This article contains spoilers for the “Batman: Bad Blood” animated film.
In addition to featuring Dick Grayson take on the role of Batman, the “Batman: Bad Blood” animated feature film also adds a number of characters to the expanding Bat-Family. In addition to once again featuring Damian Wayne as Robin, the latest DC animated film introduces Batwoman and Batwing into the universe. But those two new heroes aren’t the only additions the movie makes.
The final scene of the movie features the Bat-Family (Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batwing and Batwoman) swinging off a rooftop and into the Gotham City skyline together — and then a familiar pair of boots step out of the shadows. The yellow boots belong to Barbara Gordon, who is sporting her current Batgirl look as seen in the pages of DC comics. During a panel discussion at “Bad Blood’s” New York City premiere, character designer Phil Bourassa discussed his decision to faithfully adapt the comic design (which comes from “Batgirl” writer Cameron Stewart and artist Babs Tarr).
“I think [the redesign] had just come out in the comics at the time and, you know, I’m kinda old school so I wanted to do the classic look on her,” said Bourassa. “But it made more sense for the story because that looks like — basically she’s just starting to emulate Batman at this point. This is her debut. One of the cool things about that costume is that it looks like something you could actually make. It looks very practical. It doesn’t look too superhero-y, if that makes sense. Somebody could totally cosplay that easily, just a leather jacket boots and stuff like that.”
“Bad Blood” director Jay Oliva chimed in, noting that “Batman: Bad Blood” was originally titled “Bat-Family,” and that he knew he had to include Batgirl if the film was focused on Batman’s core supporting characters.
“Originally this was called ‘Bat-Family’ and [producer] James [Tucker] and I were talking like, ‘We should really put Barbara in at the end,'” said Oliva. “When we thought about putting Batgirl in it, we were again discussing costumes and stuff, but like Phil said, the idea is that Batgirl — this is her emergence. She’s inspired by what she saw with both Batwoman and Batman and the Bat-Family, and now she comes in. So this is actually the basis of her if she does appear in future films, we can build off of her. This is her 1.0 costume, just like Batwing’s costume is the 1.0 of the ‘Batman Beyond’ costume, which it will eventually become.”
It’s not yet known when or where Batgirl will show up next. It’s likely that a version of Batgirl will play a role in the upcoming animated adaptation of “Batman: The Killing Joke,” but that animated feature will take place in a separate continuity and not feature the Batgirl introduced in “Bad Blood.” The next film in DC’s shared animated universe will be “Justice League vs. Teen Titans.”
“Batman: Bad Blood” is available digitally now and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 2.