Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Ballad of The Batgirl

As my submission to Project Rooftop's latest contest - and celebration of its 8 years of redesigning - I thought I'd go full tilt re-imagine mode (principally because, for once, they will accept them!)
The subject of this contest is Batgirl.
A character I've never been that much of a fan of, save for the version in 'The Batman' animated series. In general, I dislike female characters whose identity is so derived from another, more established male hero, instead of characters in their own right. Granted, I'm sure Batgirl has been fleshed out a lot more since her creation, but the origins are still what they are. Hence, my idea for a re-imagining.

This Batgirl lives in the same fictional DC universe I've been creating, where the Trinity (loosely made up of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) act as a form of supposedly neutral super-police, protecting the planet from invasions and cosmic threats, while the more socially minded and down-to-Earth Justice League/Justice Society (Green Arrow, Hawkwoman, Miss Martian, Zatanna, Mr. Terrific and The Flash), routinely save people and help the unfortunate.
The Batman of this world is even less of a team player than the one in the actual DCU, as he is violent, conservative and paranoid (as would be anyone who had decided to dedicate their life to avenging their parent's deaths by dressing up as a bat). He spends most of his time in Gotham, where is still something of a legend and his identity - and humanity - is the subject of much speculation.
A high school student by the name of Teri Cairo is obsessed with the Batman, and worships him as a hero, despite her parent's claims that he is 'just another psycho, like the Joker'. After seeing the latest news report of the dark knight's daring rescue of a family being held hostage by an armed gang of bank robbers, Teri decides to change her life. She purchases the materials and equipment needed for her to make her own costume and thus is born... the Batgirl!

She starts becoming somewhat of an urban legend herself, and the tabloids immediately start declaring her 'The Batman's sidekick'. This leads the dark knight himself to confront her, warning her bluntly of the danger she is putting herself into and that he will not be held accountable for her safety.
Ignoring his admonishments and determined to prove herself worthy, she tails the Joker to his hide-out, only to be captured by the clown prince of crime. While captive, the Joker expresses his joy at having captured 'batsy's sidetwerp' as bait to lure Batman to him, by testing a new experimental mutagen formula on Teri. Muttering something about turning her 'batty', he injects her with the formula, before the Batman storms in to beat him senseless. Neither Batman nor the Joker notice what is happening to Teri, before it's too late...

Batgirl is hideously transformed into a half human, half bat hybrid. Horrified by her new form and distraught by her hero's failure to aid her in time, Teri runs away, taking shelter in the dark alleys of Gotham, afraid and ashamed. It is here that she is approached by the Justice Society. Through their help and encouragement she emerges to resume her heroics, no longer emulating the Batman's rough ways, but as her own person. Mr. Terrific finally perfects a watch-like device that can reverse the effects of the mutagen upon command, allowing Teri to return to her family and school. By day, Ms. Cairo... by night, the Bat-Girl!

And there you have it :) Let me know what you think, won't you?

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