Last week, we reported that Gail Simone had left Batgirl. A couple of days later, Simone responded, telling her board that she had not left Batgirl.
It may have been all in the language - she didn't leave, she was pushed. It may have been that circumstances changed. If so, it appears that they changed back. Either way, I have been informed from all sources that Simone is no longer on the title and #16 in January, concluding Death Of The Family, will be her final issue.
Whoever the fill-in writer is, I am told they will now be taking over the book. At one point I was convinced it was Scott Lobdell, which would probably broken the internet, but I've now been assured that's not the case.
Simone launched Batgirl as part of the DC relaunch last year, and was seen as a shibboleth for previous Barbara Gordon/Oracle fans now having to deal with the fact that she was out of the chair and back in the suit. Simone's presence on the book gave them permission to buy the book rather than boycott it immediately - and enjoy it. A critical and commercial hit, Batgirl did a lot better than it was expected to in the relaunch beating other, higher profile titles, and Gail Simone gained some independence on the comic as a result. Whatever she was doing was working, it has been the best selling female lead comic in the North American comics industry.
But, as Batgirl editors came and went, I began to hear rumours that something was up. There was conflict, there was challenge, there were problems. No details, though that may come out elsewhere.
And now I'm told Simone is off the book. The question is, how many were buying the book for Batgirl or for Simone's specific version of the character?
It's time to find out.
UPDATE: Gail Simone has responded by Twitter;
This is my Yes-the-news-is-true-and-it-sucks super sad dance. Oddly, it's square dancing.
On Wednesday of last week, new Batgirl editor Brian Cunningham informed me by email that I was no longer the writer of Batgirl.
But I want to give huge, huge thanks to the other creators in the bat-offices, and editors Bobbie Chase and @yourpallsmitty, champions all.
And the biggest thank you of all to you guys for supporting this book so hugely and making it a commercial and critical success.
I honestly don't have the words right now to thank you all. I'm pretty choked up and it's all gratitude, not bitterness.
I am very proud of what we accomplished with Batgirl and it was an honor to get to write Barbara Gordon again. Love that dame.