In 1988, DC Comics published ‘The Killing Joke’, an acclaimed graphic novel written by Alan Moore with art by Brian Bolland. The book stands as a definitive Batman story, but one of the consequences was that Barbara Gordon saw her career as Batgirl ended, seemingly for good, after she was paralyzed by a bullet in the spine by The Joker. Barbara would go on to become the computer hacker/information broker of the DC Universe as Oracle, working from her wheelchair at her secret base, a clock tower in Gotham City. As Oracle, she became arguably more vital than she ever had as Batgirl.
DC attempted to introduce a new Batgirl a few times, with the most notable replacements being Cassandra Cain, a young girl raised from birth to become a lethal assassin, and Stephanie Brown, the daring daughter of the minor Batman villain Cluemaster. But Barbara’s Batgirl, who had been featured on the 1960s ‘Batman’ TV series, portrayed by Yvonne Craig, and on various cartoons including ‘Batman: The Animated Series‘ remained the definitive Batgirl in most people’s minds and neither Cassandra nor Stephanie were fully embraced by readers.
Another animated series on which Barbara appeared as Batgirl is ‘Young Justice‘, on which she is voiced by Alyson Stoner. She appeared in her civilian identity in Season One but had become Batgirl during the time jump before Season Two. After another time jump, she has become Oracle in the new third season.
In her place, both Cassandra and Stephanie have been brought into the series, but Cassandra goes by Orphan, a name she has used in the comics (as well as the Black Bat, for a brief period), while Stephanie (voiced by Mae Whitman) is Spoiler, her first masked identity from the comics. Some have wondered why neither of them was given the honor of succeeding Barbara as the new Batgirl.
Executive producers Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman have offered a reasonable explanation:
“When Bart became Kid Flash, he was doing it in Wally’s memory. But Barbara’s not dead. And we like the idea of both Stephanie and Cassandra having their own identities as opposed to stepping into someone else’s shoes. As for who might or might not be what down the road – NO SPOILERS!”
Hmmm… so it is possible that either Cassandra or Stephanie could switch identities in a later episode, or this may be a misdirect.
Of course, there are other legacy characters on ‘Young Justice’. Dick Grayson let behind his Robin identity to become Nightwing, with Jason Todd becoming Robin #2 and dying (as shown by his memorial hologram in the grotto of the Team’s old base), and with Tim Drake serving as Robin in Season Two and Three. Jaime Reyes lamented that most people think he is the first Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, dressed in another suit. Cassie Sandsmark operates as Wonder Girl, but it is established that Troia, a.k.a. Donna Troy, is part of this universe. However, it hasn’t been revealed whether or not Troia ever acted as the first Wonder Girl.
The first 13 episodes of the third season, ‘Young Justice: Outsiders’, are available to stream on DC Universe. The second half of the season will arrive in June.
Source: Cinema Blend