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Batgirl Cover No 1

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Year: 2011
Client: DC Comics
Media: Media: Pencil, PITT Pen on Strathmore Drawing paper, then colored with Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Here she is, the new Barbara Gordon Batgirl, courtesy of the coming major DC Comics reboot. I'll be providing the covers for this series, written by the fabulous Gail Simone.

It's a very odd thing for me, to be working on a Barbara Gordon Batgirl. I'm old enough to remember a time before Oracle, when Barbara Gordon being Batgirl was the norm. I know several young people who feel that way because they grew up on the early 1990's BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES, where Babs was Batgirl and there was no Oracle.

But I remember reading the great old Batgirl backup stories in DETECTIVE COMICS, second-hand (both Batgirl and I were created in the same year - 1967). Great art by Carmine Infantino or Curt Swan or GIL KANE. Batgirl was awesome.

I was working in a comic book store in 1988 when THE KILLING JOKE came out. I sold it to people. I was loving the gritty Batman revival in the mid 80s, with DARK NIGHT RETURNS and BATMAN: YEAR ONE. But I, like everyone else, was unprepared for what the Joker did to Barbara Gordon. It had RESONANCE.

When I started working for DC the following year, 1989, a little part of me was sad that I'd never get to draw Batgirl. Barbara Gordon was to be Oracle now, and remain so for the next 23 years. I applaud DC Comics for keeping her in the wheelchair THAT long. Do you think Marvel would keep Jean Grey dead for 23 years, LOL?

So here we are, on the threshold of a new era of DC Comics, one where Batgirl is once again Barbara Gordon. Many fans who have clamored for her return for over 2 decades are probably going to be happy. Here's a link to a wonderful op/ed piece by Jill Pantozzi, representing the fans who would prefer that Babs remain Oracle. Read and think; nay, PONDER. [link]

Barbara Gordon/Batgirl/Oracle is a polarizing character, one who'll probably invite great debate over the next few months and beyond the premier of her new book.
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