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A Linda Danvers Look Back: Final Night

November 23, 2010

The new Superboy series is set in Smallville and Jeff Lemire portrays the town as a seemingly normal town with strange things going on under the surface. I wish I could remember who said it, but some blogger wrote that this series owes more to Peter David’s Supergirl series and the town of Leesberg then anything else. I have to agree! And it has put me in the mood to once again look at the early adventure of the one and only Linda Danvers!

Last time, we learned that the protoplasmic Supergirl known as the matrix had bonded to teenaged Linda Danvers and saved her life. (Click on the link to learn more.) This time we learn more about Linda Danvers’s past. As Frank commented, Linda had something to do with the ritual murders going on in Leesburg. In fact…

Supergirl_002_11 

Buzz is certainly a powerful guy isn’t he? Able to interact with Supergirl on a telepathic level. Here he shows her the atrocities that Linda had committed. Supergirl refuses to let that bother her..

Supergirl_002_23

She accepts that Linda was a bad person…but believes she was destined to save her. Once again continuing the theme of faith and destiny that underlies this book.

Anyways, in the third issue of her new series, Supergirl crossed over with the DC Big Event of 1996, Final Night. In it the sun is nearly destroyed by a sun eater and many believe the world is coming to an end. Fortunately, this allows for the perfect look at religious ideas about the end times. Seriously, Peter David knows how to tie into a cross over without taking away from the main themes of a series.

And to show the hopelessness of the final night juxtaposed with religious imagery, we get these panels…

supergirl_003_18 One of the great things about this Supergirl was she wasn’t Kryptonian and therefore had different powers then Superman, and that allowed for different stories. Unfortunately, it looks like bonding with the human Linda has made her lose her invisibility power. Once again, we are shown how Buzz seems to be everywhere at once too. He is a powerful little creep.

Not only is Leesburg filled with looters, but something else is going on here we learn when Linda’s religious mother enter the church and finds the citizens of the town turning into literal beasts!

supergirl_003_19

Apparently, Linda’s mom is quite the devout Christian. Look at how awesome Supergirl’s costume was then! Truly iconic!

The issue ends with Supegirl discovering Gorilla Grodd and a strange talisman to be behind the transformations! And Supergirl transforming herself!

supergirl_003_22

Supergirl_004_00

Even Linda had her own Dark Supergirl outfit long before Kara Zor-El did! Despite being under Grodd’s control, we automatically see the Girl of Steel fighting it – starting with the refusal to hurt her mother. Buzz seems to be helping her here.

Supergirl_004_03 There are a few foreshadowing moments in this issue – two on the page below.

Supergirl_004_11 Peter David has Grodd calling Supergirl his angel! If you know anything about how this book turns out you will understand why Peter David wrote that line — if not stick around and you will find out. The boy that Linda Supergirl sees watching her will become an important character as well.

Needless to say, Supergirl defeats Grodd and returns the populace to normal but not before Linda’s friend Mattie’s brother is murdered and the townsfolk do many things they are ashamed of. In the final moments of the issue we get another sighting of that little boy.

Supergirl_004_21

What’s his deal? Stay tuned for more Look B

acks at Linda!

Celebrating Ten Years of Batgirl: April 2000

November 17, 2010

With recent revelations about what is going on with my favorite Batgirl in current continuity (I will do a post about this at some point soon) and her appearance in Red Robin, I am psyched once again to bring you the early adventures of our heroine. Today we will look at her two comics of April 2000: Batgirl #3 and Young Justice #20.

Batgirl 003-00fc  As you recall from the previous issue, Batgirl’s crush, John Robinson, died while she was trying to save him. It was in no way her fault…but Batman for some reason feels that she could have done better.

Batgirl 003-02 The family dynamic is quite interesting. We’ve already talked about how Batman is very much a father figure to Batgirl, but this scene it’s almost like Oracle is the mother figure and they are arguing about how to raise her right.

Batman does actually talk to her about the “failure.”

Batgirl 003-04  Despite her answer, Batgirl got what he was saying as you will see later in the issue.

Anyways, Batman and Batgirl arrive in one of Gotham’s many abandoned wherehouses where bad guys hang out where she proceeds to beat the crap out of seven men while Batman talks to the main guy! That’s my girl!

Batgirl 003-06I love how Batman uses her to scare the shit out of the bad guys now! They made awesome partners! A true dynamic duo if you will.

