Gail Simone on leaving Batgirl and returning to… Secret Six?

DC’s Gail Simone talks Batgirl “divorce”, wrapping up the arc and returning to Catman

Batgirl at the beginning of the New 52 by artist Adam Hughes
Batgirl at the beginning of the New 52 by artist Adam Hughes

The news that Gail Simone was to leave Batgirl was met with very little surprise. The editorial disputes have been well-documented. DC tried to fire her, only to rehire her when the fans complained vociferously.

But now she has left of her own accord, and the new creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr have been given the editorial freedom to make the book a little lighter – which, ironically, is what Gail had been pushing for all along.

We sat down for an exclusive chat with Gail at the London Film And Comic Con to ask for her take on it.

“It feels a little bit like a divorce,” she said. “I go through those stages of separation and sadness… But I always miss every character when I leave them. Because in order for me to tell their stories I get pretty emotionally involved.”

Gail Simone, being brilliant
Gail Simone, being brilliant

She confirmed that she did have enough time to wrap the story up and promises readers a “nice complete story”.

Looking back on her time on Batgirl, Gail says, “I think there’s a lot that we did accomplish with her story, from the time the New 52 started. Her post-traumatic stress, her recovery, her roommate, just trying to figure out how to get a job and try to help the people of Gotham as well. I think we were able also to write very personal stories among all the terrible things that were going on in Gotham, so I feel pretty happy about that.”

Asked about the new creative direction, Gail said, “I have only seen the concept art so I don’t really know beyond what anyone else knows in terms of what they have planned, but it looks like it’s going to be really fun, the art looks amazing and no matter where they take her Barbara Gordon is a great character and she’ll always be a great character.”

Catman from the cover of Secret Six issue 30 by Cliff Chiang
Catman from the cover of Secret Six issue 30 by Cliff Chiang

Gail is already looking ahead to her soon-to-be-announced new DC project, saying only that “it’s a huge secret and there might be a cat in it. A cat who’s a red-head,” leading fans to speculate that the Secret Six’s fan-favourite Catman might be getting a New 52 revival. She also shot down rumours that her former collaborator Nicola Scott, who recently left Earth-2, might be her artist on this secret project.

But, for now at least, Gail is remaining tight-lipped about it, and about the creator-owned project she has in the pipeline with an unnamed publisher, which is set to be announced at SDCC.

Well, mostly tight lipped…

Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 09.52.46For more awesome comics coverage, pick up our new digital magazine Uncanny Comics for only 69p or 99c.