Robot 6

Gail Simone ‘no longer the writer of Batgirl

Batgirl

Gail Simone, the writer of Batgirl since the comic was rebooted as part of DC Comics’ New 52 relaunch, said on Twitter today that she will no longer be writing the title.

“On Wednesday of last week, new Batgirl editor Brian Cunningham informed me by email that I was no longer the writer of Batgirl,” Simone said. “It is baffling and sad, I will probably have a statement later today or maybe tomorrow. But I want to give huge, huge thanks to the other creators in the bat-offices, and editors Bobbie Chase and @yourpallsmitty, champions all. And the biggest thank you of all to you guys for supporting this book so hugely and making it a commercial and critical success. I honestly don’t have the words right now to thank you all. I’m pretty choked up and it’s all gratitude, not bitterness. I am very proud of what we accomplished with Batgirl and it was an honor to get to write Barbara Gordon again. Love that dame.”

Simone has a long history with the character. In addition to writing the New 52 relaunch title that saw Barbara Gordon back in the familiar tights, Simone also wrote the character for years in Birds of Prey before the relaunch, back when Gordon was the wheelchair-bound Oracle. No word yet on what issue will be Simone’s last; presumably it will be issue #17, which was solicited for February. March solicitations I believe are due to be released tomorrow.

This also leaves Simone without a project in the DCU; she was the co-writer of Fury of Firestorm until issue #7, when Joe Harris replaced her on the title. She and her Secret Six collaborator Jim Calafiore are working together on a creator-owned project called Leaving Megalopolis, which had a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.

Update: Simone has a longer post on her Tumblr about this, as well as one that seems to confirm that issue #17 is indeed her last.

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113 Comments

They announced that Duane Swierczynski was leaving Birds of Prey (which also stars Batgirl) earlier this week, is there any connection?

What a dumb move by DC. Gail Simone is the only person writing comics that really gets Barbara Gordon. It was bad enough taking her off Birds of Prey. I’m glad I don’t buy DC comics anymore with the exception of Fables and the two Grant Morrison books that he’s getting ready to leave.

Gail’s done a really good job of making Barbara an interesting Batgirl. A bit heavy on The Killing Joke stuff, but that might have been an editorial decision. I am invested in all the characters she has introduced and hope DOTF doesn’t kill off the supporting cast.

Also I hope she gets another character soon and can develop it for a longer time.

Va1iantVanguard

December 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I doubt it, Jim Zubkavich is taking on BoP

I’m sad about this decision and though I don’t know what brought this on. I’m really speechless here… Yeah I know this happens in a business, being fired I mean, but if it IS true, that she was fired via e-mail…
Well, way to go, DC, way to go… nice publicity stunt.

Mike Nelson ‏@themikecnelson
@GailSimone did you not put enough women in refrigerators or something?
3h

GailSimone ‏@GailSimone
@themikecnelson Funny you should say that.

The above Twitter exchange leads me to think that there are more explosions to come — but why was a competitor’s website apparently aware of this occurrence before Simone was?

Relevant Puerto Rican Superhero

December 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I’ll be honest and say I haven’t been picking up Batgirl for awhile, but her overall her New 52 work hasn’t wowed me like her pre-reboot titles. BoP was great and Secret Six is my favorite book of all time. I just haven’t connected to anything she’s done since she transitioned over to Batgirl and Firestorm. I don’t think I’m the only one though as the reviews for those titles haven’t ever been consistently stellar. That said it’s prettt disrespectful for DC to let go of her the way that they did and I hope Marvel’s smart swoops her up and puts her on a book soon. She’d honestly be a better fit on Fearless Defenders than Cullen Bunn.

Sergeant Hartman

December 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Another respected creator is be let go of by DC Comics, huh? I guess I’ll be dropping the book after her last issue.

Man, I miss Secret Six and Catman. Secret Six was my favorite thing DC was publishing prior to this awful reboot.

Relevant Puerto Rican Superhero

December 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

@Shane Matlock

I agree. I miss Catman, Scandal, Jeanne, and Ragdoll so much. The Suicide Squad book they have going right now is a sad joke when compared to the awesomeness that was the Six.

What he said. We want Gail on Suicide Squad!

Gail’s contract is up and this may be an indication that DC aren’t bringing her back.

But don’t worry, they’re bringing back Jim Starlin and JM DeMatteis! Because that’s DC’s MO these days.

Gail’s Batgirl was awful. I hope the new writer can do Barbara Gordon justice.

David Fernandez

December 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

DC this is not a good move, this is one of the best New 52 series, in the top 5 I would say.

While not as traumatizing as Karen Berger’s departure, Gail Simone is another talent I will miss at DC. I really think ‘Editorial’ at DC Entertainment is going downhill—fast. Especially when a stalwart like Simone is notified by e-mail…..no class, at all!
I guess the Kahn/Giordano/Levitz/Berger era is truely over at DC, and it has me rethinking my support for the overall future of DC Entertainment and the values they espouse.
So, as the gleam of the nu52 dims, Vertigo is killed by a thousand cuts, creators are disrespected……I suppose I should see what’s brewing over at Marvel NOW, and keep exploring the great stuff Image is releasing.
And how do I get a hold of a copy of Leaving Megalopolis??

Depressing. And Gail Simone’s handling of the Oracle to Batgirl transition helped make me decide to give the new 52 a chance to begin with.

defiance defiant.

December 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

THIS IS STUPID. DC is having a bank fest with batgirl, and its absolute awesome writer is shitt-caned? W.T.F.????

It seems all the best creators (and editors) are leaving DC. With Gail Simone (A personal heroine) persuminly leaving the company, I am finding less and less reasons to buy their books. Any company should respect it’s employees (and fans), and DC seems to go out of it’s way to make them leave or dispose of their best talents. I guess I may go back to reading trades from before the New 52 (weird, since it’s what got me into monthlies) and try to show support for DC’s past talent and practices.

She should do a marvel book now. I’d read an X-23 series by Simone. There aren’t any solo female x-character books do out right now.

Gail may not have written a good book in a little over a year, but don’t worry, they’ll replace her with someone who hasn’t written a good book in decades.

I suspect that accusations of sexism (and that this industry hates females) are about to follow…

Hey Marvel, great writer with strong fan base avalible! You know what to do!

It looks to me like Brian Cunningham is a ballless coward who lacks the guts to at least pick up the phone to fire someone. Gail’s probably better off, rather than having to put up with such an obvious little sh!t in charge of her book.

Is anyone really surprised anymore? This is exactly the same MO that happened when Bob Harras was EIC at Marvel in the 90s. Storylines hurriedly re-written, writers suddenly off books, “Bold New Direction” ™ every 6 months, Editors rewriting scripts without telling the writers or asking them to make the changes themselves.

Just ask Mark Waid about Captain America, or Steven Seagle and Joe Kelly about quitting the X-men books in solidarity. PADs epic Incredible Hulk run coming to an abrupt end because the higher ups knew better than him how to treat the character. It’s happening all over again.

Not sure this is quite what people meant when they said DC was trying to be more like Marvel when the New 52 was first announced, but this is the reality now.

Someone once asked me what does “DC” stand for? I should’ve said, “Don’t Care”…or better yet, “Dollars, Cents”…

I’ve said this before about the current tiers of DC’s upper management, and I’ll say it again:
WATTA BUNCHA WIMPS, GEEKS, CREEPS, PANSIES, AND BABIES.

@the Dagman

Cunningham came out of the Gareb Shamus school over at Wizard so that behavior is not surprising. That’s how Wizard did 95% of their firing.
Of course in Cunningham’s defense it probably wasn’t his call. Editors at DC have as much power as the janitors. Everything comes through Diane Nelson’s office from her WB overlords.

I really hope DC keeps her around, she needs to fix Deadshot PDQ….if she dosen’t take over Suicide Squad, I hopeshe gets to start a new Secret Six

@brubaker: I hope everyone who’s upset today will buy @GailSimone’s creator-owned series that she Kickstartered. Put your money where your outrage is.

@brubaker : The real lesson here is, company-owned books are freelance jobs, and we are all replaceable on them. Even popular creators. Sad but true.

Brubaker does not approve

Has DC released any kind of statement/explanation? Or have they just become content with fans vilifying them?

Once again, management at DC proves that without a doubt hey have no class. The worst part is that it’s not a surprise.

Wow, I have a friend who gets Batgirl, he says it’s pretty good, this is downright shitty on DC’s part, really unprofessional. Do they actually know what they are doing?

I know Marvel have a rep’ as a bit of a frat’ house, but this is cold.

DC have actually surprised me, this time.

Irrespective of the detail of the ‘creative differences’ between DC Editorial & Gail Simone, DC has displayed utter disrespect in this matter.

I expect tales to emerge of late major changes from Bob Harras’ team, contradicting previously approved creative direction. Again.

DC is now losing credibility. Their roster of top-tier writers is looking more threadbare each month.

I predict that quite a few readers are going to display their ill-will towards DC’s bad attitude, by dropping titles. Watch Batgirl sales dive-bomb from #18 onwards. Unless they kill her off, of course.

My future consumer-relationship with DC is now under serious review.

Any chance this could lead to Gail getting back to writing Deadpool? Because that would almost make this worthwhile.

Seriously, Gail is one of my favorite writes in the business, and I can barely fathom what lead to this. Marvel, don’t let this opportunity pass!

This is a bad move by DC, not just the creative change, but the manner in which it has been handled. I have been giving the New 52 a fair chance, even when formerly loved books faltered, there were other quality books to pick up the slack. Overally though, it’s been a step down for the DCU, and my passion for it is waning. It’s just not the same anymore, and with Gail leaving, that’s one less book to enjoy.

I’ll stick with the one’s I like. Batwoman, Wonder Woman, World’s Finest…but how long until some idiot editor screws those books up too?

DC is pretty much Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder. They are pure gold and can do no wrong to editorial. They are also big time kiss ***es. Outside of them, DC is falling apart.

She’s the only one who gets Barbara Gordon? Please. Batgirl Year One captured Babs perfectly.

While I still like SOME of the new 52, DC has managed to make Perez & Morrison on Superman lame, made Green Arrow & Hawkman unreadable, now this. DC clearly has lost interest in what its readers want (except more and more Batman…). Time to cut some dead wood from the pull list.

