In case you have not seenit, here is a video link.
If you have not already guessed it, this makes me upset for a lot of reasons. I am a huge fan of the series, hell, Batman is my favorite superhero hands down. So here are some of my reasons, part of it is my inner fanboy ranting, but I hope this is sen as rational.
-Batman and Batgirl-
Their relationship always felt and mentor-student, father-daughter, or even friends. Sure, if Batgirl had cute crush on Batman as hinted in Batman Beyond, who could blame her? But at its core, their relationship never went beyond that, and to make it more complicated, there is Dick Grayson. Dick is Batman’s son in every way except for genetics, and he knows how much he cares for her, Barbara also knows how Dick feels about her and they had very concrete relationship before and after the events of the Killing Joke. For both of them to screw Dick over like this seems out of character. Speaking of character, in Batgirl Year One, she borderline hated Batman, saw him as a pretentious ass who wanted to be the only hero in town, much like the scene above.
Here is a little excerpt from the Vulture:
It was really important to us to show that both of the characters make some pretty big mistakes. I mean, his “parental skills” aren’t that great. Maybe never having had any kids of his own, he doesn’t realize that if you tell a kid to not do something, they’re going to want to do it even more.
The problem I have with that statement is that Barbara is not a kid, and Batman does not treat her like a child. Barbara is usually seen as very mature, has things more or less under control. Sure, she is not as experienced or as rational as Batman, but is one of the most analytical and resourceful person in the world. That statement above makes it seem like she is just a child that cannot take “no” for an answer.
If that scene was really there to show Batman cares about Barbara, it is in poor taste. The hospital scene in the original comic where Batman comforts Barbara is much more intimate than that sex scene. He is there for her, she is broken, and he is there to help. If that scene does not tell you he cares, I don’t know what will.
Barabara was always a strong character. She hated being objectified and looked down on. Here, their fight starts because Batman looked down on her, and that leads to sex? He offended her, they traded fisticuffs, then they bang? Where did this come from? Was Babs always into Batman, Was he always into her? If this scene was written for Catwoman or even Talia Al Ghul, I would be okay since they had sexual tension with Batman for decades. But Barbara makes no sense to me.
This makes me worried as a movie goer. From the animated series, the comics, and essentially any other media, it is clear to see that Batman cares deeply for Batgirl, not because she is his lover, but because she is who she is. Part of me feels like this is studio pandering to the viewers, like it they are say “See, Batman cares about Batgirl. They are in LOVE~!” Because people can only care about those they love romantically or sexually. The original source material has no issue making this connection, why would the adaptation?
If this is controversy for controversy’s sake, then wouldn’t this be another “Sex Sells” marketing BS? Isn’t showing Barbara off as a sex object for man to lust after and villain to break literally objectifying Barbara? Some sources say that in the movie the topic of rape was more implied than it was in the comics. In the comics, Joker strips and photographs Barbara bleeding on the floor. Whether or not there was rape really depends on what the reader decides. But apparently in the movie, Joker is more lustful and raping Barbara is more implied. As I have not seen the film, I cannot say.
Did the studio think we would not recognize who Barbara was? And if so, does that matter? The Killing Joke plays a big part in Barbara and Batgirl’s life, but Batgirl matters very little in the Killing Joke. Joker did not break into her house because she was Batgirl, he broke into her house because she was Gordon’s daughter. Joker had no idea that Batgirl’s identity was Barbara Gordon, but he knew Commissioner’s daughter is his weakness. The fact that she was Batgirl, or even related to Batman in any way, is irrelevant. Hell, Barbara as Batgirl does not even appear in the comic, for all we know this could’ve been an Elseworld comic where Barbara was not Batgirl and made no difference.
As much as I love Barbara, I have to say she does not matter to the plot of the Killing Joke as this trailler wants us to believe. The plot of the Killing Joke is that Joker wants to prove his point that all it takes is one bad day to break a perfectly sane man into insanity. Gordon was chosen as his experiment, and Barbra is merely part of the experiment. She was not chosen, her father was. She is not important as the other key players, maybe this is why the studio thought she would be great to use as something to stir up controversy.
Yes I am upset. This decision to have Batman and Batgirl be in a sexual relationship as it makes no sense apart from it being a viral video. Hell, I am bitching about it so it is working. To me this is a change that makes no impact on the story, is in bad taste, and may be sign that the studio thinks the audience is too dumb to think there is strong bond between two characters that are not sexually involved.
I love DC comics, and DC have made fantastic animated movie. DC lacks strong live action movies apart from the Dark Knight trilogy so I really wanted to like this iconic comic made animated. Will I see this film, yes, although not right away.