Batgirl: Year One Animated Movie Petition

May 31st, 2010 by | Tags: , ,

So, it appears that because of slow initial sales of the Wonder WomanDVD made Warner Brothers rethink their plans to make a Batgirl animated movie.  And what’s more, it caused them to rethink making a Batgirl: Year One animated movie.

This saddens me. 

In fact, it caused them to rethink making any movie with female leads.  This angers me, a little.

Let’s focus, for now, on the saddening part, and what we can do to fix it.  For starters, there is an internet petition already started to restart the Batgirl: Year Oneproject.  I know, I know, internet petitions suck.  However, I’m very much of a ‘throw everything at the wall and see what sticks’ mentality these days, and so I signed it and hope you will, too.  I also hope you will blog, will ask questions at conventions, and will, if you’re old fashioned, drop DC a letter talking about how much you’d like a Batgirl:Year One movie.  That is, if you do.  And if you don’t, well, you’re a fool.  Below I will list the reasons why I think that even if Wonder Woman had sold badly entirely, and not just initially, it would be a good idea to make a Batgirl: Year One movie.

1.  Batgirl: Year One was a great story.

I’m not just saying it’s a good story.  It was a great one.  It tied in other heroes without letting them steal Batgirl’s thunder.  It moved through flashbacks well and seamlessly.  It had fun and romance and joy and adventure and family dynamics.  It had ridiculous villains and scary villains and silly plot twists and good plot twists.  And in the end, it all came together.  It is, hands down, my favorite graphic novel, embodying all that I think superhero comics should be.

The Wonder Woman movie was also a great story, but it was too wide-ranging and too involved in explanations to tell the same tight story.

2.  Batgirl is a better character than Wonder Woman.

I’m sorry, but she is.  She’s just as recognizable.  I doubt anyone who has heard of Wonder Woman has not heard of Batgirl. 

Wonder Woman is best described by a quote that I’m paraphrasing from one of the Giffen, DeMatteis, Maguire, Rubinstein Justice League books.  The real Justice League has just swooped in to rescue the Not Justice League, and Mary Marvel and Fire are incredibly unimpressed by Wonder Woman.  Wonder Woman responds with, ‘I don’t understand.  We are all sisters in spirit, fighting a universal war against evil.  Why don’t they like me?”

In the end, that’s how I feel about Wonder Woman.  She is everything I should like, but I just don’t.  Not even in the movie that I absolutely loved.  I don’t mind her.  I wish I did like her, but she’s the superhero equivalent of having to eat my vegetables.

Batgirl is what happens when you take Batman and add joy.  She can be in a range of stories from deep noir to extreme silliness, and she works in all of them.  I know I’m an extreme fan, but every incarnation of her is so very likeable, relatable, accessible, and fun.  Putting her in the same category as Wonder Woman is just unfair.

3.  Batgirl has Batman and Robin in her story to back her up.

Let’s face it.  No one is seeing Under the Red Hoodfor Jason Todd.  That guy actually got voted dead a few decades back and has served as a Grim Symbolic Reminder right up until he got resurrected, at which point he served as a whipping boy for the fanboy community.

I say ‘fanboy’ community.  The fangirls tended to like him well enough.  But then, if they were marketing to the fangirls, they would be pumping out Batgirl movies.

People are going to see Under the Red Hood for Batman.  Batgirl: Year Oneis chock full of Batman, and Robin.  Even if Batgirl couldn’t carry a story alone, she wouldn’t have to.

4.  Batgirl can get young girls hooked on the Bat-mythos.

Certainly worked for me, and the reason I can’t get the above Wonder Woman quote right is because I cannot look through my nine boxes of DC Comics in order to find the trade that it’s in.  I loved Batman: The Animated Series, but Batgirl was my favorite character in it.  I literally did a little dance when I saw that they were showing one of the Batgirl episodes.  I have every one of Cassandra’s Batgirl issues, and every one of Stephanie’s, and given that they, mostly, don’t have too much gore or sex in them, I would feel comfortable giving them to girls to read. 

Batgirl is kid-bait.  Everyone’s talking about how we need to get more kids into comics.

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14 comments to “Batgirl: Year One Animated Movie Petition”

  1. You forgot this one:

    5. Marcos Martin’s art would be f—ing perfect for animation! I mean come on! If there’s any trade I mostly own and read for the art, it’s that one (and the story isn’t even bad).

  2. @Carl Walker: It is fantastic art. Very distinctive but also flowing and clear.

  3. Not to mention that some of the animated movies they do greenlight are, quite frankly, kind of strange choices (Red Hood, Superman & Batman: Public Enemies). While I haven’t actually read Batgirl: Year One, somehow I imagine that it’d translate a lot better to a stand-alone movie than either of those stories.

