong contender.

2) Barbara Gordon
Increasingly agitated at her inability to walk the classic Bargirl could once again don the cowl. Hints of her returning to being Batgirl have been occuring for months, if not years. The end of Birds of Prey brought this to a head. What followed was a mini series called the cure where no one was cured, or were they? We are told Barbara's story continues in Batgirl #1. We have to tie this to multiple origins and omens stories. First Nightwing's. He takes Babs skydiving for her birthday and the page that follows shows a kiss between him and a classic costumed Batgirl bathed in red, like Babs' hair. She and Dick were once engaged but remember Dick is most probably Batman soon, in the picture he is Nightwing so what is going on there? Could it be another flashback story? Then there is Barbara's own Origins and Omens where she is looking at her Batgirl costume, out of the trophy case with a thoughtful expression. Reminicing about the good old days or whether she can still fit in it? However she fits none of the solicit, don't count her out though.

3) Stephanie Brown
She fights Crime as Spoiler and has previously been Robin for a short time. The first female to take the role. She has a long time love interest in Tim Drake which fills teh Bat-Girl role perfectly from its original inception. The Batgirl #1 cover is bathed in purple light which is the colour of her costume as spoiler and the solicit could still work. While she was Robin she wasn't wearing the Batsymbol even if she had the same sort of responsibility. She was recently brought back from her written death, there must be a reason.

Other Contenders

There have been various other names put forward such as Helena Bertinelli and Misfit which I think would be very random and have no clues pointing towards them. While there is potential in these characters as Batgirl I think they'll have to wait their turn.

While I would love Barbara to be back in top form I think there is a lot of evidence for Bette and Steph that can't be ignored. So with the evidence presented what do you think?
Posted by Nikki at 13:40 |  
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