Stephanie Brown, a DC comics character who’s been known as The Spoiler, Robin (as in “Batman and…”), and — up until the New 52 was rolled out — Batgirl, is the featured character in a new fan film series that premiered on the interwebs this week …
The Spoiler, Robin, & Batgirl – Pic from WTF, DC?
Batgirl: Spoiled is essentially highly realized fan-fic that utilizes the Batgirl comic series written by Bryan Q. Miller as its jumping off point. Barbara Gordon’s still in her wheelchair, doing duty as hacker goddess Oracle, while Stephanie Brown, as Batgirl, digs deeper into the Gotham underworld. Episode 1, “Blindside,” which runs about 13 minutes, sees the title character on a failed stakeout, a skirmish in an alley, and a pretty big fight in an industrial building.
While it’s probably unfair to judge a home-cooked series by the same standards that you would something appearing on TV proper, I’ll go ahead and do it anyway: this is just okay in my book. The equivalent of a comic book with a great artist and a middling writer, perhaps.
The Batgirl costume is great, as is a lot of other window dressing, but the principal character — whether fault of the actress (Marisha Ray, also a writer on the project) or those giving her direction — is a too hammed up and over the top for my tastes. It’s like the bastard daughter of the Adam West Batman and Buffy Summers. Not quite the right tone. But it fits better once the action starts. And then the talkie starts again — a monologue by some thug about Gotham’s criminal pecking order — and it’s cringe worthy. Performance and what’s being performed. Takes you out of it at a rather critical moment, just in time for him to presumably attempt to rape her. It seems so out-of-place and, sadly, obligatory — enough so that the nice surprise of who comes to her rescue is not quite enough to rescue the show.
The creators anticipate episode 2 in about a month. I imagine it’ll only get better (and, really, you can’t really play the rape card again anytime soon, can you?). While I hesitate to recommend outright, it’s impressive, especially for a fan film, and I would encourage aficionados of live-action super drama or Bat-comics to check it out and make up their own minds. The price is right.