Five Great Batgirl Stories That Could Inspire Joss Whedon's Movie
One of the things we know about DC's movies is that they tend to be strongly influenced by -- but [...]
One of the things we know about DC's movies is that they tend to be strongly influenced by -- but not directly based on -- stories from the comics.
That leaves a lot of possibilities open for Easter eggs, winks, nods, and other little things to excite long-time fans. It also means that when a new movie is announced, it's easy for your mind to race with the possibilities of what stories could be building to a big-budget movie.
Already, it's only been a few hours and everyone wants to know whether Batman: The Killing Joke will play a big part in the movie. After all, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had a wink-and-a-nod reference to Oracle, Batgirl's hacker identity after she was confined to a wheelchair in that famous-infamous graphic novel.
The movie will have to do a lot: it will have to establish Batgirl (presumably Barbara Gordon), and immediately let the audience know how old she is and whether some key elements of her biography -- such as the aforementioned injury -- ever happened to her or not, as well as fitting in with The Batman, the Nightwing movie and anything else that's happening in Gotham City by the time Batgirl actually becomes a thing that's happening.
We decided it could be fun to roll down some of our favorite Batgirl/Barbara Gordon stories and see what elements of them could be cherry-picked for the big screen...
ZERO HOUR: A CRISIS IN TIME
Over the years, a lot of people have talked about how Crisis on Infinite Earths was one of Supergirl's best stories, because it allowed her to not only go out in a blaze of glory, but along the way it showed what she was made of.
The same can be said for Zero Hour and Batgirl. At a time when Barbara Gordon had been wheelchair-bound for years, a time-displaced version of the character showed up during this time-travel adventure and was battling on the side of Parallax, the story's villain, in the interest of rebuilding the timeline so that she and others who had been lost to continuity and misfortune could be brought back.
But when push came to shove and the choice was winning or letting Parallax kill innocent people, Barbara chose to sacrifice herself, leaping in front of a power blast and, ironically, catching a fatal blow to the same part of her torso where she had been shot in The Killing Joke. It was an agonizing moment, and a catalyst for Green Arrow to step up and square off with Parallax.prevnext
One of the better stories to come out of the New 52 era, this one is something that could happen whether Barbara is recovering from being Oracle, or just never was.
After it appears she was responsible for the death of his son, Commissioner Gordon starts chasing down Batgirl, without realizing that he's actually hunting not only an innocent person, but his own daughter.
It would give the movies a good chance to use JK Simmons some morea, and play out the drama of Commissioner Gordon and Batgirl being on opposite sides of the law -- something they don't seem to be exploring with Batman considering that the two seem pretty chummy in the Justice League trailer.prevnext
BATGIRL OF BURNSIDE
The tone and flavor of the most recent reinvention of Batgirl has revolutionized the way many fans think of her, and cleansed the palate a bit for many fans who weren't overly fond of some of the post-Flashpoint changes made to Barbara.
It's also managed to finally put The Killing Joke behind her and allow Barbara to go about her heroing without constant references back to the worst thing that ever happened to her.
A lighter tone? In a DC movie? Well, you might scoff, but we're not sure why else they would have brought in Whedon to begin with.prevnext
ORACLE: YEAR ONE
While The Killing Joke is not a great Batgirl story, that doesn't mean there weren't plenty of great Barbara Gordon stories that came out of the events of that book.
Kim Yale and John Ostrander, who brought the Oracle version of Barbara into the Suicide Squad, would years later write an emotionally-powerful story that showed the immediate aftermath of her injury and the process by which she decided to become Oracle.
The thing about this story is that it doesn't have to be Oracle specific to be an inspiration. Even if, in the Extended Universe, Barbara's paralysis never happened (or didn't happen the way it did in the books), a story like this that details how she overcame something truly awful could showcase the strength of her character.prevnext
BATGIRL: YEAR ONE
Even if the story takes place in the present day and Batgirl has been active for a while, it would be shocking for a director like Whedon not to explore the material in this fan-favorite story.
Yes, Batman is the key to Barbara's decision to become a costumed crimefighter, but in Batgirl: Year One we also saw her connections to the Golden Age Black Canary and the fact that she actually wanted to follow in her father's footsteps but turned to vigilantism after she wasn't taken seriously by numerous law enforcement agencies becuase she was a young girl.
This story was the spark that would inspire things like the Batgirl of Burnside years later, depicting Barbara as a person who is irrepressibly good and fundamentally unable to accept the things she cannot change.prev