Adam Hughes on Batgirl #1: "It’s a real joy, but it’s sad to see Oracle go"

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Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

The announcement of DC's massive revamp which claims to change everything we know about the DC Universe this September has left most comic fans confused. Why is now a good time to make these dramatic changes? Will dramatically changing these iconic characters really expand their readership? Everyone has an opinion when it comes to the revamp; including the creators working on these new books; so what do they think of the revamp? Since DC cover artist Adam Hughes will be one of the first artists to draw Barbara Gordon as Batgirl after 20 plus years; and since we consider that to be a pretty big responsibility; we decided to ask him how he feels about the upcoming changes-- check it out below!

Comic Vine: What is it like for you to draw Barbara Gordon as Batgirl for the first time in 20 years?

Adam Hughes: It’s strangely ironic: I was born the same year Batgirl first appeared in comics – 1967, and I started working for DC Comics the same year Babs started doing her thing as Oracle – 1989. It’s a bittersweet dream come true. Apart from the occasional flashback, I’ve only gotten to draw Babs as Oracle. It’s a real joy, but it’s sad to see Oracle go. I was just rereading Alan Moore’s WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW?, the official 2-part farewell to the pre-Crisis Superman before John Byrne & Jerry Ordway ushered in the version we’ve had for the last 25 years. I got tears in my eyes, all over again. Yes, those characters were to remain, albeit in a new form, but it was sad saying good-bye to characters you’d known and loved your whole life. I can understand how people who’ve only known Babs as Oracle must feel.

== TEASER ==

CV: What do you think of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl? Do you feel like this is a step forward for the character or no?

AH!: I’ve always loved Barbara as Batgirl, because she was always the one ‘night-time crimefighter’ who seemed to be doing it for a reason OTHER than the now-overused ‘death of a loved one’. Babs did it because she admired Batman. That’s different, and fun to explore, then AND now.

Is it a step forward? There’s no easy answer to that. I think superhero comics, by their very nature, are cycylical. I feel you can’t have 25-50+ year story continuities with characters that only age 5 or 6 years. So much melodrama happens to a character over that span, it becomes like a soap opera. A bad one. It just becomes ridiculously DENSE. DC tried reconciling the Golden and Silver age universes simultaneously with concepts like multiple Earths, but by the 1980s it was next to IMPOSSIBLE to tell good stories. There was just too much continuity to keep up with. Marvel has had wonderful success with the ULTIMATES books, but eventually too many worlds, with too many storylines can scare off new readers. They don’t know where to start.

Rebooting serialized stories that have no finite end or conclusion is sort of a necessary “evil”. Granted, we’re in an era were rebooting is being done for commercial reasons and not just because of content, so it’s become a sort of 4-letter word. However, both the JAMES BOND and BATMAN film series successfully rebooted, and both were successful because the stories were good and well-told. As a life-long STAR TREK fan, I wasn’t crazy about some of the elements of the recent reboot, but I still gave it a chance (and continue to). I hope fans will give the new DC stories the same chance, and approach things with an open mind. Just don’t talk to me when they get around to rebooting STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES. THAT, I’m gonna be cranky about. ;-)

Barbara Gordon - Adam Hughes

CV: Can you discuss any other DC projects you are currently working on? If so, what are they, etc?

AH!: I wish I could talk about what DC has me lined up for. One project will get announced at San Diego Comic-Con, I know for sure; and possibly a second. Other stuff is in the works, so it’s hush-hush for now. BATGIRL is my current focus.

What do you think of the new DC revamp? Do you think this is the right time? Do you it will successfully bring in new readers to DC comics books?

Well, any time the comics industry is struggling for readership & a toehold on the future is a time for radical action. And you can’t get much more radical than 52 new titles a month, no? It’s a bold experiment, and one that we all can call a success if we get some great tales out of this. We’ll get new, curious readers from the sheer AUDACITY of the endeavor, but they’ll stick around if the stories are great. ACTION COMICS writer Paul Cornell recently said that for the first time in a long while, fans can stop arguing continuity and talk about story, plot, & character. I’m inclined to agree with that sentiment. As a 44 year-old fanboy, I’ve seen my favorite properties rebooted, revamped, and retooled many times. It’s the nature of the beast, and for many, this new chapter in DC’s history is their first exposure to such upheaval. It’s sad to say good-bye to old friends, but, hey – that’s part of life.

