Batgirl’s Controversial Gotham Knights Biography Has Been Reworked

Warner Bros. Montreal changed Batgirl’s biography to Gotham Knights after backlash over the game’s explanation of her recovery from paralysis.

Batgirl aka Barbara Gordon is one of the four playable characters from Gotham Knights alongside Nightwing, Robin and Red Hood in a story about the Bat-Family defending Gotham after Bruce Wayne’s death. In the 1988 comic story The killer joke, Barbara is famously shot through the spine by the Joker, leaving her paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for many years where she provided technical and informational support to Batman as the Oracle. In the DC 2011 comic book New 52 reboot, Barbara regains her mobility due to experimental surgery followed by physical therapy/training.

Per Eurogamerthe original Gotham Knights site bio for Batgirl vaguely refers to these events. There is no mention of the joker or any specific culprit, but what was most insulting was the implication that Barbara only overcame her disability through hard training. You can read the relevant section of the bio below:

After a confrontation that left Barbara in a wheelchair, she became Oracle, an influential information and communications professional. But her father’s death spurred her to train and recover from her wounds so she could return to active duty as Batgirl.

Some fans criticized Warner Bros. Montreal for abusing this type of heroic training because they felt it undermined their disability. The studio addressed those complaints in a recent Discord Q&A, in which creative director Patrick Redding addressed Barbara’s recovery by saying:

“As with many of our characters and plot elements, the circumstances surrounding Barbara’s injuries differ in a number of important respects from how they are portrayed in the comics. Barbara has had multiple surgeries followed by a lot of physical therapy and pain management [in Gotham Knights].”

Redding states that the biography has been rewritten. It now reads:

With extensive training and rehabilitation, she recovered from her wounds and returned to active duty as Batgirl.

Warner Bros. Montreal is also working with disability charity AbleGamers “to learn more about different types of spinal injuries and the potential for someone to regain mobility.” To that end, the team says players are seeing Barbara at rehab Exercises in the Belfry Hideout Your Batsuit and civilian clothes include a back brace.

Gotham Knights will be released on October 25th for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You can check out the latest gameplay demo here.

[Source: Eurogamer] Batgirl’s Controversial Gotham Knights Biography Has Been Reworked

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