Monday, December 10, 2012

Putting the puzzle together

You've probably heard that Gail Simone was rather unceremoniously fired from "Batgirl."

There's a crossover--"Death of the Family"--going on in the Bat-books right now, promising to end with an "unspeakable tragedy" that puts Batman on the brink of "losing his humanity." Nightwing also loses "so much," according to solicits.

When Mike C. Nelson tweeted Gail "did you not put enough women in refrigerators or something?" she responded, "Funny you should say that."

So putting it all together: what character, probably female, is dying in "Death of the Family"?

After reading that Batman solicit, I would have guessed Alfred, and I still think that's the most likely situation. Who else's death would have such a major impact on Batman and Nightwing? He's not exactly a woman in a refrigerator, though, except in a very metaphorical sense. Unless Joker actually stuffs him in a fridge.

The other person that makes sense is Commissioner Gordon. He has the stronger ties to Batgirl, but what would they do in the wake of his death? We've barely seen any other GCPD characters, so it's not like there's someone they're grooming to take over. Still, might make sense that Gail would have something to say about this decision.

It might be Barbara Gordon, Sr. instead, which makes the most sense from a Gail-off-Batgirl perspective, if not a big-Batman-crossover perspective. Neither Bruce nor Dick have much connection to her, but Gail's been building her up as a supporting character in "Batgirl," and she's definitely "family." I can see where "oh, hey, we're killing Barbara Sr." might lead to some friction. But if Barbara Sr. is one of several casualties, it actually makes the most sense.

If not for the solicit that explicitly said Barbara was alive and confronting her brother, I'd guess that Barbara herself would be dying, in part as a "be careful what you wish for" to those annoying (to DC, anyway) Cass/Steph/Oracle fans.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it sure looks like this is the direction things are headed. Someone is dying in "Death of the Family," probably multiple someones, and the result is Gail Simone being kicked off a book that owes its popularity largely to her presence. Apologies to Ray Fawkes, but I don't think I'll be following his tenure on the character.

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