The newly plural Batgirls – Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, and their mentor Barbara Gordon AKA Oracle AKA the original Batgirl brand owner – finally get their own new series underway in December after months of DC teasing.
But the show’s creative team of co-writers Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad and artist Jorge Corona reunite for a dress rehearsal in October 19’s Batman # 15 for the start of a three-part save story. of Batgirls laying the groundwork for the new series.
Newsarama got your first look at the pages of Part 1, and since we were thinking of the Batgirls anyway, the Cloonan and Conrad editorial staff answered a few of our questions about the story and the new series at to come.
Cloonan and Conrad talk about Babara’s role on the show, how what they’re looking for is the “finest chaos”, and hey guess what, Batgirls isn’t just for “young readers” … it’s acts of young characters for a large audience.
Newsarama: Becky Michael, first of all, let’s establish some kind of base here.
Batman # 115 obviously begins to set up Batgirls # 1 in December and the solicitation for the issue refers to Barbara as an Oracle and mentor to the Batgirls. Does “Batgirls” refer to Steph and Cassandra with the mantle officially passed on to them or should readers still think of Barbara as a third Batgirl?
And as Oracle, Batgirl, or bothâ¦ Do you see Barbara as the third main character in this new title, or does she play more of a supporting role?
Becky Cloonan: Babs does play an Oracle role on this team, but that makes for a Batgirl nonetheless. She’s the oldest of the three and been through a lot – but I’m not sure if this is something you can ever walk away from – I always thought she was once a Batgirl, always a Batgirl! You can take other code names, new costumes, but putting on such a heavy coat is something that stays with you.
Michel Conrad: Yes, I’ve seen people present it as if Oracle and Batgirl are mutually exclusive and the two can’t exist at the same time. Maybe people will see it differently when we explore this dynamic a bit.
Nrama: Speaking of nicknames, there was the Birds of Prey, there was the Gotham Sirens, there is always the option of a “Spoiler & Orphan” (ala Batman & Robin) or a new name. team – so why Batgirls?
Is it purely a marketing decision given the value of the name? How do you see why StÃ©phanie and Cassandra adopt her name the way they are?
Cloonan: Being a Batgirl is what connects these characters! It’s a stronger bond than just donning a hood or being on the same team – they’re family. Spoiler and Orphan will always be a part of who Stephanie and Cassandra are, just as a part of Babs will always be Oracle. But calling the book Spoiler, Orphan and Oracle is kind of a mouthful, right? I mean, don’t hit your idea – but Batgirls is a much better title. And at its core, that’s who these characters are. Each of them was a Batgirl before they were anything else.
Conrad: Batgirls is also a unit. Part of this book deals with exploring friendship and how individuals exist within a group. Each of the girls has their own way of navigating life and self-defense (you know, the normal stuff of growing up [laughs]). Together the girls are balanced, in this way they need each other’s support to become the best versions of themselves.
Nrama: On that note, let’s first talk about them as individuals.
While in comic book terms of young characters, neither Steph nor Cass are a New character. They’ve established stories and been through a lot of changes since their introductions.
Can you give readers your take on what makes each character special / unique? What attracts you to them / what stands out for you as writers?
Let’s start with Cassandre …
Conrad: Cass was brought up with a constant regimen of violence, by violence. Everything about her character is defined by neglecting other parts of her. It’s a small weapon, but she learns that it is much more than what it was intended for.
Nrama: And now about Stephanie …
Conrad: Steph is a seemingly well adjusted and kind person. In many ways, she’s the reverse of Cass. Steph’s injuries are less visible as she has faced a troubled youth by overcompensating, presenting herself as something she is notâ¦ While Cass is almost incapable of emotional deception, Steph is defined by her.
Nrama: I’ve been doing this for a while now and I don’t think even a few years ago DC would have released a description of the show that said “sing with the energy of Linda Lindas rocking to” Claudia Kishi “. ‘”
Now, I don’t mind admitting that I had to Google it when I first read it, which shows DC is trying to hit demos that they maybe didn’t have there. a few years. Guess you don’t want to put a limit on the audience you’re trying to appeal to, but can you talk about trying to reach an audience that mainstream publishers didn’t try to reach directly a few years ago? barely ?