What do you guys think of Barbara Gordon's return as Batgirl? Are you looking forward to Batgirl #1 due in stores this September? Are you excited about the revamp?

#1 Posted by cosmo111687 (1488 posts) - - Show Bio

Always a pleasure to get some perspective on the matter from Adam Hughes. :)

#2 Posted by Emperormeister734 (789 posts) - - Show Bio

To see Barbra Gordon literally up and running is truly a blessing, I know she's ready to take on The Joker

#3 Posted by Mercy_ (92097 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm so torn on this.

Moderator
#4 Posted by Duo_forbidden (1160 posts) - - Show Bio

Lol, I love that Adam Hughes picture of Barbara. I can admit that this is one title I'm looking forward to.

#5 Posted by cattlebattle (12305 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress said:
I'm so torn on this.
Me too....me too
#6 Posted by B'Town (2336 posts) - - Show Bio

I have experienced a range of emotions since I first heard Barbara Gordon was returning as Batgirl. At first, I was angry, flat out p*ssed and unbelievably sad that I would possibly lose Oracle, a character I love and respect. How could they?!? I just didn't understand. And I guess I still don't.

But right now, I'm more than just a little bit excited.

I made a decision to embrace this change. I care about Oracle and Batgirl both. I trust Gail Simone who has shared the same type of affection for theses characters, to create some magic. So, right now, I'm gonna just wait and see, hopefully.

#7 Posted by HaHaManHV (234 posts) - - Show Bio

Yea, even if they have a Babs in a suit, it'll still feel cheap to me. I feel like  this is one of those instances where taking them back to their roots is really detrimental to their character. Not to mention Steph, who is now an afterthought to everybody

#8 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3536 posts) - - Show Bio

It seems about time for Barbra to be released for the chair. Especially when you consider the level of injuries many others have come back from. The idea a single shot took her out so easily.
 
If this means the return of Barbra as Batgirl, what does this mean for Stephanie and Cassandra? Personally, I thought her role as Oracle fit her really well. They could of done that but had her be more mobile.

#9 Edited by doordoor123 (3721 posts) - - Show Bio

YEAH! EXCITED! btw hes great. Love his art. I didnt know he was on this book. I wasnt going to pick this up but if Adam Hughs AND Gail Simone are on this, then ill have to read it.
#10 Posted by pspin (890 posts) - - Show Bio

Although I am not crazy about Barbara being Batgirl because I like Steph, they need to do a story of Barbara getting revenge on the Joker, a bloody, bloody revenge with Batman interveneing to stop her from killing, sure that might be a little out of charater but the Joker shot and paralysed her and, it would make an amazing story

#11 Posted by B'Town (2336 posts) - - Show Bio

@pspin said:

Although I am not crazy about Barbara being Batgirl because I like Steph, they need to do a story of Barbara getting revenge on the Joker, a bloody, bloody revenge with Batman interveneing to stop her from killing, sure that might be a little out of charater but the Joker shot and paralysed her and, it would make an amazing story

I could easily envision Simone tackling this! OH, YeaH.

#12 Posted by CombatSpoon86 (825 posts) - - Show Bio

I was sad to see Oracle gone, I was outraged at the beginning but then I looked at the creative team. If anybody is given a shot to keep the Batgirl boat afloat, It's Simone & Hughes. Looking forward to this along with Batwoman, Batman, Action, Animal man, Swamp Thing

#13 Posted by BlackRoseTessa (59 posts) - - Show Bio

great interview . im looking forword to the revamp/relaunch but alsi very scared lol
#14 Posted by kimeraevet (188 posts) - - Show Bio

LET THE CHARACTERS DIE!!!! Seriously, a revamp every 15-20 years is a cheat. Age the characters, have them train up their proteges to become successors and then let them go. It isn't such a horrible idea and it keeps characters special by giving them a finite amount of time to grow and develop before they reach their end of line. It becomes allegorical with every generation being seen and represented through the current incarnation of the hero. Golden Age heroes should be dead already, Silver Age heroes should be mentoring their successors and the Dark Age heroes should be forgotten so that the Modern Age heroes can do their thing and start getting proteges of their own. Ex. Batman dies in 1970, leaving Dick Grayson to take up his mentors identity with his younger counterpart Jason Todd as his ward. Jason dies and stays that way as Dick struggles to accept training Tim Drake. Tim mourns Dick's passing and vows to make him proud as he begins training the estranged clone of the original Batman, Damian Wayne. The cycle continues...


