When the New 52 was first announced, one of the biggest revelations was that Barbara Gordon would be returning to the cowl in Batgirl. A lot of questions have been left unanswered since the initial announcement. Newsarama talked with Gail Simone about not only what is coming up in the series but also the miraculous cure.
Newsarama: Barbara still seems very uncertain about a lot of things, from her relationships to her superhero activities. As we go into the fifth issue, what's her state of mind right now?
Gail Simone: A bit wobbly. On the one hand, she's absolutely Barbara Gordon, one of the smartest and toughest women in comics. But this is also catching her at her most unsure of herself, even more so than after the events of the Killing Joke. This is a major life change, and her body and memory have a way of surprising her at the wrong moments. She's young; she's learning what she has to do to assert herself again. She's learning to overcome. She didn't become the Barbara we saw in the pre-relaunch stories overnight.
It's trauma, she's recovering from the delayed effects of a catastrophic event, something she'd always been able to compartmentalize before. One thing the book is truly about, is that the after-effects of something like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or other trauma-related syndromes, can strike even very smart, very intellectually tough people, even soldiers and cops. We have seen very little about this in superhero comics, really. People return from the dead, people are tortured, the world is threatened, and the next day, it's as if it was all forgotten. Many trauma survivors don't have that option. My favorite superhero stories are always about survival. Kicking people in the head is great, but heroism holds to a much higher standard.
Newsarama: We found out in the last issue that she was told by her father about a clinic in South Africa, where she went through a neural implant surgery. Will we learn more about that soon?
Gail Simone: Absolutely.
Newsarama: Are you basing this South African clinic and the surgery on real world medicine?
Gail Simone: Yes, some of the best real world work in the field of mobility rehabilitation is coming from South Africa. People have been talking about this as if it's some sort of mystical thing like returning from the dead, but there are treatments and surgeries that can restore mobility in some cases. Barbara's spine was not severed. That makes her a candidate.
For the entire interview, including talk about the upcoming crossover as well as talk about new bits of continuity in Barbara's life, head over to Newsarama. Batgirl #5 is out today.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel