Batgirl writer Hope Larson admits that the relationship between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon isn't the easiest to re-ignite. But in the upcoming "Summer of Lies" storyline, the writer will be exploring what happened in the couple's "Rebirth" past and whether their "insane chemistry" can help the couple come together to defeat a new villain — and maybe more.
The Batgirl title saw Barbara just finishing up a disastrous relationship with Ethan Cobblepot (yes, that family). And in this week's Batgirl #11 and July's #12, the hero will be immersed in one-shot adventures. But starting in Batgirl #13 in August, "Summer of Lies" brings Barbara together with Dick to deal with events from their past that have "come back to haunt them," Larson said.
Newsarama talked to Larson to find out more about the path Barbara has taken so far in the Batgirl series and what readers can expect from her reunion with Dick.
Newsarama: Hope, how do you think Batgirl has grown since you took over her book? And what has she learned?
Hope Larson: Batgirl has developed new ways of manipulating and suspending her eidetic memory, which is useful. And I'd say she's grown a bit as a person, and become more confident in who she is and who wants to be.
Nrama: The Batgirl of the New 52 was positioned as a kind of "hipster" hero. Do you feel like she still fits that description? How would you describe her now?
Larson: I'd say she's still a hipster hero. She's in her 20s. Aren't most urban 20-somethings more or less hipsters?
Nrama: Now that the Cobblepot threat seems tempered at least, who's the next threat for Batgirl? What will we see in June's Batgirl #12?
Larson: Batgirl #12 and Batgirl #13 are both one shots, which were super fun to write. #12 takes place at the Burnside Y, which may or may not be haunted. A lot of the action takes place in the pool itself.
Nrama: Issue #12 features art by Eleanor Carlini. What does she bring to the book?
Larson: Her art has a lovely, manga-inspired flavor to it, and she includes lots of nice character acting moments in her cartooning. I particularly appreciate subtle stuff like that.
Nrama: In Issue #13, you've got Catwoman guest starring. What's the relationship like between Selina and Barbara?
Larson: It's a bit antagonistic. There's some professional respect, but Babs doesn't trust Selina – nor should she.
Nrama: Issue #13 features art by Inaki Miranda. What does the style bring to the tale of the Cat and Bat?
Larson: Lots of beautiful, splashy pages with figures that aren't confined by panels.
Nrama: Let's talk about the "Summer of Lies" storyline you've got coming up beginning in August. After the disastrous relationships Barbara has experienced lately, what brings her back to Dick?
Larson: I'm so excited for this arc. We've been working on it for a while and it's gone through several very different versions before arriving where it is now. My editor Rebecca Taylor described it at some point during the process as our "I Know What You Did Last Summer" arc – basically, events that took place when Babs and Dick were teenagers are coming back to haunt them.
Nrama: How would you describe the relationship between Dick and Barbara right now?
Larson: It's complicated. They know all of each other's secrets, and they have this insane chemistry, but they've got a lot to lose if either of them makes a move.
Nrama: Can you tease the villain who's featured in the "Summer of Lies" storyline?
Larson: I can! She's called the Red Queen, and she's a new villain. We were all shocked there wasn't already a DCU villain called the Red Queen.
Nrama: What does Christian Wildgoose bring to the story?
Larson: Brilliant, warm art, genius acting, and stunning environments. And he's giving Rafael Albuquerque a run for the Nicest Comic Artist award. I know he's going to shine on this arc!