Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Babs Tarr and Jordie Bellaire Take Over on Batgirl, Bring in Jackets and Clubbing

So! The very biggest news of the day likely belongs over at DC, where a new creative team have taken over on Batgirl. Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher will be the new writers for the book, with Babs Tarr coming in as artist and Jordie Bellaire as colourist.

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The numbering will continue with issue #35, but everything else seems set to change. The team will be burning down a lot of the current status quo, and moving Barbara Gordon across to a new part of town. She’ll be restructuring herself, changing her costume and modus operandi, and heading in a brighter direction.

In interviews, the creative team are stressing that Batgirl will be a book which jumps away from the darkness and gloom of the Batman line as a whole – and something which even Gail Simone had at times struggled to shake off during her time on the book. It seems as though DC are pitching the comic more at a general readership than the typical male one – their list of references named in the interview at MTV checks Girls, Sherlock, and Veronica Mars.

The new costume design, worked on in tandem by Tarr and Stewart (himself an artist, of course, being best known for runs on Catwoman back in the Ed Brubaker days, Batman and Robin, and more recently his own acclaimed series Sin Titulo) is of note. The costume seems to shy away from superheroic glamour, with no form-fitting lycra around anymore. Instead she’s wearing a more practical jacket, a tearaway cape, and some bright yellow boots.

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But it’s all very intriguing! Isn’t it? The character’s redesign seems to have knocked a few years from her, knocked a whole load of worry away from her, and set her up in the role of an inspiration above all else. All the talk about her seems to be focused on the idea that female readers can empathise and enjoy her as a character, with an editorial team who want to emphasise and celebrate her youth and excitement.

This also starts to explain why DC have brought in this whole ‘Selfies’ cover thing, because a whole load of their October comics just started introducing young characters (Gotham Academy, for one) who would be taking photos. As you can see in Stewart’s cover below:

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Of the creative team, Stewart is the most well-known, although Fletcher (co-writer of the aforementioned Gotham Academy) seems to be having a very good October indeed. Tarr is an illustrator and video game artist who I don’t think has published sequential work before – so it’ll be of interest to see how she handles that. Everybody’s been very positive about her hiring, and she seems to have a particular aesthetic which marks her as wildly different from the DC ‘House Style’ seem in books like Future’s End.

She’ll be joined by colourist Jordie Bellaire, who’ll be doing her first interior work for the New 52 on the book. Bellaire has previously worked on some Declan Shalvey covers, as well as the interiors of Tom Strong – but this marks her first work within the New 52 proper. Mark Doyle, the editor of the Batman line, seems to have assembled a smart team here.

So all in all, this seems like a really strong move from DC. Let’s see what the book looks like as we head into October, and the first issue.

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