As much as I didn’t like the current Batgirl series, I feel a lot of sympathy towards Gail Simone. It sounds like a really rotten, abrupt way to hear about getting fired, and I hope she gets good work elsewhere soon. :(

I don’t even read Batgirl (or most comics, for that matter), and I know how much importance Gail Simone is to that book.

This is up there with some of the most ridiculous things to happen in comics in 2012.

LETS PARTEY!!!

lets be realistic, Batgirl was terrible, the worst work of her entire career
This is GREAT news, not only for batgirl but for her

she can only go up from this

I love Gail’s work. I will have to admit that occassionally this New 52 Batgirl felt a bit off at times to me but I’m chalking that up to me knowing Barbara Gordon as Oracle way longer than as Batgirl. It was something I had to get used to and Gail made it easy for me to do that. I never doubted Gail’s energy and commitment to Batgirl and her stories were a wonderful mix of balls to the wall action along with Gail’s trademark gonzo humor and knife twisting drama. DC’s decision makes zero sense either creatively or commercially. It’s just one more damn thing DC has done to convince me the editorial and management DC has no idea what they’re doing.

Batgirl was at best a competent book. The plot was interesting but Simone was plagued by being paired with a string of second-rate cheesecake artists. I had serious issues with the art in pretty much every single issue.

As for the unceremonious booting, it is another strike against the management and editorial side of DC Entertainment. They are no longer a comics publisher; rather, they are a cluster of would-be media magnates who variously don’t understand the medium they are dealing with, basic business practice or, in the worst cases, both.

The list of quality books DC currently publish stands at Batman, Batwoman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Flash and most of what remains of the Dark Line.

My only hope is that DC brings in someone like Becky Cloonan to do the art on the new book. Before Watchmen must be ending soon so Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner might be free, either. If they put another 90s Marvel-head like DeFalco or Lobdell on the book I might scream.

Good, no more Gail.

I absolutely agree that the way Gail’s release from Batgirl was handled is nothing short of cold-hearted. As ever, Gail has handled it with the grace and charm that she always has despite the circumstances.

Dear Gail: I wish you all the best in everything you do in the future. You are such a credit to this industry and I can’t wait to read more of your amazing stories…wherever you may be. ;-) Good luck.

DC is changing writers and artists on every single title, every other month it seems…they seem to lack all direction and focus…I was excited by the New 52, now I barely pick up anything…It’s Marvel Now and Valiant for me these days….

I love gail’s take on the book. She made barbara’s return to batgirl right. She didn’t have barb just jump in and not have problems after what happen in Killing Joke. Getting her life back together despite some dc intrusion on the book (two bat crossovers). It still was best book of the reboot to me and if not one of them. I said this elsewhere this another editor sticking there were doesn’t belong. Looks like worse as it’s first thing he does as he takes over as the editor on the book. DC editorial is a mess.

Seriously why would any editor first thought be: A book that is doing pretty well with sales, critics, fans. I know lets take the writer off the book. Did dc and editor hate the take on the book so much?

The DCnU. If you put the very best of the New DC books together they still wouldn’t be worth giving up Simone’s Birds of Prey and Secret Six. DCnU = fail.

“The DCnU. If you put the very best of the New DC books together they still wouldn’t be worth giving up Simone’s Birds of Prey and Secret Six. DCnU = fail.”

AMEN!!!!

DC is inept these days. I haven’t been able to stomach anything from them in a long time. They have some of my favorite writers and characters, but DC’s editorial forced Reboot forced me to quit. They better have a good reason for losing Simone.

Dear DC: good job. You’ve alienated a huge chunk of your readers already with the Karen Berger news – this just makes you look even more out of touch with your readers.

The reaction to this change of writers has been hysterically funny. Simone has this group of bizarrely sycophantic fans (She’s my personal heroine! Drool!”) who become outraged whenever she’s taken off a book that is under-performing. Question…if you’re such a big fan, who weren’t you READING it? I admired Simone for the “Women in Refrigerators” site, though, in retrospect ,that site now seems like it was more of a way to get herself on the map than anything else. She’s written some pretty sexist stuff herself over the years, frankly. She has written a few great runs, but overall I find her to be highly over-rated. Her “Atom” run stank, “Firestorm” ditto, her “wonder Woman” book was silly, and her “Batgirl” was unreadable. The book was horrible. Now, she was great on “Secret Six”, because she really writes creepy well. But her super-hero books are generally fairly awful, with the exception of her first BOP run, which was fantastic.

This is good news for the Batgirl book potentially. Simone was really terrible on the book. What i hate is how every time she gets fired from something that’s she’s written poorly, people yell “sexism.” It would be sexist to make a token of her, which frankly is what many of her fans do. She should get supported for her work, not purely on the basis on the fact that she’s a woman. But a lot of folks don’t read her books yet champion her purely on that basis. Now THAT to me is sexism.

Give her a dark, creepy book like Secret Six. She’ll do great things with it.

I’m not sure what your point is. First you insult everyone, then you talk about the book under-performing (it isn’t) and how she’s a terrible writer, then you say she’d be great with another Secret Six book.

If you’re going to troll, be a little less obvious, okay?

Tonight the part of Internet Jerk will be played by The Truth.

Not going to get into all the bashing and trolling about this.
Do want to say though that her Kickstarter w/ Calafiore went THRU THE ROOF.
If that’s not proof she is popular and has readers who will follow her, that companies should be begging her to work for them, than this industry just doesn’t understand their customers or the problems with their publishing model.

Hysan, I’m no more of a troll than you are. Less of one, in fact. The book was lousy. She was let go. People are over-reacting, as evidenced by your response and Ian Boothby’s. I haven’t “insulted everyone”…that’s a lot of people. :) I’m bemused by the fans who are screaming bloody murder when many of them never actually read the book., or had dropped it because it wasn’t very good. Simone has this fan base that won’t abide any criticism of her, and they do so in a very patronizing and sexist way. She’s a writer. If she’s not doing a good job on a particular book, she’ll be let go. For everyone to go nuts is just absurd, particularly when they yell sexism. The only people being sexist are the patronizing ones who act as if she’s untouchable in terms of criticism. Batgirl was a crummy book. Secret Six was great. I said it, and I stand by it.. I have as much a right to my opinion as you do to yours, thanks.

JRC…she has lots of fans, but they don’t read her books. Batgirl was hardly a smash success, AND it was horrible. Now, Secret Six didn’t sell well, but it was a book worth keeping around. In fact, it was a much better fit with the New52 books. That’s the book fans should have rallied behind, not Batgirl.

Opinion is one thing. Misinformation, hyperbole (I’m not screaming bloody murder, I’m actually resolved because DC has been alienating a large portion of its fanbase for years now, and this is just one more thing….and hardly the worst offense) and condescension is really not called for.

Do I think Gail is perfect as a writer? Of course not, no one is. Prime example: I hated Fraction’s Defenders series but love his Hawkeye series. Every writer, no matter how good they are, has some flops. But to paint her fans as rabid dittoheads because maybe you encountered a few who were is just silly at worst and ignorant at best.

Secret Six WAS great, but not because it was “creepy.” It was a well-written book because it had fleshed-out, developed characters who you only saw as weird because of your own biases. A guy who dresses up as a Batman or a dude running around pointing a magic ring at people isn’t weird, but a crazy contortionist or a guy who dresses up a cat is? It’s all weird. That’s the hobby we’ve chosen: to read about very strange people.

Now you’re all over the place.

Okay – we can agree on one thing, Secret Six deserved to stick around.

Well, you’re just proving my point. :) “Misinformation”…very funny. :) It’s my opinion, that’s all. I’m not “all over the pace”…if you’d actually bothered to read my first post, I praised “Secret Six” there as well. And yes, some people are screaming bloody murder over this, and that quite OTT. If that criticism doesn’t apply to you then just don’t embrace it.

As for my “biases”, if you didn’t thin that some of what went on in “Secret Six” was creepy, then you never read the book. It was pretty dark. Again, I never said it was creepy BAD…I was praising it, actually. But you’re clearly not actually reading my posts, you’re just having a knee jerk reaction to them.

Honestly, you’re making my point about some of her fans. :)

I just agreed with you, so no, I’m not….but okay.

And yes, it was dark. Most of the DCU at the time was, though. I seem to recall Superboy-Prime punching a few people’s heads off (and that’s in the “regular DCU, not even the dark one with Deadshot and Ragdoll) and Catwoman having her heart removed from her chest.

I don’t think it’s sexism so much as DC is making really weird and clueless (my opinion, granted) business decisions lately. I’m not crazy about how they handled the Batman books with the Nu52, either.

Oh, and I do think much of what went on in Secret Six was very, very dark….but it made sense with the characters, and bad things usually happened to really awful people (except when Scandal’s lover got kidnapped….that seemed seriously uncalled for).

In the case of the rest of the DCU, bad things tended to happen to GOOD people. Heroes were constantly being killed off, impaled and maimed in the worst ways, all to show how BAD the villains were. Which I never really liked. We know they’re bad people – having them kill off c-list characters is just….yeah, I’m getting off track.

I will say the most disturbing thing to me was when King Shark ate Elasti-Girl’s leg. I know…there was so much craziness and creepiness in that book, but that bothered me the most. Go figure.

I love that example! :) It was such a great, fun book…very creative, incredibly clever. The team up of Simone and Scott was particularly heavenly for me. Simone would be great, I think, on “Justice League Dark”. That was the book calling out for her. She would have rocked it. Frankly, I think she would have been a better fit for “BatWoman” than Batgirl, particularly given the horror movie vibe of that book. I never understood why they didn’t give that book to her, especially since she said she loved the character, and she’s so gay-positive. Batgirl was not the right book for her. Batgirl is too much of a straight-forward hero, and Simone’s better at writing edgy.

So I honestly don’t have a problem with DC letting her go from Batgirl. But I think everyone’;s jumping the gun in assuming that DC is letting Simone go for good, which is not going to happen. DC knows they have a place for Simone, they just have to do a better job matching her with a character. Give her the BatWoman book…give her carte blanche to be as edgy, and wicked, and creepily dark as she wants to be…and watch THAT book become the best book that DC has.

I think JL Dark is a lost cause. :(

Agreed. :( Too bad…I loved the concept.

@ The Truth: My good sir/ madam. You may have not insulted “everyone,” but you have insulted me, as you have indirectly called me some sort of numbskull lackey with your comment – “personal heroine- drool.” I respect that our ideas may clash, but I find Gail Simone’s writing to be some of the best in the industry, and a major reason that got into comics and be an active member of it’s community. I have been purchasing Batgirl monthly. While I agree it’s not her best work, I find it is/was far more to my tastes than much of DC’s current output (which also sells pretty well, from what I can gather, so I don’t think it was a “flop”).

I openly recognize that I am newer to the hobby than many people who are on sites such as this, but I attempt to do my best to share my opinions in a way that is informed. Gail Simone is not my favorite writer, in comics or novels, but I respect her as a professional, someone with ability, ethics, and sincerity to her fans. This I find admirable. I think that’s why many people are her fans. I respect that her writing was not for you.

I agree with your assessment that much of Secret Six is “creepy”. However, similar to her Birds of Prey, I find what made the book so good was the cast of characters and how they interacted, and the fun-ness (for lack of a better word) that oozed from each page. There is real joy to be found from the creators on the pages. I suppose the term is passion. You seem pretty passionate yourself! You would not be on this site if you were not.

Just understand that DC has been making a lot of decisions that many fans (Gail Simone’s or otherwise), have not liked or found professional. Many of these choices have effected a minority group/s in comics that are currently feeling mistreated by the industry. (I wouldn’t know for sure, but I think it’s a safe assumption that many of Gail Simone’s fans are in this niche).

In any case, I hope that this admittedly long comment answers some questions for you.

To be honest, it isn’t that surprising that DC has let her go. Ever since the reboot happened at DC she has been at odds with the powers that be. The powers that be know that it doesn’t ever really matter who they put on the books because writing for Marvel and DC is the dream for comic book writers. Trust me, creator owned stuff written by Brubaker, Kirkman, etc. would not be as popular or successful if they did not FIRST start with Marvel and DC.

That being said, informing a top tier talent they are no longer writing a book over e-mail is pretty pathetic.

I’ve recently read “Heroes Reborn: Avengers” and “Deathmate”, and I’m really fearing that DC is sliding way down into that sort of dark territory. DC’s editorial is so messed up right now that, no matter the quality of the books, they keep shooting themselves in the foot. Plus… Rob Liefeld? Brett Booth? Bob Harras? They were even thinking about giving Chuck Austen a title until they remembered that he’s been excommunicated.

My advice: get Mark Waid to come over as DC’s new EIC. It would probably mean sacrificing Daredevil and Indestructible Hulk, but Waid has the editorial and creative experience to run the company.

ALright. Let it be said that I am a big fan of Gail’s work, be it at DC or some of the other stuff she has done. And I am fully unhappy that she is no longer ‘the’ writer for Barbara Gordon/Batgirl.

I think that a smart move on DC’s part, if they are insistant in taking Batgirl from her, would be to put her on a book like Worlds’ Finest! This book has not been electifying in quite some time and she seems to write strong female buddy books.

I am definately gonna miss Gail on this book, though.

“Trust me, creator owned stuff written by Brubaker, Kirkman, etc. would not be as popular or successful if they did not FIRST start with Marvel and DC.”

Both Brubaker and Kirkman started their careers with “creator-owned stuff.”

Agreed, Mr Hunter. Gail seems to do her best on team books.

Also edit to my ramble’s first paragraph- I meant Batgirl’s book was doing pretty well in sales. The New 52 in all appears to be sort of all over the place :)

I’m not a fan of Gail’s work. That doesn’t mean that I hate her guts. Just didn’t care that much. Bop, for me, was mildy entertaining. Batgirl was wrong – and not because she had got the use of her legs back.

However, firing someone via e-mail is a douche move. And the way things are going, this douche move will be adopted as a standard move. It would not be the last time we’ll hear about something like this.

About her firing: well, Gail simply doesn’t write for the target audience DC craves, aka 13-25 years old males that comprised the huge chunk of people that gave away US$ 1 billion for a dumb Batman movie this year. Same people that bought the action figures, t-shirts and all the other licensed things.

The comic book industry became a launching point for movie and gaming franchises. That is why DC changed costumes – to sell different set of toys, different DLCs for games, heck, if possible they will change Superman costume every movie (Sony is doing just that with Spidey).

So, the appealing of Gail’s writing does not work towards the audience that DC expects to reach, mainly, the ones that expect comfort. The ones who are satisfied if Batman beat up Joker every issue. The ones who maintained X-Men sales high even when nothing happened on those books.

You know. Drones.

Very odd move by DC, Her Batgirl was really well writen. Her Firestorm sucked big time. But in the BIG skeem of things, what’s going on with DC and Marvel?? Both companies have become obssed with reboots, Marvel didn’t even need it, DC did thanks to Dan, Grant, and and their stupid ideas that drove the company into the ground these past 10 years, but also Disney and Time Warner deserve some.blame for the way they don’t understand or care about US fans.

It’s ironic that the bright spot of the new 52 are the Dark books. Most of the other books, they’re all over the place. Supergirl – 14 issues and she still hasn’t learned English?! Green Arrow, Superman – they have no idea what to do with him. Other than Morrison and Snyder’s Batman titles, the other ones are paint-by-number adventures. World’s Finest took replaced two great women with a party-girl bimbo and a bland undefined character. Gail Simone had so much fun on her previous books – even Wonder Woman…DC editorial sucked the fun out of her writing her favorite character, and thus the book was much less light-hearted than the Stephanie Brown Batgirl’s title. Why is it so hard for the editors to just sit back and let the writers do their thing, while stepping in occasionally to guide them or correct any continuity mistake? That’s exactly what Marvel is doing right now. If DC keeps up these shenanigans for long, they won’t be number 2 to Marvel anymore, they’ll drop right behind Image/Dark Horse/IDW etc.

At least Marvel’s not rebooting the entire universe, just the individual series. This is what DC should’ve done. At least Marvel is learning from DC’s mistake. Please put Gail Simone on a Black Widow book with a strong supporting cast, and sales will fly.

I agree with Daniel Rock – outside of Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, DC are struggling for top-notch writers. Unfortunately, their relaunch strategy was based around the characters, not the creators (unlike Marvel’s strategy), which is why readers like me who disagree with the image and direction of the new characters jumped ship months ago. Simone writing the new Defenders book would be a good match.

DC Comics have taken a real dive in quality since the New 52 relaunch and to think I used to buy 12 books a month. That’s slowly trickled down to to the point where it’s now zero. The last to go was Batman and I may still read that in trade form but all in all I’ve put DC to bed for now.

Secret Six was a wonderfully written comic as was BOP to bad they couldn’t find her another project. I’m not impressed.

Didn't Know Batgirl Was Bad

December 10, 2012 at 12:16 am

Funny, I “think” I have taste and I found Gail’s run on Batgirl really entertaining. I think she has a great sense of character and was put in a difficult situation of trying to appease old Oracle fans and new Batgirl fans. It was one of the few DC 52 I still buy (Batwoman, Earth 2 and World’s Finest are the only real interesting ones at the moment). Sort of shocked by some of the haters on here. I’d take her on a Marvel book over Matt Fraction any day.

“My advice: get Mark Waid to come over as DC’s new EIC. It would probably mean sacrificing Daredevil and Indestructible Hulk, but Waid has the editorial and creative experience to run the company.”

Does anyone follow prowrestling? I’ve just realized that Mark Waid is the Jim Cornette of the superhero comic industry: old-school, traditionalist, very opinionated and stubborn, fiercely protective of the industry and a bit of a journeyman. They even look somewhat alike.

Sorry, just a random thought.

Wow let go by email is pretty low, given the success of the title I’d have thought shed at least gotten a meeting or even a call. Awful business practice DC.
While I’ve only sporadically read batgirl, just be hopeful you batgirl fans don’t end up with Nocenti

Nelson/DiDio/Lee/Harras/Johns are doing a hell of a job to weaken DC comics.

I really don’t like the ‘new’ DC.

@Davey Boy Smith

With those clowns around (Harras, DiDio), I doubt that Waid will come near DC offices.

Maybe she can write a kick-ass red-headed Marvel heroine who dresses in black, has no powers, and has a connection to a successful movie franchise. Can’t think of anyone who meets that description though :-)

This is a spectacularly dumb move by DC that makes me wonder if in three months my wife and I will be buying any DC books not written by Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, and Bill Willingham. DC should have found another book for Gail Simone first if they intended at all to try and keep their most prominent female creator in their employ. By firing her from a Barbara Gordon based book without announcing a new title that Simone will be shepherding, DC effectively sent the message (whether they wanted to or not) that they have chosen to fire Simone from DC.

My interest in X-books, Runaways, and New Mutants notwithstanding, DC has been the publisher in the past that I have been most likely to try new books from. That is starting to change. The only way Batgirl’s sales jump with Simone gone is if DC gooses the numbers by putting Jim Lee on art or Scott Snyder on the writing. Here’s hoping that Gail joins Kelly Sue DeConnick and Marjorie Liu at Marvel. Although I would love to read a Gail Simone Runaways book, I am praying that she takes over a title with much greater built-in sales (a la a Spiderman, X-book, or Avengers title).

Her first run on Birds of Prey is the best female team centered book ever written. It is a shame that she has now been ripped from the character (Barbara Gordon) that provides the heart and soul of that title.

Isn’t it actually strange that DC has seen a sales resurgence under/despite Mssrs. DiDio and Harras? While I do lean towards Marvel where superheroes are concerned, I’m suprised that Marvel has lost market share to the distiguished competition despite a plethora of well-received movies and better books (this can be argued obviously, but I do think that Marvel sports a stronger creative roster.) Additionally, DC has shown a complete and utter disregard for its female readership in recent times. But just judging by market share if I were a higher-up at Time-Warner I might be inclined to believe that, all controversy aside, DiDio and Harras were doing something right.

I’m guessing that she’ll be on a new book starting Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Donna Troy :-(

More seriously, I wasn’t reading any of the DCnU (Though Earth 2 has sucked me in) because all ‘my heroes’ are gone in the reboot. It does suck to be let go so impersonally.

I’m very sorry to hear this. Gail is one of the best writers DC currently has, and her leaving Batgirl will hurt not only the title, but also (IMHO) hurt “The New DC’s” perception within the comics community.

I don’t know if she’s still exclusive to them, but if not…Marvel, give her a call, now. She’s one of the best out there, and they’d be foolish not to swoop in and get her.

The Mark Waid is Jim Cornette is a awesome comment. Hats off to you Davey Boy Smith.

This little unpleasant turn just came in from Simone on her FB page:

“Guys, I am being told that some people at DC are receiving nasty emails addressed to them personally. PLEASE do not do this. It helps no one. DC and I are not enemies, we’re still talking about other stuff. I appreciate the kind thoughts, but please, please, please, don’t email or post mean personal things at anyone, okay?

THANK YOU.”

I will be interested to see why DC let Gail go. I am a huge fan of hers and read Batgirl because it was written by Gail Simone. The thing that is perplexing is that the comic is selling amazingly well. It was one of the big successes of the reboot, selling much better than any previous incarnation of Batgirl and getting stronger over time. It is amazing that they would just dismiss the woman who developed the book that is now their biggest selling female hero. The book is doing so well not because it is Batgirl but because Gail Simone has written it. So Batgirl will drift back down into the morass of DC’s lesser selling titles (everything but Batman and Green Lantern) where DC’s hack writers continue to churn out under performing junk.

“Some people at DC are receiving nasty emails addressed to them personally”
Unfortunately, this is the dark side of fans – Impulsive fanbois that send nastygrams just because they can. These emails accomplish nothing other than annoy the recipient.

I would love, LOVE to see a Secret Avengers type pitch from Simone. That or bring back the Thunderbolts in its original form and basically do a Secret Six in the Marvel Universe.

Seriously, can you imagine that kind of weird, dark humor at the edges of the MU? Like Heroes for Hire, only no Misty Knight and they always end up “Rockford”-ing their jobs (i.e. they end up acting heroically depsite themselves and don’t get paid).

Editors assigned to a book have the right and responsibiliy to hire and fire the creative staff on that book for any reason.

But telling someone they are fired by email is the act of a cowardly schmuck.

Cliff: Agreed.

Frank: It’s just not the way to show your displeasure. Fans need to speak with their wallets.

I am a big fan of Gail Simone. I say fan but that doesn’t mean blind follower. Like all creators, she has written some things I’ve enjoyed immensely and others I have not. But her professionalism, honesty and sense of humour are things that I admire nearly as much as I do her work.

I was an Oracle fan and not in the least a Batgirl fan. When I heard DC was bringing back Batgirl, the only reason I gave it a chance was Gail Simone. I was not an easy audience to win over.

But Gail did it. Because she kept Barbara human, not ignoring the past but embracing it, incorporating it. She somehow made Babs simultaneously confident yet vulnerable. And I ended up looking forward to Batgirl more with every passing month.

But my being a fan of Gail’s isn’t the reason I’ll be dropping Batgirl.

I’ll be dropping it because I’m tiring of DC’s cold editorial approach. Yes, DC is a business. Yes, they have the right to do with their characters and titles what they wish. But to dismiss a long-time contributor and unabashed booster of theor books? Via e-mail? Classless and stupid. It shows a disrespect to creators… and without creators, there is no DC Comics.

Some have noted there will always be writers vying to work at DC. But PROVEN writers who make their deadlines, have garnered fan followings, have a demonstrable track record of success? They are not magically invented.

Sometimes I wonder what people look for in books. I read the first two issues of Batgirl in the new 52, and they were among the worst issues of the entire relaunch.

Brian from Canada

December 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

Daveyboy — Harras, Lee & Didio are doing more than good in the eyes of WB: they are doing spectacular.

Now, before anyone jumps down my throat for defending DC, take a moment to realize WHY that may be. Before the reboot, the “distinguished competition” was haemorrhaging sales and market share. Classic titles were collapsing under the weight of bad writing or, in cases like Wonder Woman, events with consequences that hampered future stories.

DC needed to do something fast. And what they did was brilliant.

What Lee, Harris, Didio, Nelson, Johns, etc. did was reconsider the reader as a consumer. Where did they buy? What did they buy? What motivated them to buy?

And the answer was movies & digitalization. See the film or show, then look it up on the i-device, not go to the newsstand. So if the consumer is going to the Internet, where should they start reading? And that’s the idea behind the “52″: starting points for new readers who are going to be enticed by films now that WB is making DC a priority.

And while the results have been uneven, they did boost the numbers significantly. That’s a win.

Where they have problems, I think most, is in their planning. In order to keep books strong, they need strong stories, but nobody except the core Bat and Lantern books is really thinking beyond one or two stories just in case.

My guess is that DC didn’t feel Gail Simone’s Batgirl was going in a direction they wanted and felt she’d be better of working on another title. It happens. The way it was done wasn’t right, but if we get a better book by her then so be it.

PERSONALLY, I’d prefer Gail taking over a book that’s really needing support structure, like Titans or Ravagers, or — better yet — World’s Finest, because that book needs a stronger character presentation.

DC seems to have adopted the ideology towards the fans as this: “Don’t tell us what you like! You’re wrong! We know what’s best for you! Stop thinking you actually know what you like!”.

And all those years of being an apologist for DC’s hyperviolent misogyny and frat-boy leadership turned out to get her absolutely nothing in the end. There’s a lesson here, folks.

