Writer Mairghread Scott worked on Batgirl ongoing from #25-36 and then– just left. She never gave an answer as to why last year, but you just knew something had gone wrong creatively. Yesterday, Scott opened up on her Twitter and revealed why she abruptly left. The answer is disheartening to say the least.
The Bat-Family summit is when the writers of the main Batman and the branching Bat-Family comics would discuss and plan their yearly stories. At the time period Scott describes, Batman was written by Tom King, Detective Comics by Pete Tomasi, Nightwing (Ben Percy, who would also leave the comic also abruptly during this time period), Catwoman (Joelle Jones), Batman: Beyond (Dan Jurgens, who currently writes the Nightwing comic after problems arose with those who were to replace Percy on the comic), Harley Quinn (Sam Humphries), Red Hood: Outlaw (Scott Lobdell), and Batman & the Outsiders (Bryan Edward Hill, with the comic being delayed a few months for reasons unknown still to this day save maybe to tie a few issues into the “Year of the Villain” event).
This time period would be during the infamous planning to lead into King’s infamous opus, “City of Bane”, which would have Dick Grayson shot in the head becoming the equally infamous Ric.
Scott went on:
Here she’s speaking of “City of Bane” here where all of Gotham was under siege by Batman’s rogues led by
Bane Thomas Wayne. Barbara in the story itself was members of the Bat-Family who waited until Damian Wayne had properly infiltrated he city and got back into the Bat cave (but it lead to the death of Alfred Pennyworth). Then about 75% of the Bat-Family got owned by Thomas Wayne off page somehow. Barbara then spends the story under the influence of Psycho Pirate just standing while Thomas/Bruce fight it out. ….. Like I said the story is infamous for a reason.
Now, this wouldn’t be the first time or even the last time a writer on Batgirl ongoing had trouble with the Bat-Family summit. You can actually trace a rather horrible history for those who wrote the comic dating all the way back to 2004. The writer at the time, Dylan Horrocks, talked in detail of the time period of the argument he had with editorial over the choice of sacrificing a character for the Batman event at the time, “War Games”. It led to him leaving the comic and DC all together (as revealed by Bleeding Cool several years back pip pip).
Nor, would it be the last time a Batgirl writer stood up, or left the book disheartened at the company. In fact, if you look at every writer who wrote on Batgirl dating back to 2000. Only six still worked for DC after either due to Batgirl ongoing or something just a tiny bit down the road.
Kelly Puckett (who after finishing his run on Vol. 1 #37, returned then after his brief Supergirl run called it quits from comics all together), Gail Simone (who finished her run of Vol. 4 with Future’s End: Batgirl #1, who had her own incident being fired via e-mail on the book for not wanting to ax a character during an event doing various DC stories with the latest being a one-shot for Birds of Prey in DC’s Wal-Mart comics). Bryan Q. Miller (writer of Vol. 3) wrote the online exclusive Smallville comics (which dealt with what happened after the TV series ended. Of course the notable incident in that involving Stephanie Brown). After the series ended, Miller pulled a Puckett and left comics all together. Chuck Dixon (who wrote a few fill-ins issues to Vol. 1, just recently had a short story in the Robin Anniversary issue earlier this year). Scott herself being the latest of this group (she wrote the screenplay to the Justice League Dark: Apokolips War animated film). Will Scott continue to work with DC after this like Puckett and Miller? Time will tell in that regard.
Still, out of those five only three had works published with DC after the fact (Simone, Dixon, and Marguerite Bennett, who wrote a fill-in issue after Simone was fired). After they finished their runs both Puckett and Miller got the hell out of dodge and never looked back. You could even list Vol. 2 writer Adam Beechen in that regard too (but that was a mini, not an ongoing). It seems writing on Batgirl is an eventual cursed job. Unless your Simone, and not even that can hurt you. After finishing Vol. 1, Andersen Gabrych worked on one more DC Omega Men mini and his own Vertigo comic in 2010 left the industry all together. Hope Larson who wrote the opening half of vol. 5 (and who Scott replaced) seems to be pulling a Horrocks and simply is doing Indie comic work.
It is a sad case to say the least when you see this sort of behavior being standard at DC. Not to mention this cycle of writers leaving the Big Two all together. Now if you’re thinking this has got to be over with DiDio gone right (since this sort of thing began in 2004)? Well… current Batgirl writer Cecil Castellucci had this to say:
Not a very comforting thought to hear. So far DC Comics has been entirely quiet on the issue with no released statement at all. If they do we’ll let you know.