Sexualized Saturdays: Batgirl, a Look Back at a Lifelong Hero and a Hopeful Look Forward

With the recent news  that Joss Whedon is in the works to do a (potentially amazing, if arguably problematic) Batgirl movie, I’ve been thinking about Barbara Gordon a lot. I mean, more than usual. BG’s always been a personal favorite and perhaps the first example I remember from my childhood of not only a real “strong female character” but a superhero I actually connected with. Babs has been a hero to many and while she has been used in incredibly problematic ways over the years, she remains one of the most prominent female superheroes to the average geek.

Batgirl - YC Promo 1

This shade of purple was forever associated with Batgirl in my brain. (image via Batman Wiki)

As different artists have taken a crack at Batgirl over the years, she has gone through a few phases, as have most of the other major players in the Batman canon. Many of those different versions of BG have been used in exploitative ways. Despite this, many have made her a feminist icon and often a source of inspiration to fans of all genders. In looking back at some of these incarnations, I also hope to highlight a few things that will be crucial to the Batgirl film not ending up horrible.

TW: Discussion of themes related to sexual violence and ableism.

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Throwback Thursdays: Batman & Robin

BatmanRobin.0The 1997 movie Batman & Robin is quite possibly one of the strangest movies I have ever watched. The last time I watched it, I noticed that the story liked to switch back and forth between two different things—being completely awful and being completely awful. It does literally nothing else. At any given time Batman & Robin is so awful it’s boring, and during all the other times, it’s so awful it’s baffling. Nevertheless, it’s a movie that has stuck with me over time—not because I particularly want to remember it, but because my traitorous mind won’t let me forget it in the slightest.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Trans, Intersex, and Non-Binary Headcanons

Fanfiction is often used to give representation to minorities that wouldn’t normally be featured in the mainstream media. While this doesn’t always work out, fanfiction in general has done a decent job at providing representation, especially queer representation. And while most fanfiction featuring queer relationships is comprised of slash fanfiction (fanfiction featuring male/male pairings), some efforts have been made to give more representation to the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, last month was Femslash February, which focused on celebrating queer women. Fanfiction authors who wanted more ace representation have started Asexy April. So while the majority of queer pairings in fanfiction are still m/m pairings, there has been a push in the fanfiction community for more inclusion.

Laverne CoxHowever, when it comes to transgender, intersex, and non-binary characters, there is noticeably less representation, both in mainstream media and in fanfiction. Recently, I have seen some more trans and non-binary headcanons, but there are still very few intersex headcanons. Headcanons, for those of you that might not know, are fans’ personal idea about characters which could fit into the existing canon of a show, even if the show itself has little to support the idea. Usually headcanons have some sort of explanation or evidence to back them up.

So to encourage people to write more fanfiction with trans, intersex, and non-binary characters, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite headcanons.

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DC’s Essential Graphic Novels Essentially Screws Over Women

(picture via dcwomenkickingass)

(picture via dcwomenkickingass)

DC Comics recently stated that they will be releasing a free essentials guide to their graphic novels. This guide will be sent to fans, comic shops, and libraries. It is also notably lacking in women.

Certain characters have received multi-page spreads in this book. Most of these characters are the ones that you’d expect, such as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and, weirdly, Green Arrow. Perhaps Green Arrow was given his very own spread because he is currently a popular character due to the TV show Arrow, but Green Arrow has never been a part of the main lineup of DC superheroes.

You know who is, though? Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman, who is an Amazon, member of the Trinity, and one of the main leaders of the Justice League, does not get her own multi-page spread with her fellow superheroes. Neither do any other female superheroes—not even Batwoman, who is one of DC’s top selling female-led comics along with Batgirl and Wonder Woman (source).

So where are the women in this “essential” guide? In a two-page spread called “Women of DC”. The only women featured in this section are Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman, and Huntress. Yes, the ladies have been screwed over.

(picture via dcwomenkickingass)

(picture via dcwomenkickingass)

Furthermore, no women or men of color are being featured. There’s no sign of Cyborg, Cassandra Cain, Mister Terrific, Static Shock, Katana, or Vixen.

This book says a lot about who DC Comics are trying to promote and sell to. Remember, this guide is going to be used not just by fans but by comic shop owners and libraries to determine what graphic novels they should order. It has often been said by creators and companies alike that ‘for some reason’ the comics which don’t feature white heterosexual male characters don’t do as well. Well, maybe that has less to do with what DC’s readers want and more to do with how they promote their characters. Just a thought, DC.

Celebrating the “brotp”: Ten Awesome Platonic Friendships

Pretty much everyone who has read fanfiction has an OTP—a One True Pairing that they ship harder than anything else. But what about the couples that are just awesome buds, and who you like together as friends but not romantically? Well the recently coined term ‘brotp’ is there for you. And since Valentine’s Day puts and unnecessary emphasis on being in a romantic relationship, I figured I’d take this post to give a shout-out to some of the awesomest platonic friendships out there.

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Gail Simone is Back on Batgirl

Gail Simone is back, baby!

Gail Simone was recently and rudely dismissed from the Batgirl comic via email, leaving her without a title to work on and reducing DC Comics’ female artists and writers to only about four. Furthermore, Gail Simone is one of the most promoted female writer at DC comics and is known for her support of women, minorities, and LGBTQ people.

The reasons for Gail Simone’s dismissal from Batgirl was never fully explained and I doubt the reasons why they are asking her to now return will be explained either, but perhaps it was the the mass amount of not only fan protest but protest from fellow comic book creators. Whatever the case, Gail Simone recently posted on her Tumblr how excited and pleased she is to be returning to Batgirl.

I KNOW WHO THE NEXT WRITER ON BATGIRL IS…

…and her name is ME!

I am typing this on a snowy road, cell service is about to disappear, I know everyone has a million questions, but…
BATGIRL, baby!

Thank you to DC for this privilege, and a million thank yous to everyone who wanted to see this happen.

I am ECSTATIC.

I’m extremely excited for Gail Simone to return to Batgirl, especially to read her stories about how Barbara was able to rehabilitate after the Joker shot her. I’m further excited to potentially see a transgender person potentially in the Batgirl comics! Gail Simone has revealed that more exciting things will be happening that she can’t reveal yet.

I promise. DC did a nice thing here. A happy thing, and there’s more news coming I can’t tell yet, but soon. ALL good news.

Some opportunities have opened up all over the place and soon I will be writing some of my very very favorite characters that I have never written before, AND I will be writing a bunch of new things I created, as well. Some things I have been waiting for for years will be coming.
There will be news from possibly unexpected corners very soon.

And man, I cannot WAIT.

So be pleased, comic book fans. We won one!