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SYFY WIRE Behind the Panel

Behind the Panel: Gail Simone reveals how Batgirl changed her life

By Mike Avila

For nearly two decades, Gail Simone has been a trailblazer in comics. Back in 2003, she landed Birds of Prey, her first big DC comic, and helped push the adventures of Barbara Gordon/Oracle and Black Canary to the next level. She was also the writer who added Huntress to the team and is largely responsible for inspiring both the Birds of Prey TV series and the upcoming movie.

However, there was one comic book superheroine who inspired Simone herself: Barbara Gordon's former alter ego, Batgirl.

"One day, in full color, they were showing reruns of the Batman television show, and Batgirl came on the screen," recalled Simone. "I was a very shy, very introverted kid, and I looked at her and went, 'Whoa.' Because she was smart, she had a photographic memory, she could kick butt, she didn't need Batman, and she stood up for herself. And she had red hair, and I was like, 'What is this gloriousness on the screen?'"

For Simone, it was a life-changing experience.

"It had such an impact that I literally went to school the next day and I stood up for myself more," continued Simone. "I raised my hand more in class, I became a little more comfortable having a character like that, that I related to."

Years later, Simone was tasked to write the New 52 Batgirl series, which put Barbara Gordon back in the cape and cowl for the first time in over two decades. And she's continued to write kickass comics ever since!

For more of Simone's comic book origin story, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Behind the Panel.