Comikaze Report - A Look at Batgirl: Spoiled
by BatmAngelus

Stephanie Brown might be absent from the New 52, but that hasn’t stopped a team of devoted and talented fans from bringing Stephanie's Batgirl to life in an upcoming webseries titled Batgirl: Spoiled

The cast and crew of the show attended the 2012 Comikaze on Saturday, September 15, performing in a live stunt show on the main stage before hosting a Q&A panel that screened a preview cut of the first episode.

The Stunt Show

The show opened with Batgirl (actress, producer, and co-creator, Marisha Ray) attempting to protect the Scroll of Destiny from an army of ninjas, lead by ex-Batgirl Cassandra Cain (Jenny Chang) and a sharp-toothed man (Movement Director Paradox Pollack).  Despite putting up a good fight, Batgirl was nearly defeated until Catwoman (Robin Sol) arrived on the scene, fought off the remaining ninjas, and took the Scroll for herself.


Soon, the cast returned to the stage, with Paradox Pollack leading the rest of the show.  Clearly no stranger to fight choreography, Pollack has worked as a choreographer in a number of major movies including Star Trek, Thor, and Snow White and the Huntsman and was described, by Robin Sol, as the man who "taught Thor how to wield his hammer."  His contribution has helped make the fight scenes in Batgirl: Spoiled look more professional than the average superhero fan film.

The cast repeated the opening fight scene a couple more times, in slower motion, while Pollack pushed for audience participation, having the fans cheer for Stephanie and say “Pow!  Crack!” whenever one character hit another. 


In between fights, Pollack taught a few fight moves to the audience members, as well as “Stake-Out Yoga,” which he had created as a way for Stephanie to keep herself in shape during her long stakeouts in Gotham City.  At the end, he invited a few audience members to come on stage to demonstrate their newly acquired fighting skills with the cast.  

As a result, comic book fans were treated to a Robin vs. Batgirl fight when a young cosplayer, dressed as Damian Wayne’s Robin, went head to head against Marisha Ray’s Batgirl.  For the purpose of the demonstration (and possibly, due to Damian's childhood League of Assassins training), the son of Batman and Talia won the battle.

Wrapping up the show, Paradox Pollack took the opportunity to encourage all audience members, young and old, to pursue creativity in their lives, as well as inspire others to create.

Overall, the stunt show was a treat for fans to see their favorite characters fight on stage and a great glimpse at the hard work and dedication that the cast and crew have delivered to Batgirl: Spoiled.

The Preview Episode

An hour after the stunt show wrapped up, Comikaze hosted a private screening, where attendees were treated to a preview cut of the first episode, a week before its premiere online.

Without giving away story details, the episode ran about 12 minutes long and featured some familiar faces in the Batman universe, as well as a creepy, new villain created for the show.  While the first half of the webisode is lighthearted and true to the Bryan Miller comics, the second half takes a much darker and more violent turn.

Fans may have seen the series trailer on YouTube (link at the bottom of the page), which was uploaded on August 6.  While Batgirl was completely silent in the video, fans of the Bryan Q. Miller run will be pleased to find that Stephanie’s quips and sense of humor have been faithfully translated into the series and brought to life by actress Marisha Ray.  Also, the fight scenes in the episode were definitely more intense and brutal than the fight scenes in the trailer.

The screening was met with applause and, when the Q&A was over, fans were treated to an encore presentation.

The Q&A Panel 

After the screening, co-creator and executive producer Sax Carr thanked the attendees, describing Batgirl: Spoiled as a “project of passion for a little over a year."  The idea of the show started at the 2011 San Diego Comic Con, when Carr met Marisha Ray and decided to work with her on a webseries project set in the Batman universe.  Their original idea was to follow the Gotham City Sirens, which consist of Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn (played by Gotham Public Works's Tara Strand, who's also the lead costumer for the series and was part of the panel on Saturday).  

Carr and Ray later decided, however, to focus on one protagonist, instead of three.  Someone who could interact with the other figures in Gotham and evolve over the course of the series.  To them, the best choice was Stephanie Brown, whose character lended herself to a journey of self discovery that they wanted to explore.

"Each episode focuses on Batgirl teaming up with another famous Gothamite to explore who she is.  She meets all the major women of Gotham and more.  And we decided that was a better way to do it than trying to split focus on the Sirens.  And the Sirens happen to be a major player in this anyway, so it worked out great," said Carr.

"You’ll get to see Batgirl in a lot of constructs, because exploring herself is about finding other people in Gotham that she can mirror off of.  She’s still young and she still wants to find mentors or reject mentors, so each episode’s going to play to that.  Oracle’s still going to be here.  Batman makes an appearance in an upcoming episode.  We’re going to have him available in little snippets, but it’s really about Batgirl going, ‘Okay, who haven’t I learned from yet?’

