Oh, Bruce. You say that to all your future meat shields... I mean, partners.
Ever since DC Comics (isn't "DC Comics" "Detective Comics Comics"?) decided to initiate a poorly-planned mess of a reboot in 2011, creating the universe of the "New 52" (or Prime Earth), which combined the already existing DC universe with that of Vertigo and Wildstorm (only to largely dispose of those elements later), it hasn't been easy to find solid, compelling DC titles that wouldn't vary in quality from week to week. After all, they didn't just restart the timeline, they skull fucked continuity with a diamond dick and blew their load through the back of its head. The Teen Titans' history? Gone. Superman? He wears a t-shirt and jeans and then switches to battle armor, all the while romancing Wonder Woman (he's no longer married and was in fact never romantically involved with Lois Lane). Also, he's kind of a jerk now. Wally West who? Cassandra Cain who? Donny Troy who? Also, the Amazons rape men and throw out the male babies (sort of a reverse China). Amanda Waller is thin and attractive, somebody thought Cyborg would make a good Justice League member, Billy Batson is a little prick, the Justice Society lives in a parallel world again, Roy Harper wears a trucker hat, and nobody's quite sure what happened and what didn't happen in the past, which has been relegated to a six year time frame.
Batman's legendary hatred for punk rock music is replaced with an undying rage for the equine.
Fortunately, that was not the case when #28 came long, flashing forward to a time sometime during the upcoming Eternal weekly, where when Gotham is under cerfew, Batman and Harper as Bluebird (again, armed with electricity), infiltrate the club that the big crime boss runs. Harper mentions offhandedly that her brother has been "infected", perhaps hinting at her motivation to put on a mask. Bluebird has a costume that is certainly reminiscent of Nightwing's former costume color scheme and has a similar ensignia. However, at least the storm of rage has, for the most part, subsided, even if Nightwing's future is still in doubt.
Shock and awe tactics.
The question, of course, is what do I personally think of Harper Row and her new role of Bluebird? Well, I like Harper Row. She's spunky, in her own way, or at least enthusiastic, and while a little jaded by certain aspects of her life and Gotham City, obviously has a deep respect and admiration for Batman. Far from just being a Batman fangirl, she also brings some of her technical skills to the plate and a resourcefulness and knowledge of the literal underground. All right, she's still a bit of a question mark, and has all the markings of Snyder's desire to be socially relevant. She's more Suicide Girl than Batgirl, and the gun makes me nervous (though it is a shock cannon), but I find her pretty interesting and potentially a great character, with plenty room for growth.
And you know what? I like her nose ring. I like her affection for her brother. I like her brother! I like her desire to help Batman at his lowest. And in issue #28 she kicks ass and makes me smile. I already like her better than Stephanie Brown.
Pfft, Stephanie Brown. Chuck Dixon-created or not, I never liked that useless git. I hope we never see that annoying little bitch aga---
Oh. Hi, Steph. Uh... yikes, this is awkward. Epic Bat-Fail.
So... seen Cass around anywhere?
FINAL VERDICT: READ THIS.
(Batman v2 #28, written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with art by Dustin Nguyen, is available now from DC Comics)
- Penguin Truth