Wednesday, March 07, 2012

This is kinda weird:

DC's new website is apparently "currently in beta status," which I think means there are still some bugs to be worked out.

Here's one!

If you visit the "Characters" page, you'll see images of some of their most iconic characters (Plus Swamp Thing and Cyborg!) and, if you click on them, you'll find little biographies of the characters. I clicked on "Batgirl" out of curiosity, to see how they were handling Barbara Gordon's rebooted history and the other Batgirls (Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown).

It's a short, three-paragraph bio, but it doesn't mention Gordon's time as Oracle, nor does it mention Cain or Brown. But! One of the two images they use to illustrate the piece features not Barbara Gordon, but Batgirl II Cassandra Cain. It's a portion of James Jean's cover for 2003's Batgirl #45, from the volume of Batgirl that starred Cain. In that particular issue, Cain tries going out for a night of nocturnal crime-fighting wearing original Batgirl Barbara Gordon's costume, rather than her own.

That's likely why whoever put that image there decided to put it there, even though you can clearly see that Batgirl has black rather than red hair.

I found the mistake particularly amusing because the official DC argument for making Barbara Gordon Batgirl again—one that editors and others were making years before the publisher actually decided to reboot their continuity with last September's New 52boot—was that Barbara Gordon was the most icon version of the character, the one everyone pictures when they think of Batgirl.

Except whoever designed that page, apparently, and of all the images of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl in existence, they chose one of Cassandra Cain as Batgirl.

Fans probably shouldn't read too much into those bios in terms of what they say about the current state of DCU continuity. I didn't read them all, but I saw no mention of Martian Manhunter in the "Justice League" entry (despite using the term "Big Seven," it ends its listing of those seven with "Cyborg, a half-man/half-robot outfitted with the world’s most advanced technology"), the entry for "Robin" includes all the Robins except for you-know-who (who may not even exist in there current New 52 U) and the "Teen Titans" entry mentions Raven and Beast Boy as Titans, and pictures Aqualad, Kid Flash Wally West, Wonder Girl Donna Troy, Wonder Girl Cassies Sandsmark, Cyborg and a green Beast Boy—the images are a "Year One" image full of characters that may or may not exist anymore, and one from Geoff John's run, which the current volume of Teen Titans seems to be over-writing.

Then I stopped reading the characters' entries, because it was irritating my brain to try to make sense of them, given what I know about the DCU as it was and as it now is.

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