Speaking to Heat Vision back in April, Whedon remarked how he was desperate to explore the psychology behind Barbara Gordon's superhero origin, in that she, unlike Batman, lacked a typically tragic comic book backstory.
"She came up, and I started getting obsessed with how a young woman could get hardcore enough to need to put on the cowl. Like, what's her damage?"
Whedon qualified this statement in the same interview, remarking how he was drawn to the intensity of the character in their pursuit of crimefighting, but this desperation to find Babs' "damage" feels at least a little tone deaf. Comics fans know all too well that the character has not received the best of treatments on the page, falling victim to a remarkably cruel and malicious plot in Alan Moore's seminal and yet all too controversial comic, The Killing Joke, and waiting years to find a place in the medium afterwards.
This need to discover trauma where there is none, certainly not in the character's formative years, thus feels like a major misstep on Whedon's behalf. Barbara Gordon became Batgirl out of a profound sense of selflessness and duty. Her past does have tragic elements, certainly in relation to her father's early years as a GCPD detective, but it's not a fundamental part of her origin at all.
The 'damage', in this sense, is almost impossible to discern unless it's retroactively inserted into the character's origin, which even then, Whedon would be ill-equipped to explore, owing to his bungling of Black Widow's backstory in Age of Ultron.
He simply isn't the right person for the job, and Warner Bros. - already in the midst of yet another critical fallout - would be wise to push Batgirl in a different kind of direction.
How do you feel about Whedon's involvement in Batgirl? Is it the right thing for the DCEU going forward? Let us know in the comments below!