The Batgirl of Burnside has been a modern miracle of comic relaunch stories. After Barbara Gordon regained her position as Batgirl with DC’s New 52 reboot, she was guided by the able narrative hand of Gail Simone. After 34 issues, there was to be a redirection, and fans cried foul. After all, there was such a reader revolt when DC decided to let Simone go after 16 issues that they promptly reversed course and brought her back by issue 19.
Simone had written Barbara as Oracle, and had led her transition back to the cowl with great critical acclaim. It was going to be a tough act to follow for any writer or creative team. But Barbara’s second act in the New 52 has inspired an entirely new generation of Batgirl fans. The Batgirl of Burnside saw a new costume, and subsequently a resurgence in Batgirl cosplay at conventions. The practical leather jacket, snap-on cape, and utility hip pouch for the new costume was the combined brainchild of writer Cameron Stewart and artist Babs Tarr. Their combined creativity, along with co-writer Brenden Fletcher, turned the bright and youthful Burnside Barbara into a fan-favorite against the odds.
Issue 50 of Batgirl, published this week, officially marks the end of that era, since it will be the last issue the entire team will have collaborated on. Fletcher remains on the book until issue 52, which will have a variant cover option by Tarr, but number 50 is officially the last #TeamBurnside issue. The trio, however, will remain working partners for the foreseeable future. Tarr, Stewart, and Fletcher are launching Motor Crush in December for Image Comics. At first glance, Motor Crush seems to combine the street-bike style sensibility of Tarr’s popular take on Sailor Moon with the Bosozoku Sailor Scouts, with a bit of Stewart’s Fight Club violent panache, and maybe even a bit of Furiosa-esque lady-led biker gang badassery.
As it turns out, Babs debuted the lead character in her own Instagram feed about a month ago with no indications that the image was anything more than a doodle.
✖️ ✖️ ✖️ ✖️ A photo posted by babsdraws (@babsdraws) on
From the Motor Crush press release:
“I’m thrilled to continue working with this team on our new series, where we’ll really cut loose with our imagination and deliver a world with more style, more action, and more excitement than you’ve ever seen from us!” said Stewart. By day, a Domino Swift competes for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. By night, she cracks helmets of rival gangs in brutal, illegal bike wars on the city streets to gain possession of a rare and valuable contraband: an engine-boosting “machine narcotic” known as MOTOR CRUSH. But the origins—and ultimate purpose—of this mysterious substance are unknown, and could put her on a collision course with danger… Fletcher shared his enthusiasm for returning for a new project, adding: “Working with your friends on the product of your collective, unfiltered imagination is the dream of every creative. And we’re about to live that dream!” “I am SO excited to continue to work with these boys and really show everyone what we have to offer on something original,” said Tarr. “This book is gonna OOZE style and cool, your eyeballs will barely be able to handle it! I can’t wait to show you guys what we’ve got!”
For further visual enjoyment, enjoy these pieces by Tarr—The Bosozoku Sailor Scouts:
Issue 52 variant, inspired by Adam Hughes’ Issue 1 cover:
FEATURED IMAGE: Image Comics