Batgirl #1 has already received a second printing and it hasn't even sold one copy yet. Tomorrow, Barbara Gordon's world changes with her donning the mantle of the Bat once again. And while it may seem that everything changes in an instant, DC has said countless times that the previous events in Bab's life have still happened. Comic Book Resources talked with Gail Simone who has been writing Barbara in various forms over the past few years, but never in a role like this.
CBR: Let's start with "Batgirl." Since you've written Babs as Oracle for so many years, how do you approach writing her under the cowl? Is Barbara Gordon Batgirl a fundamentally different person than Barbara Gordon Oracle?
Gail Simone: It's a bit of a conflict between two overriding personal themes I have as a writer in a shared universe, actually. First, I prefer not to negate — I don't like to say, "This story never happened," even if it's a story I loathe. I would prefer to build on what came in the past, and turning back the clock somewhat is definitely the opposite of that.
But on the heroic idea, I have a contrasting belief that these characters have survived for a reason, which is that something in them is truthful and resonating. There's a reason why Spider-Man is still the best Spider-Man-esque character and a million imitators don't quite match him. And because the core is so solid, so made of stone, you can pull the characters, you can paint them, you can re-decorate and play dress up and accessorize, you can change the background, and the core remains. I was speaking with Phil Jimenez about this yesterday, and we both feel that the characters have facets — that there's a core ideal, and it's our job to explore the sides that are exposed at any given time.
I'm enjoying writing Batgirl at this stage in her life. She's younger, she doesn't know everything, she's been immersed in school and her life-plan. Events conspire to change that plan, and she's nervous about that. I love writing Barbara under pretty much any conditions, but this really is a key time for her.
CBR: Batgirl has been a hero whose villains have pretty much been either Batman villains or incredibly similar to Batman villains. Are you planning to create a brand new group of rogues for Babs to fight, tailored to her, specifically, as Batgirl?
Gail Simone: Absolutely. It's a good several issues before we see a familiar face on a villain. She's got two killer villains right up front, Mirror and Gretel, both of whom have a different resonance with what she is going through.
CBR: Along those lines, how involved will the Bat-family be with Babs? Will we see Dick Grayson and Bruce swooping in, or are you trying to set this up as Batgirl on her own, doing her own solo adventures?
Gail Simone: Nightwing plays a big role in issue three, Batman in issue four. These are Batgirl adventures, but it's just too much fun not to see those two react to her sudden re-appearance.
For the entire interview, including talk about the art by Ardian Syaf, head over to Comic Book Resources. Batgirl #1 hits stores tomorrow, September 7.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel