Okay I'll be the first to apologise for this reeeeeeally late editorial, but the time never seemed right to do it, and I was under a bit of stress.
Since the Last editorial I've learned of a new Costume for Azrael and watched as Azrael became subtitled and Gotham began the creep towards No Man's Land. The big thing that concerned me recently was neither of those but the question of the new Batgirl, I have heard some of the most ridiculous ideas, some people apparently think it's a good idea from a literary and moral standpoint to have the Spoiler or Ariana (untrained teens one of whom is pregnant) as the new Batgirl, this really gave me insight into why it's been said the comic fans make the worst writers, they are often very, very stupid, Tim Drake spent ages under the Dark Knights tutelage before he wasn't allowed out on the street, since when would it make sense for characters who've never had that sort of training to be working with him, not to mention the wierdness of fifteen year olds being Batgirl.
Something wich made more sense was the reintegration of Flamebird into the Batman mythos, the pro was that in the fifties she had been Bat-Girl, before Babs made her debut, the cons however were numerous. As Flamebird she was basically to Dick Grayson what Spoiler is to Tim Drake, a fan with delusions of grandeur, there is no reason for her to have any of the training or eqiupment that would put Batgirl on par with Batman save that she is a quote-unquote "olympic level athlete" well I'm afraid that just doesn't cut it and I can't justify filling such an important role with a character who was made for simpler times.
The solution was in my opinion to get a new character, and while we're at it why bother making Batgirl a hero tightly integrated into the Batman mythos. It would be more interesting to have a Batgirl who had her own agenda and was as much a villain in Batman's eyes as Nick Scratch because she has an ulterior motive in doing what she does, one that may not be in the best interests of Gotham. There would have to be a couple of ground rules first 1.) NO teens, 2.) she must have a reason for being able to fight well. It seems however that we won't be getting a new character but an established one, well what female characters fit the above bill? Talia and Lady Shiva are prime candidates, but only Talia has the technological backing to be Batgirl. So as it stands she's the best candidate from both a literary, moral and realistic (?) approach. That's the final word on the subject so now if all those other morons on the internet would just listen to me the world would be a much better place to live.
The other hot subject at present is the New Azrael costume. Since when can you improve on a Quesada design? well Denny made the move from a character develoment angle, much the same way Angel in Flames / Hiding was done, hopefully this will just be temporary, and in the mean time we can hope the replacement is as good as the original (the first one bit, but Mike Manley's adaptation was good I think Azrael should go with that thigh Utility belt it would look so cool). I would also wonder if we are gooing to see any development on the front that proposes that Azrael might be a real angel, the future really is a bit uncertain, except that it all looks interesting.
Gordon Hope-Murray 15/11/1998