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SYFY WIRE Behind the Panel

Cecil Castellucci on writing Batgirl and the future of comic cons

By Mike Avila

Many comic creators enter the industry in unique ways, but few can claim to have established themselves as both a novelist and a musician before making it big in the superhero genre. But the current writer of DC's Batgirl series, Cecil Castellucci, is all of that and more. And for this gig, Castellucci made sure that she was intimately familiar with the world of Barbara Gordon.

"If I'm doing Batgirl, then I go back and read everything," said Castellucci. "Right now with Batgirl, I'm halfway through the second volume of the Bronze Age omnibus. Other than that, I've read everything that was pertinent to [Batgirl] so I understand her."

Within the series, Castellucci Is revisiting the connection between Barbara and Jason Bard, a man who was her love interest in an earlier era of comics. Babs and Jason haven't exactly been on the same page prior to Castellucci's arrival on the book, but she's helping them find their way towards each other.

"If you look at the history of Batgirl, Jason Bard is the best boyfriend that Babs ever had in the original," noted Castellucci. "He's literally the nicest guy, Vietnam vet, has detective skills... That was really important because the Jason Bard I was handed was a very different Jason Bard. I had to try to find a way to make him more likable when he had done such unlikable things and Batgirl hates him. It's really helpful to go back to source material and be able to pluck little things out so that I like the character that I have to make nice."

Although the novel coronavirus pandemic has forced the summer comic conventions to be canceled, Castellucci is convinced that they will eventually return.

"I think that cons will come back," said Castellucci. "I think book festivals will come back. We're gonna open up, but I think that we're all a lot more hyper aware of how we as humanity are symbiotic. We depend on each other for our health."

For more comic industry talk and Castellucci's ultimate Disney movie marathon, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Behind the Panel!