Batgirl writer fired by DC ComicsWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the only female writer at DC Comics, fan-favorite and often outspoken scribe Gail Simone has reportedly been summarily fired from her gig on Batgirl — by email. While it’s not unusual for creators to be removed from titles, the nature of this pink slip and the decided lack of female writers in mainstream comics make this a real head-scratcher. Add to it the fact that Batgirl had received critical acclaim and was actually a good seller and you have a mystery worthy of the Dominoed Daredoll herself.
DC rebooted its entire line of titles more than a year ago as “The New 52” and with it came a resurrection of sorts of the original Barbara Gordon incarnation of Batgirl. Shot in the spine by the Joker and subsequently confined to a wheelchair in 1988’s Batman: The Killing Joke, Barbara became a different sort of hero as Oracle, and won the hearts of readers as a true example of a handicapped warrior.
Simone was given the job of pulling Babs out of the wheelchair in 2011, fearlessly and in the face of potential outcry from Oracle fans. But, that said, she pulled off a miracle; Batgirl was up on her feet again and embraced anew as a costumed heroine with vim and vigor. And the sales backed that up.
So, why the firing? No one involved is talking, or at least not much. Simone has expressed sadness over the sacking, but also feelings of fortune over the collaborations she’s shared at DC — a company she no longer works for in any capacity. DC also hasn’t been forthcoming, but that’s not much of a surprise as companies rarely discuss internal workings in public. Fellow writers have come out since the firing to commiserate with Simone and express their own disdain for DC’s tactics, but, in the end, it’s a done deal. Whatever the reasons, Batgirl will receive a new writer and, most likely, a new direction … again.
For Simone, this might be a launch pad to even bigger things. With creator-owned projects in the works, she can perhaps put the work-for-hire world behind her for good. One thing’s for sure: She takes a healthy group of fans with her as she departs DC, a good thing to have when striking out into the wilderness of independent comics.