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Doctor Who Not Your

In Reply To
The Chosen One

Subj: Re: Personally . . .
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:52:35 pm EST (Viewed 1 times)
Reply Subj: Personally . . .
Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:18:30 pm EST (Viewed 3 times)

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The Chosen One must speak on this,

Personally, I've never cared for Stephanie Brown -- not when she was Spoiler, definitely not when she was Robin, and even less now that she's Batgirl -- for all the reasons I danced a jig for when Jason Todd bit it. In fact, by my observation, Stephanie is nothing more than Jason with a rack: Arrogant, untalented, unhinged, poorly-motivated, and generally unliked by nearly *all* of the Bat-Clan (Hell, Barbara barely acknowledged her existence for the most part). Stealing a costume because she feels "she deserves it" does not mean that she's *earned* it. Not even Jason had that kind of gall. Hell, I'd go as far as to say that she's worse than Jason: After all, when was the last time Jason started a Gang War just to prove that she "has what it takes"? (see "War Games")

To be honest, the only time that I liked her character was when she was laying stone-cold dead on an operating table. She served as a cautionary tale -- an example as to why not everyone can toss on a cape and fight crime like the Dynamic Duo -- and, when the Powers that Be felt that Jason Todd would serve comic sales better alive than dead, her Robin costume could easily stand in for his as Batman's reminder as to why he should always be careful when choosing his Kid Sidekicks. Unfortunately, her resurrection/non-death was the only way that Leslie Tompkins could be redeemed, so that was a ride that was destined to end too soon.

Most of the audience sentiment seems to have gone against Cassandra Cain, which confuses me: Here was a character who was properly motivated (she had been trained to kill, and was fighting to redeem herself from that) as well as adequately trained (trained by Daddy Super-Assassin to be a super-assassin); that she, too, was sacrificed to the altar of the Company-Wide Crossover (One Year Later, etc) does not diminish the fact that she worked within the Bat-Mythos. And yet, here we are, several years after Tim Drake "walked away" from his costume, and we find the same scenario being repeated with Cassie; with Stephanie, predictably, dusting-off the cowl and prancing about the town like it'd been hers to begin with.

A weak character, no matter how you dress them or how much you try to apologize for them, is a weak character, and Stephanie Brown, whether she's Spoiler, Robin, or Batgirl, is, at her core, a Weak Character. Weak characters, while novel at first, cannot last long as Primary Characters; especially if they're a Primary Character who happens to have a history of being integral to their prospective mythos (Guy Gardner gets around this by simply being a weak SOLDIER amongst an ensemble of similarly-garbed characters).

Cassandra Cain was an excellent character, and slid into the Bat-Clan like she'd always been there: She was used, abused, and tossed-aside for the next model.

What chance does Stephanie Brown have?

Or maybe the question should be, how *long* does Stephanie Brown have?

The Chosen One has spoken. Heed and obey.

>Arrogant, untalented, unhinged, poorly-motivated, and generally >unliked by nearly *all* of the Bat-Clan (Hell, Barbara barely >acknowledged her existence for the most part).

Steph was literally the only reason I ever read "Robin." The only 'fun' character in a book about a guy who was way too self-serious for his own good. I can't remember if it was Steph or Felicia "Black Cat" Hardy in Spider-Man, but the speech was something along the lines of "Dude, we swing around on rooftops and fight bad guys. Lighten up and have some fun."

Given how utterly dark and depressing the Bat-titles have been since Knightfall, Steph was a needed dose of levity in the Bat-Books.

>After all, when was the last time Jason started a Gang War just to >prove that she "has what it takes"? (see "War Games")

That's more the failure of the Bat Editors to tell Bill Willingham: "No Bill, actually all that sounds like a horrible idea. Who the hell wants to read Batman titles where a third-rate villian like Black Mask is the title's big bad?"

>Most of the audience sentiment seems to have gone against Cassandra >Cain, which confuses me: Here was a character who was properly >motivated (she had been trained to kill, and was fighting to redeem >herself from that) as well as adequately trained (trained by Daddy >Super-Assassin to be a super-assassin);

Being "well trained" does not equal being "well written" or "well drawn."

Look at the below sales figures for Steph's first issue in comparison to the same month for Cassie from 2004 and 2005. An 11,000 difference five years ago and 23,000 difference from four years ago.

Most comic fans don't want to read about a semi-mute, unemotional Batgirl. They'd rather read about a vibrant and wisecracking Batgirl.

39 - BATGIRL
08/2004: Batgirl #55 — 39,469 [43,494]
08/2005: Batgirl #67 — 28,159
08/2009: Batgirl #1 — 51,724 (+149.3%)

>A weak character, no matter how you dress them or how much you try to >apologize for them, is a weak character, and Stephanie Brown, whether >she's Spoiler, Robin, or Batgirl, is, at her core, a Weak Character.

Then I'm really not sure how on Earth Deadpool and Punisher have been around as long as they have. Both are pretty "weak" characters when you break them down.

>Weak characters, while novel at first, cannot last long as Primary >Characters; especially if they're a Primary Character who happens to >have a history of being integral to their prospective mythos

I don't think Cassie has ever been viewed as a Primary Character or as being integral to the mythos. Half the time it seemed the Bat Writers were trying to shoehorn her into the plot. Hell, Sasha Bordeaux during her time as Bruce's bodyguard was a more well-developed and well-written character.

>Cassandra Cain was an excellent character, and slid into the Bat-Clan >like she'd always been there: She was used, abused, and tossed-aside >for the next model.

She fit in as well as Aunt Harriet and Harold the Hunchback ever did.

>Or maybe the question should be, how *long* does Stephanie Brown have?

Steph's been a veteran of the Bat Family since 1992. Given the fact she's now outselling "Red Robin," she'll probably be around longer than Tim's current title.

>The Chosen One has spoken. Heed and obey.

Or roll your eyes in bemusement.


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