Cloonan: Much of the energy is what Jorge Corona and colorist Sarah Stern bring to the book. It’s wild, bright, loud, and like the most beautiful chaos you’ve ever seen. Plus, if you haven’t heard Linda Lindas’ song Claudia Kishi, do yourself a favor and listen to it!
Nrama: Well, I now have …
Conrad: We’re hoping to capture the days when sleep was optional and adventure wasn’t something we saw as a problem. Make bad choices, try the impossible, dream. There is energy in youth that lends itself well to superheroes.
Nrama: Speaking of creative energy, do you approach storytelling in a different way than the main Wonder Woman title or your Midnighter stories?
Conrad: Our style of collaboration is consistent across the variety of characters we’ve been responsible for. First comes a ton of research and discussion. Meanwhile, we fall in love with the characters even more and sympathize with them. Then we just collect the ideas and formulate them into something that we hope is worth reading. We try not to create any rules or settings, we just focus on what we think the characters need, and if we can meet those needs, we’ll do our best.
Nrama: Well, without going into the rules or the settings, how is Batgirls going to set itself apart from what is now a very large family of Batman and Batman titles?
Conrad: We don’t really consider how to be different because we know it inevitably will be. Becky and I often feel like strangersâ¦ we’ll write stuff that we think is “normal” and quickly realize that our “normal” is often quite strange.
That said, our book will focus on three women who have all the pieces needed to allow each of them to carry a solo book. Together there is a ton we can give away that won’t or won’t look like what’s offered by other beautiful Gotham books.
Nrama: On the other hand, how integrated will Batgirls be with Batman and the rest of the Bat Family titles? The girls will be in Gotham, so can readers expect big Gotham City stories like âFear Stateâ to arrive. Batgirls will be involved?
Bat devotees like Dick, Tim, Damian, Bruce, etc. will they be regularly present in the book?
Cloonan: If Dick, Tim, Damian or Bruce ever wants to be a Batgirl, we’ll be more than happy to write them in the book as the main characters!
Nrama: I’ll read that!
Conrad: When it makes sense, really. By writing characters that people love, there are always fans of other characters who are hoping that this will be an opportunity to get content featuring their favorites. Our central concern is to make sure Babs, Cass and Steph have room to do their thingâ¦ But we are also fans! We want to bring in a ton of characters, with enough time we have stories for all of them! Gotham is a “small town”.
Nrama: Before I let you go, I need to ask you about Seer, the “Anti-Oracle”, who it seems is meant to be some sort of Barbara / archenemy of the Batgirls. Is this a correct assumption? What can you tell readers about Seer, who in Batman # 115 identifies as a “she?”
Cloonan: Why are the scariest characters the most fun to write?
Conrad: There are many reasons to be wary of technology. We all love our devices, the interconnectivity, easy access to the people we love, etc. Early on, we learn that it’s also a place of cyberbullying, data mining, trolling, and a host of other avenues of abuse and misinformation. Seer is the embodiment of these real concerns …
Worse yet, Seer is just one of the many issues the Batgirls will face when we really start cooking. So yeahâ¦ preheat the oven, we’ve got some delicious treats on the way.
Nrama: So finally, how about letting you speak. Is there anything you want readers to know about the Batgirls in Batman # 115 and / or the upcoming ongoing new series that I didn’t think to ask?
Conrad: I’ve seen speculation that this book is targeting young readersâ¦ by that I sayâ¦ of course? We will take them! But really, this book is about young characters, but it is written for a large audience.
Plus we mentioned our amazing artistic collaborators, just want to make sure that we also give a little love to our long-suffering editors, Jessica Chen and Jessica Berbey, and our outstanding letterer Becca Carey.
Check out a Batman # 115 blanket gallery below and find out why Babara Gordon is the heart of the Batman family.