Batgirl Uses Emma Watson's "Self-Partnered" Phrase in New Issue

For decades, Barbara Gordon has served as an inspiration throughout the pages of DC Comics. Her journey as both a young woman and a vigilante has gone through multiple evolutions over the years, some of which have come to a head in an interesting way across the current Batgirl title. The series' most recent issue was no exception, as it married together Barbara's personal arc, her recent romantic relationships, and a concept from one of last year's Titans arcs -- and got a little topical in the process. Spoilers for Batgirl #43, which is available in stores now, below! Only look if you want to know!

The issue opened with Barbara defending an elderly woman named Margaret Lew from being mugged by magical beings, which seem to have come to life from a book she'd checked out from the library. Barbara, who is unaware of this, decides to read the book before returning it to Lew. As it turns out, the book is an installment from the Unearth series, which was created - and magically brought to life - by author Ernest Hinton. Barbara quickly becomes a fan of the books, in part because it helps distract her from whatever romantic feelings she still has towards Jason Bard and Dick Grayson.

Hinton, who is living in the physical manifestation of Unearth, has a professional and somewhat-romantic history with Lew, and is upset that she's not able to join him. He creates a portal to Lew -- and accidentally finds Barbara, who is excitedly reading the book, instead. While under the hold of the magic, Barbara begins to grow tired, and begins to hear Dick and Jason's voices. She follows them into a manifestation of Unearth, where they all are sporting epic suits of armor -- and Dick and Jason are fighting for her affection.

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(Photo: DC Comics)

Once Barbara gets a hold on the situation, she realizes that them fighting over her is unnecessary, and that she needs to make a personal change for herself. She then declares that she doesn't want a romantic relationship with either of them, and is currently "self-partnered."

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(Photo: DC Comics)

The phrase first gained mainstream attention late last year, when Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast star Emma Watson referred to herself as it during an interview.

“I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel,” Watson explained last November. “I was like, ‘This is totally spiel.’ It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”

“I was like, ‘Why does everyone make such a big fuss about turning 30? This is not a big deal…’” Watson continued. “Cut to 29, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I feel so stressed and anxious. And I realize it’s because there is suddenly this bloody influx of subliminal messaging around. If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby, and you are turning 30, and you’re not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career, or you’re still figuring things out… There’s just this incredible amount of anxiety.”

The phrase courted some controversy - but quite a lot of support - in the time since, with Watson's Harry Potter co-star Tom Felton identifying himself in the same category. So, it's safe to say that Barbara Gordon is in good company when it comes to her current relationship status.


Batgirl #43 is available in stores now. Issue #44 will be released on February 26th.

(Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)