What’s better than a Harley Quinn Gotham City Sirens? A Batgirl stand alone!
News has just been released from Variety that a Batgirl film is in talks to be written, directed, and produced by Joss Whedon. They’ve reported that the deal has nearly be closed.
Whedon isn’t someone you’d soon forget. This film legend was the creator for classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and both wrote and directed The Avengers. Within these three stories alone we see a wide range of amazing female characters, a writing skill that no doubt makes him a great choice for this movie.
Although Variety mentions Batgirl’s most recognised secret identity, there are an array of woman who have taken up the mantel. In fact, aside from being told there will be a Batgirl film, we haven’t been told which Batgirl it will be.
So, which characters can Whedon chose from? Let’s look back at DC’s history.
Bat-girl, Betty Kane, first appeared in 1961, along with a short-lived hyphen. For you avid comic readers, you may recognise her surname. In fact, she shares this name with Batwoman, aka Kathy Kane. In this rendition of Bat-girl, Betty Kane was the niece of Batwoman and, like many that followed her, she was Robin’s love interest.
Betty Kane was retconned soon after, only to be revived after a huge comic arc Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. With a slight name change to Mary Elizabeth “Bette” Kane, she took up the title Flamebird.
It was the campy 60s Batman show that revived Batgirl and turned her into the much-loved Barbara Gordon. This Batgirl quickly went from the screen to our comic book pages, and in her first comic appearance she even saves Bruce Wayne.
Barbara Gordon also made her way onto the Batman Animated Series and the film Batman and Robin. She was even recently made a lead role in the Lego Batman Movie voiced by Rosario Dawson.
Without the cape and cowl, Barbara Gordon is commonly written as the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon. Throughout the comics she has earned herself a Ph.D with a doctorate in library science and even became the head of the Gotham City Library.
After retiring in her one-shot comic Batgirl Special #1, DC went on to create a drastic change to her character. Amongst the
many horrible things the Joker does in the comic The Killing Joke, now an animated movie, the Joker shoots and paralyses Barbara Gordon.
But Barbara Gordon doesn’t stay quiet. She uses her vast intelligence to become Oracle, a strategist and superhero tech support. She becomes a founding member of the Birds of Prey, which has even been turned into a television series.
For a brief stint, Helena Bertinelli steps into the role of Batgirl. Again, this name is a familiar one in the DC comics as it’s the secret identity of Huntress. It’s only in the series No Man’s Land (1999) that she wears the Batgirl identity.
In this same story, Oracle helps a new hero rise. Cassandra Cain is the daughter of the assassin David Cain. But with Oracle’s leadership, Cassandra thwarts David’s efforts and later becomes the newest Batgirl.
Cassandra is a very interesting Batgirl, as her mask has no mouth hole. She has no need for it as she was never taught how to speak, only to kill. Her training instead allowed her to read physical movement making her an incredible fighter.
After some time, Cassandra passes on the mantle of Batgirl to Stephanie brown and moves to Hong Kong to fight crime as the Blackbat.
Like Cassandra, Stephanie Brown is the daughter of a villain, Cluemaster. To help Batman and Robin find Cluemaster, Stephanie fashioned herself a costume and called herself Spoiler. She knew a lot of what her father was up to and decided to leave clues to lead the dynamic duo to Cluemaster’s hideout.
While training with Batman and the reluctant the Birds of Prey, Stephanie built a friendship with Cassandra Cain. Cassandra goes on to hand Stephanie the Bat mask and, after a rough battle with Scarecrow, Oracle accepts Stephanie as the new Batgirl.
Stephanie isn’t the only one Oracle has tried to discourage being Batgirl. In the Birds of Prey comics, she comes to learn of another young girl, Charlie Gage-Radcliffe, claiming the mantle. Charlie is the only one in this list of Batgirls to have powers, these being strength, healing, and teleportation. She spends the least amount of time as Batgirl, and was given no permission to even wear the symbol. Oracle quickly talked her into changing her masked identity to Misfit.
But Barbara Gordon has, and is, the most well-known and popular Batgirl. Because of this, the 2015 New 52 comic books gave her character experimental surgery and the chance to walk Gotham’s rooftops again in the guise of Batgirl.
Given that the Batgirl solo-film will fit into DC’s movie universe, I would love to see Oracle guiding a new and over-eager Batgirl through the streets of Gotham. What about you? Which character do you want to see on the big screen?