Things don’t go well for long…

Batgirl 003-07 

Batgirl comes face-to-face with her first super strong metahuman. Realizing that she isn’t trained for this, Batman gives her the little girl that they were saving and tells her to go. She does as ordered as the little girl cries for her daddy…Batgirl has a flashback to her biological father.

Batgirl 003-12 What a screwed up childhood…but despite what they were doing, the flashback shows she does this just to maker her father proud, naive to the fact that this isn’t a normal father-daughter activity. Damion Scott is a great artist as he manages to convey all this without a single line of text.

As we return to the present time, we see a young woman who still wants to make her father proud – even if this time it is Batman and not her biological father. She wants to show him she can beat the metahuman and that she understands that as he said, in their line of work they can not fail. And she shows him just that!

Batgirl 003-20

The relationship between Batman and this Batgirl was so awesome…I want to see that Bruce and Cassandra reunite in present continuity ASAP.

The issue ends with a cliffhanger as Batman recieves a mysterious video tape of Batgirl when she was a little girl.

Batgirl 003-22

I wonder how he will react….?? We will have to see next time.

That’s really it for April 200o except for in a brief cameo in Young Justice #20 by Peter David and Todd Nauck. This marks her first appearance outside of the bat-books.

YoungJustice20p20

Stats and Facts
Issue Firsts:

First Fight With A Metahuman

First Time Bruce Discovers She Killed As A  Child

Sneak Attack Count:

1

Total Sneak Attack Count:

13

Significant Creator Count:
Writers:

Denny O’Neil (4)
Janet Harvey (1)

Kelley Puckett (6)

Greg Rucka (1)

Devin Grayson (2)

Chuck Dixon (1)

Scott Peterson (4)

Artists:

Roger Robinson (4)

Sergio Cariello (1)

Deodato (1)

Damion Scott (5)

Dale Eaglesham (2)

Steven Harris (1)

Paul Ryan (1)

Knock-Out Count:

2

Total Knock-Out Count:

29

She Is One Of His Closest Crime Fighting Companions!

November 17, 2010

Cassandra Cain was not in the scene where Bruce gathers the Batfamily together in the cave to talk to all of them in Batman: The Return. Could he have not had her flown in from Hong Kong! I suppose I would have been less annoyed if Grant Morrison ever included Cass in anything…she wasn’t in R.I.P despite being in Gotham at the time, so why does Steph get to be in this scene and not Cass! Cass is around now. I get it. I should be happy, but I want to see Bruce talk to her!

Cass is Back!!!!!

November 11, 2010

I am so happy right now! Go read Red Robin #17!

RR

Celebrating Ten Years of Batgirl: A Pair Of Twos

October 10, 2010

Today we will be focusing on two #2’s from February 2000, both of which featured the greatest Batgirl! Fist off we have Batman: Gotham Knights #2.

Gotham Knights #2 pg00

This issue is the second of the then new “Batfamily” title – Gotham Knights and it is written by Devin Grayson with art by Dale Eaglesham. This is the second time Grayson and Eaglsham have tackled the relationship between Batman and Batgirl. The first being back in Batman Chronicles #18.

This cover while I liked it – it is kind of weird that she seems to have a gray suit instead of her usual black one or maybe it is just supposed to be the light reflecting off of her – not sure. Anyways, the book starts off with one of our favorite character’s famed sneak attacks.

Gotham Knights #2 pg01

I Love how dark and batwing-like her cape is here. It is quite breathtaking and I bet those guys are about to piss in their pants. I hate to say it but compare this to Stephanie Brown’s Batgirl costume it is just pathetic how unscary Steph is.

Grayson used a mysterious narrator during her run on the book hat left readers wondering who it was that knew so much about the Bat Family.

Gotham Knights #2 pg02I love how Batman at least trusts her enough that he doesn’t feel like he needed to go in with her. This seems to be the first comic to imply that the new Batgirl has a death wish. Cassandra clearly understands that she upset Batman for being so impulsive and her bow here shows not only that she is ashamed – but once again how much she looks up to Batman.

Oh and of course I don’t have mention that this girl just went into a room full of guys with guns – came out with the man she was looking for completely unharmed because she is THAT AWESOME!

The narrator (brilliantly written by Grayson I might add) goes on to discuss altruism as Batman and Batgirl save those from a sinking ship.

 

Gotham Knights #2 pg12

Look at these early issues of this girl who would risk her life to save anyone – and then think of what they later did to the character after one year later – it is truly disheartening. I love this sequence – it reminds me of Titanic a lot.

