As they tell it, the duo Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad (Wonder woman) took the chance to lead new DCs Batgirls Show – featuring not one or two, but all three of Gotham City’s Batgirls – before they knew who the show’s artist would be. But when she met Jorge Corona (Robin), it was a coincidence.
“You want to write with the strengths of an artist,” Conrad said to Polygon, “and with Jorge it’s very easy.”
“Because he has no weaknesses,” interrupted Cloonan to say.
“We haven’t found it yet,” said Conrad blankly. “We will give it a try.”
Corona took their comments well when Polygon sat down with the Batgirls Team to discuss the vibrant look of the new series, the first issue of which is out this week. Batgirls follows the classic Batgirl Barbara Gordon and her protégés Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown in search of a dangerous new villain who co-opts Barbara’s old hacker identity Oracle.
Barbara takes a step back from costumed life, with Cass and Stephanie stepping out as partners of Batgirl – a strange couple who are also best friends. Cass is the creepy-looking, taciturn, unstoppable fighter, and Steph is the hilarious, happy head of the operation. And when the visuals of a superhero book start with the costumes, Jorge works with some of the best in the business, with Cass in her classic all-black Batman-but-a-girl-wears outfit and Steph in her beloved purple and black Hooded costume, finally emblazoned with its own bat symbol.
Corona wasn’t interested in optimizing the costumes in order to take up the challenge of transforming the characters into his own dynamic style.
“I’ve tried to stylize them so that they still feel like I’m drawing them, that it’s not trying to copy someone else. The good thing is that it was pretty easy to just customize. They are very iconic costumes and really fun to draw. I had to play around with the design language of the two Batgirls, […] as they move, they fight, they react. Cass is fun to find out because she’s just two eyes and a shadow who’s just trying to use them to express emotions. And Stephanie is much more extroverted in the way she expresses emotions. ”
That attention to the character extends to the way the characters fight, of course. this is after all, a martial arts-based superhero book.
“The way they fight is completely different,” Cloonan told Polygon. “Cass is a trained assassin, Steph is like a wrecking ball [laughs]. When we choreograph the fight scenes, it’s fun to let them play against each other like that. ”
Corona described the process of fighting scenes in the book as collaborative in nature, outlining the beats of Cloonan and Conrad in the script, translating them into something dynamic on the page, and then asking them for more. “In the end, it’s a combination of our three minds working together trying to come up with a really cool fight,” he said.
“To be honest, I love getting this information from Becky and Michael because there are some steps I would never have thought of. Even if I slam my face against the screen trying to figure out how to draw this [laughs] It’s really cool because it’s a much more creative fight. […] My wife also wears a black belt and used to play martial arts. Every now and then I have to say, ‘So how would you do that? But don’t hurt me now either. ‘”
The added flavor in the art of Batgirls is without a doubt the colorist Sarah Stern, who gave the book a brilliant splash of color. The action sequences of the first issue pop in bright yellow, red and green tones and bring up the dynamism of our black and purple heroines without ever covering them up.
“I think Jorge has a style that can work on DC, but it doesn’t look or feel like a house style either,” Conrad told Polygon. “That’s great because we don’t want to Batgirls look or feel like any other DC book. We want it to behave according to its own rules; To be part of this larger world of Gotham, but to have its own language. ”
“Between Jorge’s incredible lines; Sarah Stern creates this color palette that is unlike anything you see in the Big Two; and then Becca Carey on lettering – what man, she did her job for every issue. She managed to create really powerful dynamic lettering that becomes part of the art on the page. ”
Batgirls # 1 is now available in comic stores, comixology and other retailers, with more problems every month as Barbara, Cass and Steph hunt down the mysterious villain “Seer”.