I was looking through Barbara Gordon's Wikipedia.org entry for the eightieth time to find more information about her recent character development and noticed an interesting citation for the first time. In The Killing Joke entry, the last sentence piqued my curiosity the most:
Following the release of the graphic novel, comic book editor and writer Kim Yale discussed how distasteful she found the treatment of Barbara Gordon with her husband, fellow comic writer John Ostrander. Rather than allow the character to fall into obscurity, the two decided to revive her as a character living with a disability.
How is it that I have never heard of her? I'm not as "comic-literate" as I like to be, but I thought I knew the core history of Barbara's character. I love Babs and I couldn't believe I had never thought to look up who revived her character. I found out why Yale isn't as well known: She died of cancer breast cancer 1997. There is an award named after her as part of the Friends of Lulu a non-profit charity organization- that was disbanded last year.
Why isn't she given more credit for keeping Barbara Gordon alive in the comics? Because of what she and her husband started, Barbara became the smart and sassy character many of us came to love. The character became an icon to the wheel-chair bound who was not bald and manipulative. I have read a few Batman and superhero history books and there only passing references to development of the character with no names attached.
I really don't mind the fact that Barbara Gordon has become Batgirl again, what I do mind is how Gail Simone has written out a third of her intelligence. Barbara no longer has that mildly cynical edge and seems more wide-eyed and gleeful. I loved Gail's first run on Birds of Prey so much that I can't figure out how she has re-written her to say "yikes" and "oops" in a comical way.
This sounds like an incredible story about a writing team who wouldn't let a female character "go into the fridge". Is there anyone who can tell me more about this remarkable woman?