#1 Batgirl Rising OT:
Before we come to the actual report, here's a little introduction with some interesting background information for those who are not too familiar with comic books.
The character Batgirl
(in her civil life she's called Barbara Gordon) was created in the 60's by DC Comics as a part of the Batman franchise - the plan was to get more female readers interested in the comic series, so they included Batgirl in an episode of the TV series. Her inclusion was a huge success: over the years, Batgirl became a inherent part of the Batman universe. However, in 1988 the people in authority of DC seemed to have a different opinion about Batgirl's popularity. In "The Killing Joke" the Joker shoots Barbara and as a result, her time as Batgirl is finally over: due to the bullet she's permanently wheelchair-bound; later, she becomes the cyber-crime fighter "Oracle".
However, the creators had to face the fact that they shot themselves in the foot: the Batman universe was now lacking a female heroic figure in testeron-soaked Gotham City. Too bad that it was already impossible to bring Barbara back when they finally found this fact out. In 1992 sthey finally introduced a new female character: Stephanie Brown, the Spoiler
. She's the daughter of the constantly relapsing criminal "Cluemaster" Arthur Brown. Because of her disgust about her father's criminal activities she decides to pee on her father's parade. Soon, the character got more and more popular and became a permanent guest in the Robin
comic books. Her openness, cheekiness, directness, as well as her friendship with Robin make her a perfect antipol to Batman who is rather dark.
The title of "Batgirl" was still pretty vacant. However it took the creators 11 years to finally introduce a new Batgirl: In 1999, the storyline "No Man's Land" (where Gotham City is heavily damaged because of an earthquake) Cassandra Cain appears. From birth she was pretty much trained to become a killer, rejects any commends and eventually sides with Batman. She is a rather dark Batgirl interpretation which only very slowly opnes herself and becomes friends with Spoiler.
In 2004, DC made a weighty decision: they wanted to get rid of Spoiler. Therefore, they derailed the character and made her emotionally running the gauntlet only to let her get killed in the story "Wargames"; the murder itself was so brutal and sadistic, that even hardboiled comic fans were shocked. DC again had to realize that they made the wrong decision - lots of readers were furious. It got even worse when they were trying to pretend that she and her death never existed in the comics. The fans' anger was so huge that DC finally backed down and made a RetCon in 2008 - as a result, Stephanie Brown didn't die and thus was back in her role of Spoiler.
In 2009, Batgirl had to face a crisis.The characrter Cassandra Cain was destroyed by substandard stories as well as gaffes - the character was affected so immensely that the only way to save her was to give her a little timeout. The result was a new Batgirl. In order not to have to introduce a new character, they decided to let Stephanie take the part of Batgirl from now on.
This report exactly talks about Stephanie's debut as Batgirl.
This is a comparison between the German issue
of this comic released by Panini Comics and the American issue
released by DC Comics.
Foggy Shower Scene
|German Issue||American Issue|
In the first issue Stephanie has the time to have a little shower in the morning after an exhausting assignment as Batgirl. As you can see on the image, you can't really see anything, all the "important" parts are covered up. For German standards, this image is downright harmless.
However, the panel looks slightly different in the American version. Since the Americans act rather sensitive on nudity, especially when teenagers (Stephanie is 18) are involved; thus, the panel was retouched. They increased the contrast (Batman comics generally have pretty pale colors, therefore this image really sticks out) and they added some more fog.
It has to be mentioned that this alteration is pretty senseless and it's quite revealing to find out that the panel didn't have to be retouched for any European country (thus it was always included in its original version).