Sunday, 7 December 2014

Advent 2014: Favourite Characters Day #7: Bluebird & Spoiler (Batman Eternal)

I turn my attention to two of the extended members of the Batfamily, Harper Row (Bluebird) and Stephanie Brown (Spoiler) for the next installment of my Favourite Characters of 2014. This entry also marks the start of my reduced plan to lower the limit down to 12 rather than 24 due to the fact that I want to prioritize more time for my University work.

(Note, there is no image featuring both Spoiler and Bluebird so I have just used a cover from Batman Eternal for this article)

Here are the rules for this column, as per normal.

"As you’ve probably noticed from above, this is a new blog series dedicated to showcasing my favourite characters from 2014. I will draw from a wide variety of sources but the conditions are simple – I have to have either first encountered that character in 2014, (or a different iteration of that character in 2014, for example, If I were to use, Steven Moffat’s Sherlock Holmes, I would be allowed to as even though I discovered the character before the year of me writing the Advent list, I did not discover Moffat’s take on the character until 2014. Of course, I watched BBC’s Sherlock before 2014, but that’s just a standard example). I can also refer to groups of characters, for example, on a variation of a list last year, I used the Clone Club from Orphan Black, and the main cast from Stargate Atlantis. This will be used multiple times this year when talking about TV show characters – as they are generally better as an ensemble piece as opposed to an individual group.

And also, as is evident from the first character that I have used this year, Raylan Givens, I am allowed to pick characters from previous years as long as I have discovered them in this year. By discovered, that obviously means I have to have watched the first episode of the TV series in 2014, or alternatively, I am also allowed to include characters who I have become more attached to in this year that I weren’t necessarily so keen on before, for example, If a character did something awesome this year to raise their game and turn him or her into a new fan favourite than these characters would be allowed to be included."

There’s a lot of good characters in the Batfamily right now but two of my most recent favourites have become Bluebird and Spoiler. The former of which, Harper Row, is a Scott Snyder creation and one of the newest additions to the family, whilst Stephanie Brown, the latter, is more developed but until recently, was largely absent from the New 52. Now both Stephanie and Harper have been present in the weekly series Batman Eternal, and both have kicked arse in their multiple appearances. I particularly loved the Harper/Tim Drake friendship that was developing in this book and although we haven’t seen either of the characters around for a few issues with the story largely focused on Hush, it’s great to see them there and ideally we’ll get a Bluebird/Red Robin book when this series ends. I’d love to see a Spoiler book as well.

Spoiler is a character who I have virtually the same familiarity with as Harper, and that’s pretty much nothing. Sure, I have actually read every issue featuring Harper since her introduction that I’m aware of, but that’s not a lot. In comparison, Spoiler has been around for longer and even had her own ongoing Batgirl series before the New 52 started. However, fans of Stephanie Brown have had to wait until Batman Eternal to get her appearing in the series proper, and the wait has hopefully been worth it. Yes, they are currently retelling her origin storyline, but it’s been great to see how that’s played out, and much like Harper, these characters at least in terms of the New 52 are in very early stages of development. Each are fun, well developed and strong female characters capable of handling their own with or without Batman.

I’ve since gone back and read a few issues of Stephanie Brown’s time as Batgirl and it’s been just as enjoyable as Batman Eternal. Her character is awesome and it’s almost disappointing that we aren’t seeing an ongoing series with her as Batgirl anymore but hopefully as I’ve already mentioned, we’ll get a Spoiler series written by a good writer when the series ends. It could be loads of fun, and Spoiler combined with a Red Robin/Bluebird book would just about round up an awesome line of Batman comics that are knocking out of the park right now with the likes of Gotham Academy, Catwoman, Batman, Batman Eternal, Grayson, Detective Comics... all being excellent. It seems that they can virtually do no wrong right now and hopefully that will continue to remain the same with these characters.

So yeah, there you have it, Day 7 of my favourite characters post. As mentioned above, this will be the start of me cutting it down to 12, and I hope nobody is too bothered by that. I thought it would be better to keep it at 12 rather than 24 as I’m unsure I’ll be able to keep it going for 24 days especially due to all the University stuff is slowly building up on me. So we’ll see where this goes, I guess. I could always potentially extend it to 24 if I find more characters that I want to include.

      ·                   Day 1: Raylan Givens (Justified)
·                   Day 2: The Mikealson Family (The Originals)
·                   Day 3: Nolan and Irisa (Defiance)
·                   Day 4: Godzilla (Gareth Edwards' Godzilla)
·                   Day 5: The 99th Precinct (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
·                   Day 6: The All New X-Factor (Peter David’s All New X-Factor)
·                   Day 7: Bluebird & Spoiler (Batman Eternal)

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