BY Jase Peeples
January 11 2012 7:00 AM ET
Even though Barbara Gordon is a character you’ve written for many years in Birds of Prey, were you intimidated to take the reins of a new Batgirl series?
Barbara Gordon is, simply put, the reason I am into comics. She's the reason I'm a writer at all. I grew up on a very isolated farm, with no television, and very few distractions. I was the only redhead in school, and took an endless amount of shit for that. The first time I saw Barbara as Batgirl, portrayed by the wonderful Yvonne Craig on the Batman show in reruns, I just lost my mind. I couldn't believe there was a redheaded woman, who was smart, who had her own adventures, and who could kick the Penguin in the head. That was better than anything. She's important to me, and I know from my travels and conventions that she was important to millions of others around the world. I felt if we were going to walk this high wire, I wanted it to be done tastefully and honestly. I didn't want to have her magically healed [from the Joker’s bullet]. I wanted it to be a process, because I believe that struggling and overcoming is the heart of her character. We've gotten piles of letters from trauma specialists and survivors, thanking us for facing those things head on, and not simply nailing a tarpaulin over them.
What new things are you getting to do with the character?
The reason I got behind the relaunch was because I wanted to read stories where these iconic characters had to struggle again, where not everything was easy, not every path was cleared in advance. It feels incredibly meaningful to give them obstacles that actually seem impossible to overcome, and have them be forced to think and act in new ways.
Barbara can't just do the internet mega-hack thing and solve the world's problems right now. When she's out on the streets, she's using her wits, fists, and batarangs. It's joyful, even as she's stumbling a little bit out of the gate.