Gail Simone Brings Back Barbara Gordon: Batgirl

Gail Simone brings Barbara Gordon back to the Gotham City rooftops, while Duane Swierczynski takes over Birds of Prey - and also check out Catwoman and Batwoman.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Batgirl #1

Well, it's always felt like it's been in the offing at some point, and with the DC Reboot, we also get an Oracle reboot – or rather, a Barbara Gordon reboot back into the boots of Batgirl.

Ever since The Killing Joke, the original Batgirl has been unable to use her legs, but she brilliantly transformed herelf into the Oracle, a technology-mastering, information-brokering marvel in one of the most ingenious character reinventions of all time.  However, there's always been that little itch in the back of the fans' collective unconscious that wanted to see the original real-deal back in her rightful cape, which caused them to harp on things like 'how can she remain paralyzed in this world of crazy comic book science?'  Well, the nitpicking is over, because Babs is back in Batgirl #1 and in the hands of Gail Simone, who's been writing her for years, and is now teaming up with artists Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes.

"Barbara Gordon is pretty much my everything," Simone says. "Because of the Batman TV show, she was the reason I fell in love with superheroes. Because she was a redhead who could kick ass, she is the reason I fell in love with comics. She was always forward-looking as Batgirl, a girl who was smarter than the male characters, who had class and elegance and style, as well as tough-as-nails grit. For a long time, there was simply nothing else like her in comics, and for me and a lot of other readers, her every appearance was joyful and explosive."

"For many years, I got to write the character as Oracle, and there is to this day, no character who means more to me," she continues.  "This is classic Barbara as she was originally conceived, with a few big surprises. It’s a bit of a shock, to be sure, but we’re doing everything we can to be respectful to this character’s amazing legacy, while presenting something thrilling that a generation of comics readers will be experiencing for the first time… Barbara Gordon leaping, fighting, and swinging over Gotham. Now, when citizens of that city look up, they are going to see BATGIRL.  And that is absolutely thrilling.”

Batgirl #1

Of course, there remains the fact that Oracle was known as a pretty inspiring character for fans with disabilities of their own, and does rolling their highest profile representative in the comic book world to her abled life do a disservice to DC's claims of trying to make their world more diverse?  That remains to be seen, but for an articulate complaint from someone uniquely qualified to speak on this, check out Jill Pantozzi's response to this news over at Newsarama.

There's also the fact that, at least on the surface, Oracle playing intelligence gatherer to the entire collective of superheroes would seem to accomplish a hell of a lot more than one girl in a cape punching people would in one local area, but Simone knows this.  She's been writing Oracle forever.  Something tells me this development isn't as cut and dried as we're being led to believe.

In other female-led comic news, Simone's long run on her flagship title Birds of Prey is coming to an end, as Duane Swierczynski will be rebooting things with Jesus Saiz in Birds of Prey #1.  Check out the image below for the interesting new lineup.

Birds of Prey #1

Also on the reboot docket are Catwoman #1 and Batwoman #1.  The latter, from the team of J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder, we've been hearing about for a while, and now all those delays suddenly seem to make sense.  The former will be written by Judd Winick with art from Guillem March, and it looks like they'll be completely rolling her back into petty thief mode with an "addiction" to Batman.  Ah, well, her character development was nice while it lasted.

Catwoman #1

 

Batwoman #1