After three years of writing Barbara Gordon as Batgirl (and an even longer period of writing Barbara as Oracle before the New 52), Gail Simone is saying goodbye to the redheaded crime fighter in next week’s Batgirl: Futures End #1. Five years in the future, Barbara has quit the vigilante game after a traumatic personal tragedy, but the legacy of Batgirl lives on in the League of Batgirls, a diverse gang that continues the fight Barbara started when she first put on her superhero costume.
Featuring artwork from Javier Garron and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr., this Futures End looks very slick, especially the title splash page showing three different Batgirls facing down three street thugs. While it’s not confirmed, it’s very possible that the blonde Batgirl is the recently reintroduced Stephanie Brown—which, if true, is a fitting tribute to Stephanie’s role as Batgirl before the New 52 transition.
Simone’s exit from Batgirl lands on the heels of an exciting announcement regarding her next ongoing project: the revival of her fan-favorite Secret Six title for the New 52. Featuring the New 52 debuts of characters like Catman and Black Alice, and described as “the Twin Peaks of superhero comics” in a Hero Complex interview with Simone, it sounds like the perfect project for the creator, and putting her back on what is arguably her strongest title is a very wise decision from DC.
While it may be hard for readers of Batgirl to say goodbye to the writer that put Barbara back in the Bat-suit, the heroine’s fans have a lot to look forward to in the future, as the creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher, Babs Tarr, and Jordie Bellaire takes over the title next month. They’re delivering a new take on the character that has already garnered loads of interest before the first issue even hits stands, but newbies wanting a primer on the character and her legacy would do well to check out next week’s Batgirl: Futures End #1.