  4. Maybe if these direct-to-DVD features weren’t so frickin’ PRICEY, I could get on-board. As it stands, these are flicks that “they” DIDN’T think had enough juice to make it on the big screen, yet they cost just as much as the flicks that do.

    (I could almost see Wonder Woman making it as some type pffemalr ultimate fighter who … Well, that’s as far as that thought went. I just know that seeing her kick mad ass in that Crisis flick was the shyt. She oughta have a good bit Xena in her, IMO.)

  5. I’ve been a fan of Batgirl ever since the first time I saw Yvonne Craig in her batsuit from the live action series, and I loved BG:YO. I have to sign that petition.

  6. The Wonder Woman quote is from “Formerly Known as the Justice League” and goes:
    “I…don’t understand. We…We are all part of the Great Sisterhood… United in the transcendent ideal of the Feminine Spirit. Why don’t they like me?”

    Which I would not normally be able to find so fast, but I just happened to have read Formerly Known as and I can’t believe its not Justice League yesterday and they are still sitting in my coffee table. Incidentally, while both of those books are great, it also more than a bit morbid and grotesque to read a comic with people joking about Sue Dibny being pregnant, Max Lord and Ted Kord palling around, and Mary Marvel turned evil as a joke. The truth of what has happen to them kills any fun in the jokes.

    And the Wonder Woman movie doing bad enough that there will be no more female lead DC movies while Green Lantern, which my limited research tells me sold a similar number of copies to WW, gets a cartoon series baffles me. I know the GL thing is more about upcoming movie, but its still sad. And anybody who would rather have Red Hood than Batgirl is just flat out dumb.

  7. “Batgirl is kid-bait. Everyone’s talking about how we need to get more kids into comics.”

    Very true. I’m signing.

  8. Well said. It was Batgirl: Secret Files & Origins that introduced me to Batgirl(s). It features a Cass story, and Babs narrating Cass’s origin, and little profiles of them and a few supporting characters at the time.

    I picked it up on a fluke as a teen, and didn’t come across comics again until much later, but that one comic had me hooked on Batgirl and Oracle. When I started reading comics, they were the characters whose books I had to hunt down and devour.

    They’re such awesome characters, and cartoons/movies are a fantastic way in to reading comics. Batgirl: Year One is so accessible to new readers and is generally a great story. DC/WB should be tripping over themselves to get this movie made and market it to girls and women.

  9. @skoce: Yeah, reading those trades is pretty depressing unless you mentally block a lot of things. Still, thanks for the quote!

    @Maddy: I love ’em. I’m going to start a ‘getting to know Bette’ project soon, just so I can be a Batgirl completist.

  10. There’s already a Batgirl: Year One motion comic that’s pretty decent. I could see WB being even more reluctant to make an animated feature based on that, but maybe not. What about a Catwoman film?

  11. @Esther Inglis-Arkell:

    Cool beans! I really don’t know much about her.

    I was under the impression that she was only ever Bat-Girl pre-Crisis, and that post-Crisis she was just Flamebird or whatever. She’s odd because she really doesn’t fit into the bat-mythos, and as such I rarely remember to count her among the Batgirls. I’d sooner remember Helena for wearing a bat costume in NML, or Misfit’s attempt at being Batgirl, than Bette.

  12. I like Batgirl and all, but you can’t expect DC to just crank out movies if the demand isn’t there. I love Martian Manhunter, but I’m not exactly holding my breath for the 150 million live action feature.

  13. Btw, I actually like Wonder Woman, particularly when written by Simone although Rucka’s (or Perez’s) ain’t that bad either. As for the movie, that’s the only direct-to-(BluRay) movie I’ve seen of DC, honestly. I do fear that there’s no way to reason with DC. Entertainment companies (Warner Bros. in particular) seem to always look for reasons to cancel or kibosh any female-led anything. (@skoce is spot on so I won’t repeat what he or she said).

    Were one conspiracy minded, one might suggest that something shitty like the Halle Berry Catwoman (or Jennifer Garner Elektra! oh christ) was made on purpose (a less conspiracy-minded person, which I generally am, would say that they just didn’t pull the plug earlier because they assumed something female-led inherently was crap and therefore its suckiness couldn’t be helped).

    Parting thought… is Batgirl the best because she’s the only fully clothed woman in the ENTIRE DCU?! (at least in her last three personas, I’m not sure about Bette either). Tony Daniel and Ed Benes deserves a smack for, among other things, cavalierly bringing back that terrible Jim Lee costume. But I digress…

  14. @John Foley, I’d argue that the demand is totally there, it’s just that the supply isn’t. Girls love the version of Batgirl they see in TV cartoons already, for being cute, smart, asskicking, and not aggressively sexualized — screw getting kids into comics, how about just giving girls some adventure heroines they can respect and identify with?

    Right on the money, Esther!