Commentary: Three Ways Batgirl Should Improve


Three Ways Batgirl Should Improve

Overall, I think Gail Simone's handling of Batgirl has been fairly good. It started off a little rough with the yawn inspiring and convoluted villain Mirror, and it took some time to build up steam, but I enjoyed Barbara's showdown with Knightfall and the Joker story has thus far been riveting. In consequence, I was a little disappointed when it was reveled that Gail had been fired since it felt like Batgirl was just starting to hit its stride. Of course, it was soon revealed that Simone was rehired in a move that left everybody dazed, confused, and unsure whether to feel irritated or victorious.

Whatever the madness that must have happened behind the scenes between DC and Gail, Simone's removal from the series started me thinking on how the series could improve, so I've come up with three pieces of advice for Barbara and whoever ends up writing her.

1. Get a Job, Hippie!

What is Barbara even doing for money right now? It is actually extremely bizarre that readers do not know the answer to this question. I know how every other member of the Bat Family pays the bills, but Babs seems to be free from all responsibility and care except when she wears the suit. What's up with that? Does Commissioner Gordon have enough to pay for Barbara to have a separate apartment? Does Batman finance her so she can spend more time fighting crime? Is she going back to college or working a low income job? It's a mystery.

It's also a shame because having a job would make Barbara much more relatable to readers. Many of the people who read comics are at the stage in their lives where they are either getting their first job or establishing themselves in a career. How great would it be to see a heroine endure those same sort of everyday struggles. A job would give Barbara some much needed depth because right now she has little going for her. Her supporting cast consists of an estranged mother, a loyal but absent (from most issues) father, one roommate, (who also gets little screen time) and her sociopathic little brother. It's time for Barbara to rejoin society.

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Also, look for Friday's article, "Is Damian a Good Robin?"