Irwin; why should she be labelled as “an apologist”? Gail has never been shy about publicly disagreeing with some of DC’s practices. Heck, she was the originator of “Women in Refrigerators” for goodness sake.

No lesson on that fron, as far as I can see.

Lazarus Pit Foreman

December 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

Couldn’t this editor have picked up the phone to tell Gail of this, rather than via email? Low man…low.

Oh crap! I almost choked on my lunch. This is terrible news… Are there any other women writers at DC now? I know one is working on a limited Watchmen series… Jeez DC… Well I hope Marvel Scoops her up quick! I loved her Deadpool! A Tigra solo series written by Gail would be boss…

On the bright side, they may call back Rob Liefeld to work on the new Batgirl issues in 2013.But seriously, Dc comics…Why? Whhhyyyyyyy?!!!!!

“Trust me, creator owned stuff written by Brubaker, Kirkman, etc. would not be as popular or successful if they did not FIRST start with Marvel and DC.”

Kirkman wasn’t exactly burning up the sales charts when he was doing (mostly) fill-ins and second-tier books during his time at Marvel. It was his early Image work that made his name, and Walking Dead that turned him into an A-lister. Brian O’Malley, Bill Willingham and John Layman all made their names on their creator-owned titles. While Brian K. Vaughan did do quite a bit of big two work, it was Y and Ex Machina that made his bones (both published by DC imprints, but still creator-owned stuff.) The idea that a creator has to first build their audience working on a big-two cape book if they want to be successful just isn’t so. It may have held water as recently as five years ago, but definitely not now, esp. with the rise of the bookstore and digital markets. Anyone who still thinks that Marvel and DC are the only game in town just hasn’t been paying attention.

“Irwin; why should she be labelled as “an apologist”?”

Because she spent years defending DC’s appalling content and treatment of female characters, and the people responsible for those depictions.

Bleeding Cool says Gail’s last issue is 16, not 17. The article you link to seems to have her confirming just that.

Irwin: Back when there was actually DC message boards, that was actually not at all what I saw. Gail generally seemed to call ‘em as she saw them,. She might have said so and so is a good person, but she didn’t necessarily defend their take on a character or storyline.

Simone’s Batgirl was the only book that survived my decision to drop all DC books after the debut of the “New 52″. I liked it – I usually like Simone’s projects – although I didn’t care for the art.

This is so far from the first instance I’ve heard of involving DC editorial’s mistreatment of creators. In fact, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard about DC mistreating THIS creator. Although Gail is always positive and professional in talking about her work for DC, it’s not an accident that some of her books have ended abruptly due to sudden creative shifts, and it’s rare that she gets to keep working with a talented artist for long before they’re poached for a higher-profile book. DC doesn’t seem like a company at which creative professionals are treated well, and it shows in their product.

I loved DC comics since I was a kid, but I really don’t want to support their comics wing anymore. This distresses me because I always enjoyed not preferring one comics company/universe over another.

I don’t know whether Marvel treats its creators well, but if they don’t, it hasn’t been apparent to me from their comics. They’ve been producing long, coherent, excellent runs by stable creative teams. I find myself really looking forward to Marvel NOW books, whereas I’ve become apathetic to what DC does. I never really thought I’d say that.

My first thought upon reading this article – other than, “AGAIN…?!” – was, “Gosh, I hope Marvel hires Gail Simone to write, y’know, anything at all.” I’d love to be able to enjoy her work without having to support DC comics’ current editorial/publishing regime.

@Adam: ‘I’d love to be able to enjoy her work without having to support DC comics’ current editorial/publishing regime’

Amen, brother.

I feel bad for Gail and wish her well. While I didn’t buy Batgirl, the shop I work at sells BG like crack. I don’t know if that is indicative of across the world though.

I would like to mention that I’m tired of hearing Worlds’ Finest isn’t being written well. It is. It’s a retro book and it is written by the guy who created the character, Paul Levitz.. It’s original Helena, not mafia princess Helena. And the role reversal of Karen being level headed and Kara being angry has been refreshing. How someone can say a book hasn’t been working for sometime when it’s only seven issues in must have ADD. It’s been seven issues, not seven years. Given the industry obsesion over decompression for TP’s the book is progressing just fine. And even if that were not true, Maguire and Perez turn in the most visually beautiful book on the market each month.

Yikes. With Gail Simone gone, who else besides Howard Mackie, Scott Lobdell, and Fabian Nicieza will DC get to write forgettable, trivial superhero comics? A total catastrophic move for DC and discount bookstores worldwide.

That’s a shame and a real loss. DC will struggle to find a capable fill for this book.
I know it pains some readers but they should prepare themselves for the upcoming cancelations of Team 7, Fury of Firestorm, Sword of Sorcery, Batwing followed by Red Lanterns and Savage Hawkman in the not so distant future. We’ll see if Bat Inc has a place to exist after Morrison departs from the title, Ravagers & Dial H have some potential in the right hands and a bit of luck but (it’s early to confirm) Talon & Vibe should have been released as mini series from the start with the current state of industry. Hopefully we’ll get some new worthy titles that focus on villains for a change in April (that ‘move’ should find stable ground and they’ll stick longer).

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