Gotham Knights #2 pg13fgGotham Knights #2 pg13

Never underestimate our Batgirl my friend. Seeing her batrope shoot out from the underwater – awesome way to frame the sequence! Perfect! The narrator knows that Batgirl hates herself for murdering the man as a child – even if she was forced to.

Gotham Knights #2 pg15Gotham Knights #2 pg16 

With these two pages alone, one can see what makes her such a compelling character. I have read complaints that she is too good at fighting to be interesting…but those people are missing the point. Yes, she is nearly a perfect fighter but she does have flaws and those flaws are demonstrated here. Her flaw is her guilt…a guilt so great that even though she is saving many lives, she can never believe that she is actually a good person because of the one life she did take.

Gotham Knights #2 pg17 Gotham Knights #2 pg18 

Wow! Great writing by Grayson as she explores the theme of memory. Both Bruce and Cassandra have memories that haunt them – Bruce wants to teach her to overcome those memories. Eaglesham’s drawing of Batgirl’s body language really highlights her anguish.

The issue ends perfectly with Batgirl making the right choice.

 

Gotham Knights #2 pg22This was a great look at the relationship between Batman and Batgirl as well as exploring the psyche of Batgirl herself. It was wonderful from the very first page.

Stats and Facts
Issue Firsts:

First Introduction Of The Idea That Batgirl Has A Death Wish

Sneak Attack Count:

1

Total Sneak Attack Count:

10

Significant Creator Count:
Writers:

Denny O’Neil (4)
Janet Harvey (1)

Kelley Puckett (4)

Greg Rucka (1)

Devin Grayson (2)

Chuck Dixon (1)

Scott Peterson (2)

Artists:

Roger Robinson (4)

Sergio Cariello (1)

Deodato (1)

Damion Scott (3)

Dale Eaglesham (2)

Steven Harris (1)

Paul Ryan (1)

Knock-Out Count:

0

Total Knock-Out Count:

24

 

batgirl02

The next issue we will cover is Batgirl #2 by Kelly Puckett, Scott Peterson, and Damion Scott. The cover seems to reiterate the death wish theme of Gotham Knights #2.

The book opens with a man named John witnessing a women being attacked in an alley and he tries to save her from the attack only to be cornered by group of thugs. Who intervenes to save the day and knock everyone out! You guessed it!

Batgirl 002-05

Does our hero have a crush?

002-06

Adorable! I like that is isn’t just some guy…Batgirl likes that this guy was a good samaritan. She was raised by evil men who cared about nothing but themselves. People like Batman and this John guy fascinate her and give her hope. Which is why she is quite angry when the newscast says John had been kidnapped from his home from the thugs.

Batgirl 002-08 Oracle notices how angry she is and figures out where the thugs are holding John – an abandoned prison/steelworks. Batgirl immediately goes off to rescue John and kick major ass – and also a hole in the prison wall!

Batgirl 002-11 Batgirl 002-15

Despite her attempt at a rescue, the thugs have caused too much damage to John and he dies from the wounds he suffered – giving a note for Batgirl to give to his widow. Needless to say, this leaves our hero more then a little upset. So upset that she JUMPS ONTO A MOVING VEHICLE AS IT SPEEDS OFF A CLIFF AND PULLS THE MAIN THUG OUT BY HIS TIE!! In other words, don’t fuck with Batgirl!

Batgirl 002-20

Scott’s visuals are awesome. This could have been incredibly confusing as a sequence and he pulls it off perfectly and really shows us how angry Batgirl is.

She does bring the letter to John’s wife and watches the widow’s emotional reaction to it. Suddenly, our illiterate hero is inspired. Great issue!

Batgirl 002-22

Stats and Facts
Issue Firsts:

First Time Batgirl Has Ever Kissed Anyone On The Cheek

First Time Kicking A Hole In A Wall

First Time She Tries To Write

Sneak Attack Count:

2

Total Sneak Attack Count:

12

Significant Creator Count:
Writers:

Denny O’Neil (4)
Janet Harvey (1)

Kelley Puckett (5)

Greg Rucka (1)

Devin Grayson (2)

Chuck Dixon (1)

Scott Peterson (3)

Artists:

Roger Robinson (4)

Sergio Cariello (1)

Deodato (1)

Damion Scott (4)

Dale Eaglesham (2)

Steven Harris (1)

Paul Ryan (1)

Knock-Out Count:

3

Total Knock-Out Count:

27

Ass Hat

October 9, 2010

Here is a quote from Didio via CBR:

"Does anybody want to complain about Cassandra Cain and just get it over with?" DiDio joked. Several fans did. "She’s waiting outside the Batcave for a memorial for the Spoiler," DiDio said.