That is how it should go. One long ongoing novelization where characters change and die, leaving behind a legacy, a life with lessons that can be passed down and shared. Barbara Gordon was awesome as Batgirl, but she grew older and became the Oracle and even went about working with and mentoring newer heroes and the recent Batgirls. DC has the right idea, but their execution is missing the mark. Barbara should have died as the Oracle and not returned to a life that she has outgrown as a character, no matter how much she may miss the excitement. 
#15 Posted by Pizawle (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

There is certainly a sadness to feel there. It is one of the strongest moments and character developments in the industry. But if you love Babs, how can you not also feel happy that she gets to be Batgirl again? It's a wonderful thing and I cannot wait.

#16 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow. I kind of grew up with Babs as Oracle and besides her as Batgirl in the animated series, this will be a long time coming.

Moderator
#17 Posted by DeawonCDelaney (61 posts) - - Show Bio

She meant more to DC as Oracle than she did Batgirl, as he said she started off idolizing Batman and than faded over time, that's why she was basically retired when Joker shot her. And just to have her start walking again without no explanation (or road to recovery) is a slap in the face.

#18 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (8758 posts) - - Show Bio

I am really excited for this series

#19 Posted by MichelleEaley (11 posts) - - Show Bio
@kimeraevet: I completely agree. So glad I read the comments. I'm a bit scared though because you took that right out of my head!
#20 Posted by MrUnknown (1700 posts) - - Show Bio
@FoxxFireArt said:
It seems about time for Barbra to be released for the chair. Especially when you consider the level of injuries many others have come back from. The idea a single shot took her out so easily.  If this means the return of Barbra as Batgirl, what does this mean for Stephanie and Cassandra? Personally, I thought her role as Oracle fit her really well. They could of done that but had her be more mobile.
What chair? Electrocution? XD
#21 Posted by B'Town (2336 posts) - - Show Bio

@kimeraevet said:

LET THE CHARACTERS DIE!!!! Seriously...

No. No. : {

#22 Posted by Feliciano2040 (654 posts) - - Show Bio

When will the day come when somebody in the industry has a little balls ? I knew this interview was going to bring nothing new, other than justifications for silly revamps and idiotic decisions from the editors.

#23 Posted by Bestostero (5611 posts) - - Show Bio

I am most excited about this book in the relaunch for sure.

#24 Posted by ILuvMsMarvel (109 posts) - - Show Bio

While I love Babs, I also love Steph as Batgirl. 
 
Part of me is glad they are putting Babs on the front line again, but part also doesn't want to see Steph get replaced.

#25 Posted by danhimself (21913 posts) - - Show Bio

Mr. Hughes made what I would call some very excellent points there...I've got to agree with what Paul Cornell said though....now no one is going to be b!t#hing about how something is "out of character" or how it goes against continuity....very good points

#26 Posted by Video_Martian (5631 posts) - - Show Bio

YES, i LOVE Babs as Batgirl! =D

#27 Posted by Herx (367 posts) - - Show Bio

Well i'm one of those who prefers barbra as Oracle, and who thinks "if their keeping the current line of Robins intact why not the batgirls?" but despite that i am curious about this issue so i will deffinatly be picking up Batgirl #1.

#28 Posted by TDK_1997 (13739 posts) - - Show Bio

Barbara is back as Batgirl.YEAAAAH!!!
#29 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

But it isn't even a real reboot, just a revamp of the line. GL will continue untouched, Batman Inc. is continuing with little changes, Jason Todd/Tim Drake/Damian Wayne still happened...

Anyway, it seems all the people requesting Babs!Batgirl are the ones who only read comic book scans online/collect comics in plastic bags for never touching them again ever or sell them later on. And most didn't even read the few Babs!Batgirl stories like, say, the classic ones, Year One or her recent run in Batman Confidential!

#30 Posted by Mercy_ (92097 posts) - - Show Bio

@B'Town said:

I have experienced a range of emotions since I first heard Barbara Gordon was returning as Batgirl. At first, I was angry, flat out p*ssed and unbelievably sad that I would possibly lose Oracle, a character I love and respect. How could they?!? I just didn't understand. And I guess I still don't.

But right now, I'm more than just a little bit excited.

I made a decision to embrace this change. I care about Oracle and Batgirl both. I trust Gail Simone who has shared the same type of affection for theses characters, to create some magic. So, right now, I'm gonna just wait and see, hopefully.

This pretty much sums it up for me.

