Warner Bros. and DC Films have found the lead for their upcoming Batgirl film. After a series of names were leaked the other day, the studio just announced that one of the breakout stars from In the Heights, Leslie Grace, will be moving from Washington Heights to Burnside to take on the role of Barbara Gordon.
We knew with all of the casting calls for Barbara Gordon, Scarecrow, and Tim Drake that Titans this season would be dealing with the Bat-Family and their time in Gotham City. And, with the new trailer for HBO Max’s Titans, we were correct in that assumption. The gang — Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites), Starfire (Anna Diop), Beast Boy (Ryan Potter), Raven (Teagan Croft), Hawk (Alan Ritchson), Dove (Minka Kelly), Donna (Conor Leslie) [yes, she lives!], and Conner (Joshua Orpin) — all head to Gotham to face a foe after learning that Jason Todd (Curran Walters) aka the second Robin has been killed by the Joker.
DC Universe’s Titans is set to return for a third season, but with the current state of the pandemic, not much is known about what’s to come. Fortunately, the cast and creatives revealed some information regarding the upcoming season. The Titans are moving to Gotham City this season and will be introduced to some familiar Batman characters, including Batgirl herself — Barbara Gordon.
We all know that DC’s television universe is a force to be reckoned with. Hell, the Berlanti-verse alone is already four shows deep across two networks, with each show — even Supergirl — all but guaranteed to return next season. Now that the DC Universe is firmly entrenched on the small screen, I think they should continue the pattern of spinning off characters into their own series. In fact, DC should look to spinning off no less than three shows next year: the obvious ones being Martian Manhunter and Vixen, but I want to make the case for another team show: Birds of Prey featuring the female heroes from the Arrow-verse.
[Trigger warning in these posts for mention & discussion of: sexual violence, molestation, rape, and violence against women]
Fiction always reflects the cultural temperature of the times. This could be a good thing, and sometimes be a great thing. But most of the time, it leads to us uncovering not so pleasant parts of our society. Comics have always been an accessible part of that cultural narrative, as their mix of visual and written storytelling have led to them being embraced by fans for decades. Comics and superhero culture are very much at the center of dictating societal norms.
So when we have instances of dictating women’s dress, allowing for female oppression and violence against women for book sales, the issue goes beyond just the individual books or characters in question. It’s about questioning the system that we’ve allowed for this behavior and thinking to flourish enough to reach the success that it has with the comics industry.
So, usually I’d just let this kind of thing go, or just drop a casual mention of it in West Week Ever, but I was inspired to say more about this particular thing. Last week, DC Comics revealed a variant cover for the upcoming Batgirl #41, which can be seen here:
As a longtime DC fanboy, it’s always pained me to hop on the DC Comics bashwagon, but sometimes it was hard to root for the publisher that let this and this and this and this happen. Over the last several days, though, news of DC’s plans for the last quarter of 2014 and beyond are proving that maybe on my world, the DC logo means hope, too.
Yesterday, FOX TV announced it is developing a new DC Comics-based drama for the 2014-2015 television season. Called Gotham, the show, created by The Mentalist‘s Bruno Heller, will focus on the exploits of Detective James Gordon and his early days in the Gotham City Police Department. Since this is an origin story for Gordon, Batman and his Rogues Gallery will not feature into it — though the announcement mentions Gotham’s colorful villains, I’m not sure how you include them if this is a pre-Batman time period. While I’m always down for more TV shows based on comics, I’m actually not sure what to think about this.
At least the show already has a theme song:
I’ve long been a proponent for a television series based on one of my favorite Batman books of all time, Gotham Central. The book reads like a crime procedural and spotlights a diverse cast of characters, including Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen, Maggie Sawyer, and Josie Mac. Unfortunately, the book’s initial run did not sell very well — probably because Commissioner Gordon and Batman, though their presence is felt throughout, were not the focus of the book — and the series ended after 40 issues. And though there were rumors of a potential Gotham Central television show in the early 2000s, it never materialized. Silver lining? We got Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy instead. So the idea of a show based on the Gotham police department isn’t a new one. How they shoehorn Jim Gordon’s origin into this remains to be seen.