Aug 082011
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Tonight in conversation with Mike, Amy and Scott, a thought occurred to me.

Secret Six ended with Bane returned to his path of violence against Batman. His latest plan hinges not on assaulting Batman himself but destroying the Batfamily. The Robins, Huntress, Azrael and Batgirl are all specifically named. There’s even pictures of each, though Batgirl is, of course, Stephanie Brown.

Gail Simone (writer of Secret Six) said today on Twitter: “Everything that is in the last issue of Secret 6 will still be in continuity, including Scandal’s redheads, no worries! :)” Which means, of course, that Bane’s dedication to hurting Batman’s extended family will also be in continuity.

Gail will be writing the new Batgirl series and in case you missed it, this will be the Barbara Gordon Batgirl.

The same Barbara Gordon who has set the comics world abuzz and ablaze by no longer being paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. In a newly established DC universe that will contain a rampaging Bane – another favourite of Gail Simone – who has sworn to tear apart Batman’s loved ones including the specifically-named Batgirl who must, by default, now be Barbara Gordon.

And when you think of Bane, what do you think?

Breaking the Bat, Batman #497


EDIT: A new train of thought coming out of a conversation with my friend Jason after he read my post. All of this does, of course, piggy-back on my personal theory that it’s only a matter of time before Barbara is back in the chair. Would they do it that soon? Would they do it like this? I don’t know. I’ve said before and I maintain that I have faith in Gail Simone, but she’s at the mercy of DC editorial who in my opinion don’t exactly have the most stellar record.

I believe that Bane vs. Batgirl will happen. I also believe that Bane will in fact break her. However the more I think about it that may not be as bad as my gut reaction thought.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post talking about Barbara returning as Batgirl, we’re all going to be waiting for “it”. The chair will always loom in the shadows. Every major confrontation, every significant battle, and we’ll be waiting for it to be “the one”. We’re coming at these new stories from a place in the future, waiting for the inevitable events that will always echo until they are once again realized: Uncle Ben will be always be murdered, Dick Grayson will always become Robin, Steve Rogers will always be out of time, Superman will always crush on Lois Lane. The details may change, but the core remains.

And so we will wait – whether consciously or subconsciously – we will always wait for Barbara Gordon to once again be in a wheelchair.

So what if DC/Gail Simone realize this? What if, rather than try to hide from it or deny it, they embrace it. Give the audience what it expects. Bane will, in fact, break the Batgirl.

However this time, what if she is able to heal? Bruce did it after all, why not Babs? Would the reaction to Barbara no longer needing the wheelchair have been quite as severe if we had actually read her struggle, watched her painful rehabilitation and felt her determination? Had she fought back and inspired us rather than it being a magic wand with a magic fix? I don’t know for sure, but you know, maybe.

And that could also banish the demon. We won’t keep waiting for that one bad day to come for Barbara because it already happened. We watched as she met her destiny head-on and then beat it. The world opens for Batgirl from that moment forward, and that’s the most optimistic thought I’ve had on this new series since first hearing about it.

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