Moderator
#31 Posted by Planewalker (323 posts) - - Show Bio
@kimeraevet said:
" LET THE CHARACTERS DIE!!!! Seriously, a revamp every 15-20 years is a cheat. Age the characters, have them train up their proteges to become successors and then let them go. It isn't such a horrible idea and it keeps characters special by giving them a finite amount of time to grow and develop before they reach their end of line. It becomes allegorical with every generation being seen and represented through the current incarnation of the hero. Golden Age heroes should be dead already, Silver Age heroes should be mentoring their successors and the Dark Age heroes should be forgotten so that the Modern Age heroes can do their thing and start getting proteges of their own. Ex. Batman dies in 1970, leaving Dick Grayson to take up his mentors identity with his younger counterpart Jason Todd as his ward. Jason dies and stays that way as Dick struggles to accept training Tim Drake. Tim mourns Dick's passing and vows to make him proud as he begins training the estranged clone of the original Batman, Damian Wayne. The cycle continues...

That is how it should go. One long ongoing novelization where characters change and die, leaving behind a legacy, a life with lessons that can be passed down and shared. Barbara Gordon was awesome as Batgirl, but she grew older and became the Oracle and even went about working with and mentoring newer heroes and the recent Batgirls. DC has the right idea, but their execution is missing the mark. Barbara should have died as the Oracle and not returned to a life that she has outgrown as a character, no matter how much she may miss the excitement. 
"
I very much agree with this statement, that's the way it should be characters are not eternal you can have the example of the Star Wars universe.  
#32 Posted by Utandi (218 posts) - - Show Bio

I am very excited about her comeback.

#33 Posted by PowerHerc (78172 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm glad she's going back to being Batgirl but I see no reason why she can't still the resources she did when she was Oracle.

#34 Posted by DarkChris (303 posts) - - Show Bio

She surely can kick asses!!!

#35 Posted by batmanboy11 (198 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Babs as Batgirl, so I'm excited for the book. And the overhaul as a whole.
#36 Posted by Shipwreck (114 posts) - - Show Bio

Babs is Babs no matter what. She's the same character and has furthered her inspiration to people that happen to be in wheelchair. The theme is overcoming, even if our science is there yet.

#37 Posted by TheShame (477 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm all for Babs returning as Batgirl, but how old is the character? Shouldn't she be calling herself BATWOMAN (oh, wait, that's taken). I'm Confused.

#38 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

Say it with me!!!! REVENGE!!!!

#39 Posted by Omega-Man (756 posts) - - Show Bio

 AH!: I’ve always loved Barbara as Batgirl, because she was always the one ‘night-time crimefighter’ who seemed to be doing it for a reason OTHER than the now-overused ‘death of a loved one’. Babs did it because she admired Batman. That’s different, and fun to explore, then AND now.


I call bull crap, not one girl who has taken the mask of Batgirl ever did it for that reason of a death of a loved one only characters that did that was Batman and Robin, Batgirl if it was Steph, Cass or Babs have ever done it for a death of a loved one, I call bull crap on this.

Steph did it for the reason of her Father who is a super villain

Cass did it to try and clense her own soul because she felt guilty of killing someone as a kid

That is absolute CRAP what was stated.

It's not about Babs walking again, why would she be batgirl? even if you de-age her what have you done to Cass and Steph? You can't kill off two characters or erase them from existance only to bring ONE back how is THAT fair?

The revamp doesn't bother me the thing that really grinds me is THIS. They never mention Steph or Cass.

#40 Posted by StarKiller809 (1214 posts) - - Show Bio

I've never read anything with Barbra being Batgril. I knew she was Batgril but Joker shot her spine. I think this new series is going to be a great direction.  
 
The only way I won't really like it is if they get rid of everything she did as Oracle.
#41 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29332 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress said:
I'm so torn on this.
That pic with Oracle ..... yeah. Le torn. 
#42 Posted by kimeraevet (188 posts) - - Show Bio
@B'Town: Why no no? Seriously I am just trying to move these stories along in a way that makes them special and makes the characters special. You want to see Bab's as Batgirl, then they can make a one shot about her time before her Joker attack. It wouldn't be hard. They can call them the Archive series and allow current and future writers to tell stories from the past. This whole rehash and revamp crap has to end though. All it does is bog down the books with useless continuity. Remember Knightfall, Contagion, No Man's Land or Bruce Wayne: Murderer? Great arcs, but because they were just a small part of Bruce Wayne's 70+ years of continuity they DO NOT MATTER anymore. This is removing all that came after Bab's got crippled, just like the after effects of Superman's death and Batman breaking his back. DC needs to realize the true reasons why their comic readership is so low has mostly to do with the fact that reading the same characters for more than 20 years gets BORING. Bruce Wayne should have stayed in the wheel chair and Dick should have taken over then, just like Bab's is doing great as Oracle. If DC wants to use her, then do something to show her importance, not a cheap commercial gimmick of a do over so that they can try and win back her 3 fans who moved on because they didn't like her replacement or the 20 people who still remember her as Batgirl from the90's cartoon series.
#43 Posted by RareCheshire (190 posts) - - Show Bio

