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Jul 11 2014

Creative changes at DC: New creative teams for ‘Batgirl’, ‘Earth 2’ and ‘Green Arrow’

Batgirl promo art - Babs Tarr Batgirl model art - Babs TarrIf there are three DC titles that we have been consistently praising in the last year, it’s been Gail Simone‘s Batgirl, Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott’s Earth 2 and Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s Green Arrow. In a slew of announcements this week, DC has indicated that new creative teams will be coming onboard for all three titles in October. Simone’s Batgirl solo run will come to an end with September’s issue, with writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher and artist Babs Tarr taking over from October’s #35. Shifting away from the darker, but consistently brilliant, tone of Simone’s story arc, Tarr has given the lead character a redesign, aiming for something of a lighter tone for the book. According to an interview with MTV,  Fletcher described the new approach as mixing “the best elements of ‘Veronica Mars’ and ‘Girls,’ with a dash of ‘Sherlock’ thrown in for good measure.” (To get a sense of Tarr’s art style, her website has a pretty extensive portfolio.) He went on to describe the direction for the book as a sharp departure from the other Bat Family titles in the New 52: “She’s leaving it all behind her. We really wanted to make this a book with a light tone, of fun and adventure and mystery, and let the rest of the Bat-family deal with the darkness. She’s got problems, and conflict, and enemies to fight, but our priority was to make this a really fun, rollicking read.”

Batgirl promo art - Babs Tarr   Batgirl promo art - Babs Tarr

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Earth 2 #27 cover by Gary Frank

Earth 2 #27 cover by Gary Frank (DC Comics)

Only days after we interviewed Nicola Scott at Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne, the artist has announced her departure from Earth 2, a title she has been with from the beginning. Speaking on social media, Scott noted that “it’s been over two years on Earth 2 and eight with DC Comics, and I feel the time has come for me to take my next step.” Saying she wished to expand her horizons beyond DC, she added: “To see out my contract, I’ll be doing a short but personal project with my all time favourite character, then…… I’m stepping into the world of Creator Owned for a while. Big announcements coming up and I hope some of you will join me.” With Simone also departing her ongoing title, we can’t help but wonder if the Birds of Prey and Secret Six dream team have a project up their sleeves? Meanwhile, Margueritte Bennet will join Tom Taylor as co-writer on Earth 2, with Andy Smith taking over Scott’s art duties. “I want to say a huge thank you to Nicola for everything she’s brought to ‘Earth 2‘ and for everything she leaves behind,” Taylor told Comic Vine. “Nic has spent years helping to shape an entire world and its heroes. It’s now time for her to go play on other worlds and create all new icons (although she plans on spending an entire Tuesday on a couch first).” With Bennet and Taylor also teaming up for Earth-2: World’s End in October, Earth 2 #27 will be their first ongoing issue together. Taylor adds: “As World’s End begins, I’m rapt to be working closely on the monthly book with another friend and great talent, Marguerite Bennett. And everything I’ve seen of Andy Smith’s work tells me that Nicola is leaving our world in great hands.” Green Arrow #35 Finally, it was announced that Arrow executive producer/writer Andrew Kreisberg and writer Ben Sokolowski will be taking over the monthly Green Arrow title from October’s #35. With Daniel Sampere on art duties, they will be taking over from the 18-issue run of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, which significantly rebooted the series from issue #17 following a shaky start in the New 52. Does this mean that Green Arrow will simply become a monthly version of the successful TV series? After all, the character of Diggle was already introduced during Lemire’s run, and several have commented that this appears to be the direction the comic is headed in. ”We really want to bring the old-school Oliver Queen voice back to the character. In other words, the opinionated, liberal Robin Hood-esque hero that has fall through the cracks a bit,” Sokolowski told the LA Times. “Our goal with this comic is to make it an echo of the TV series. It’s a way to bridge the two universes. That being said, we’re not trying to make this “Arrow: The Comic.” That’s what the digital tie-ins are for.” DC Comics watchers have seen lots of major creative changes over the years, including the original and controversial departure of Simone from Batgirl. With a major event coming in September in the form of World’s End/Futures End, could this signal the beginning of another seismic shift in DC’s direction? We’ll probably know more on the other side of San Diego Comic-Con later this month.