What an asshat! Really?…whatever…stay tuned for my next post of Cass’s adventures later this evening just to stick it to Mr. Didio.

Celebrating Ten Years of Batgirl: The Bat Meets The Cat

September 11, 2010

It has been a while but I am back to bring you more tales of Cassandra Cain’s ten-year reign as Batgirl. This time around we get her first meeting with Catwoman in Batman:  Gotham City Secret Files #1 in a story entitled Night Games written by Scott Peterson and Kelly Puckett with art by Paul Ryan.

Gotham City Secret Files pg03 From the first page I can tell I already think Ryan draws a damn good Batgirl. Wait till you see her in action! Batgirl of course takes all the thugs out rather quickly except for one who is scared shitless. This impresses our narrator – the one and only Selina Kyle!

Gotham City Secret Files pg05

Cassandra’s costume is just so much more frightening then either Barbara’s or Stephanie’s Batgirl outfits. She is the DARK knight damsel. My hope is that she gets to wear the costume again after Batman, Inc.

Gotham City Secret Files pg06

I have to say that I do miss this Catwoman outfit. The one she wears today has never really impressed me. I know I am in the minority here. I didn’t like the purple look though – the coloring on the current one is definitely better, but I hate the current goggles look. I actually think Michelle Pfieffer’s Catwoman costume should have been used in the comics.

Selina assumes Batgirl doesn’t know who she is – I am not sure if she does or not. At this point she can’t read Batman or Oracle’s files but they could have told her about Catwoman at some point. More then likely she doesn’t know who Catwoman is – because if she did I have a feeling Cass would have immediately began to fight her – not team up with her. At this point Catwoman was still a villain – not evil or murderous – but a thief none-the-less.

Gotham City Secret Files pg10Paul Ryan sure draws Batgirl looking pretty happy fighting alongside Catwoman…and fight she does… she knocks out 11 guys in this issue. New record for a single issue.

 Gotham City Secret Files pg11Gotham City Secret Files pg12 

Hahaha Catwoman just stands and watches in amazement! I love it!

Meanwhile Oracle worries that Batgirl has yet to return to the Clocktower after Batman told her too. (How cool was it when the Birds worked out of the Gotham Clocktower! They need to bring that back!) But Batman shows his confidence in his new protégé.

Gotham City Secret Files pg14IGotham City Secret Files pg15

This is the first time we learn she is seventeen now instead of sixteen when she was first introduced. The Unauthorized Chronology of the DC Universe lists Cassandra’s birthday as January 26, 1989. That makes her 21 in the present DCU.

Anyways, this issue not only marks Cassandra Cain’s first encounter with Catwoman – but the Penguin as well. The idea of having Catwoman and Penguin having a conversation while Batgirl beats the crap out of everyone else in the background was a brilliant choice by the creative team!

Gotham City Secret Files pg19Gotham City Secret Files pg20

Notice how Cassandra isn’t just a fighting machine – she is paying close attention to their conversation too.

She’s a smart young woman despite not knowing how to speak – Batman was right about how she can read people. This is evident when she outsmarts Catwoman below.

Gotham City Secret Files pg22Gotham City Secret Files pg23

I love the finger wag!!  

Gotham City Secret Files pg24 Catwoman is right – you should never underestimate Cassandra Cain – not as Batgirl, not as a fighter, nor anything else. Take that Dan Didio!

Stats and Facts

 

Issue Firsts:

First  Meeting with Catwoman and The Penguin

First Time she is revealed to be 17 years of age

Sneak Attack Count:

2

Total Sneak Attack Count:

9

Significant Creator Count:
Writers:

Denny O’Neil (4)
Janet Harvey (1)

Kelley Puckett (4)

Greg Rucka (1)

Devin Grayson (1)

Chuck Dixon (1)

Scott Peterson (2)

Artists:

Roger Robinson (4)

Sergio Cariello (1)

Deodato (1)

Damion Scott (3)

Dale Eaglesham (1)

Steven Harris (1)

Paul Ryan (1)

Knock-Out Count:

11

Total Knock-Out Count:

24