I wished she was still working with BoP as Batgirl though

#44 Posted by FalcomAdol (116 posts) - - Show Bio

This feels kind of crazy, but I think I might actually buy the first three issues of all of the rebooted titles.
 
After that, I'll evaluate whether to continue buying some/any/move to trades whatever.

#45 Posted by 04nbod (174 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't wait for the first Batgirl/Supergirl team up

#46 Posted by The_Lunatic (27 posts) - - Show Bio

I really have given up on trying to make sense of comic universes when companies do reboots, timeline changes, retcons or just screw up with the timeline in general. Just hope that the comics are still engaging, interesting and offer something to sit back, enjoy and wonder.  

#47 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm excited for the revamp now but sadly I do not think Batgirl is one of the titles I will be getting come September, and frankly its just from the sheer amount of new series coming out.  In theory if I was independently wealthy beyond measure I'd be getting all 52  and reading from dawn to dusk, but reality is what must reign here and at most I will see myself getting only 7 #1s in a couple of months.  I will agree with one thing AH said though..and that he says that DC's move to revamp the DCU and introduce 52 new titles is indeed a 'bold experiment.' In truth it makes me wonder just how long DC will be able to sustain all those #1s. Logistics tells me not for long...and that some 'fat' will need to be trimmed.

#48 Posted by Harlekin (680 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't wait for her Babs 1st book as Batgirl to get cancelled.

#49 Edited by B'Town (2336 posts) - - Show Bio

@kimeraevet: I can't agree about killing characters off.

As for re/vamp/launches and such. I don't really have a problem with them if the stories work. Though there are situations such as this, where I am so attached to the characters that I do feel, a loss.

I am one of those very rare comic book fans who isn't all that interested in maintaining a ridgid continuity.

edit: sp

#50 Posted by kimeraevet (188 posts) - - Show Bio
@B'Town: I can understand that, but if Batgirl were in a novel, she would have lived and died a full life as a great character with her successor trying to live up to her legacy. Instead we, the comic fans, are treated to revamps/rehash/retcons that serve no purpose or push any kind of development. If you need proof of that I can give a fine example. Look at Kyle Rayner, Green Lantern and torchbearer for the GLC after Hal Jordan had destroyed it all. What has been done with Kyle, someone who Ron Marz put a lot of effort and characterization into? He was regulated to a third string GL character who is barely even a shade of what he used to be. Why? Because someone like Geoff Johns, whose stories I enjoy, wanted to write Hal Jordan instead of Kyle Rayner. Nevermind that Hal had died a hero and was stupidly brought back as the Spectre or that Kyle had succeeded in doing what no one other than Krona had, which is control one of the emotional entities. Hal Jordan had to return to being GL because that is the way it had been for 35 years and thats the way it should always be. 
 
This is the logic applied to every major character that is in current DC/Marvel publishing. It is considered temporary to have a character die as they can always be brought back from the dead. It is a ridiculous idea to treat the characters like any other in literature and give them life and pathos. Give them a finite amount of time to be adored and cherished so that when they do die, whether it is a heroic or tragic death, it is memorable and meaningful. Batgirl hasn't died, but she is no longer the guise of Barbara Gordon and while I appreciate fans love of characters, you have to know when to let them go. She is Oracle, the living breathing apparatus of Batman's operations, the connective tissue that keeps everything in the Bat family running smoothly. To bring her back as Batgirl is to demote what she has become and turn her into Stephanie Brown. Immature, inexperienced and unnecessary to the overall telling of the Batman mythos.  
 
Keep Barbara around for a few more years, but let her go out as an older woman who has lived her life. Let her story be epic and her legacy live on in Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain or some other little girl who decides to take up the fight against crime. She can always be brought back in a mini series or one-shot of untold tales from the past.

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