“Playing on the title Batgirl: Spoiled, what if the idea of being Batgirl, what if the idea of following Batman’s rules wasn’t as perfect as she thought it was?  And she has to decide, is she going to commit to this?  Is she going to be part of the Bat-family or is she not?”

Judging from the trailer, the main villain of the series is Edward Nigma/The Riddler.  While the panelists kept details of his role a secret, Riddler actor Taliesin Jaffe and Marisha Ray joked that they were each other’s “favorite person to fight with” and shared that their fights included pitting the Riddler’s cane against Batgirl’s fighting staff. 

Speaking more about the show's storyline, director Damian Beurer shared, “This isn’t just an encapsulated story.  There’s going to be a whole universe going around at the same time.  This is going to be the greatest Batman story never told.”  

Sax Carr compared the structure of the show to the comic book medium.  “We wrote a story that’s happening in Gotham that is going on amongst all the issues that you might buy in the store, but you’re only picking up Batgirl.  So there’s going to be references to the larger arc that Batman’s dealing with.  There’s going to be extended stories and backgrounds to a character.  There’s a major DC spanning event happening that’s going to influence our book, but we only get to see this side of it, ‘cause you’re only picking up Batgirl.  We’re actually bringing in new directors and cinematographers for every episode for awhile, so it feels like different art teams are on the book every time you watch an episode.”

After introducing the Batgirl: Spoiled writing team in the audience, Carr shared insights into the writing experience. “One of the best things about this is that we’ve learned something about character development that we’ve never thought possible.  Movement is a huge part of it.  And so as we develop a character, we go to Paradox [Pollack] to talk about how they move.  As the actor’s cast, we work with Paradox on their movement.  Their movement is actually helping us to inspire the character choices.  What we write these characters to do is coming, in many ways, out of movement practice.”

Pollack expanded on that, sharing that he spent time working with the rest of the creative team to figure out, “How does this character move?  How does this character fight?”  In Stephanie's case, the character's movements and fighting skills will evolve throughout the series and reflect her own arc.  “Chuck Jones said, ‘You’re not how you look.  You’re not how you dress.  You’re not how you smell.  You are how you move.’  And it’s really kind of the basis of the way that I treat the world, which is that all the little subtle things that we’re choosing to do, the way we blink, the way we hold our mouth, the way we hold our arms, all of these things are telling stories.  And I just feel like, for me, and my involvement, that’s what I really want to get across. 

"What is it that shows the commitment of a superhero versus a common thug?  And why do they succeed?  And really how is that shown in the way that they approach each other? And that’s the deep commitment that I have and why I’m giving so much energy and time because I really want to show the language, the living language of the body in relationship, on this level.”

Indeed, the passion project is run by dedication and commitment, with little financial backing.  Marisha Ray revealed, “Everything you see was out of our pocket" and shared that the Batgirl costume alone was $1,000.  Designed by professional costume designer Sharon McGunigle of the LA Opera, the suit was custom-made to be “fight-survivable.”

Carr shared, “Because we don’t own these characters, no one’s making any money.  It all has to come from us or from fans who want to donate to it and it has to all be above board.  So the sound mixers that we have, the people who came in to do the visual effects, they all donated their time.  There’s at least 60 people who donated time and resources and locations to make this possible and there’s more asking to donate to it every day."

He reached out to fans in the audience, saying, "If you feel like you have something to contribute to this project, we need it.  A fan of our project, whom we met on Facebook, brought, I would say, about 70 pieces of disused electronic equipment for us to fill up the [background of the] Oracle set.  This guy didn’t know us from Adam.  He knew about our project from Facebook.  He knew we were doing Oracle and had called for some help, so he brought in gear to shoot it.  That’s how everything is happening."

In other forms of support, Marisha Ray shared that Bryan Q. Miller, Gail Simone, and other DC writers have reached out to them and given them "a discreet nod of approval."  Commenting on Stephanie absence from the New 52, Ray said, "Since [DC] is just pretending she’s not existing, it just fuels the fire for us that much more.” 

Carr added that Miller's run on Batgirl is what brought him back to reading DC Comics.  “It’s a really amazing story.  She’s the Buffy the Vampire Slayer of the DC Universe.  She is an incredible character who’s one of the few people who's worn so many mantles.  Her own costume [as Spoiler].  Robin.  Batgirl.  And then to have her disappear [in the New 52]?  It just didn’t work out for us.”

While the first and second episodes were shot concurrently, Carr told the audience that they will have to wait a month after the premiere until the second episode.

To hold off on the wait, however, here is the Batgirl: Spoiled trailer that was uploaded on August 6th:

For more information on Batgirl: Spoiled, visit and their YouTube page:, where the first webisode will premiere in a week. If you're on facebook, like the page

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