Exclusive: ‘Batgirl and the Birds of Prey’ writers eager to create a variety of female voices

Gotham can”t seem to go more than two minutes without spitting out a new supervillain to lay waste to the populace. Luckily, the city also has the propensity to churn out heroes both super and anti to help balance the scales. Sometimes those scales are literal. As in, attached to snakes. Which is what Batgirl and the Birds of Prey are up against in their debut issue.

When someone pretending to be Oracle starts selling their services to the highest Mafia bidder, Batgirl and Black Canary team up to clear Oracle”s good name. If that means they have to beat up mob goons, just another day at the office. But when a third-party appears in the form of Huntress, the job gets complicated. The Huntress is also after the Mafia, but she has her own reasons. And methods. Methods that usually end in death for those in her sights. But dead men tell no tales, and Babs and Dinah need those tales. Can the ladies join forces to get to the bottom of BOTH their mysteries?

HitFix Harpy spoke to Batgirl and the Birds of Prey writers (and sisters!) Julie and Shawna Benson about their inaugural foray into the world of comics. But with a background writing for television shows such as The 100 and Emma Approved, this isn”t exactly their first rodeo.

Image Credit: DC Comics

HITFIX HARPY: Have either of you written comic books for DC or in any capacity before getting Batgirl and the Birds of Prey?
JULIE BENSON: No, this is our first one. It's really exciting. We are long time readers. (radio voice) Long time listeners, first-time callers.

How familiar were you guys with Batgirl or Huntress or Dinah before you came on board for this series?
JULIE: Really, really familiar. We had read the Gail Simone run, obviously. We had read the Chuck Dixon run. We had read The New 52. We were up to date on the Birds. Luckily, we were recently reading the Grayson comic that had Huntress in it. We were reading the Batgirl run. It was great to have those team-ups and then go in and pitch the next arc.

SHAWNA BENSON: I was also familiar with the old show from the early 2000s, The Birds of Prey.

JULIE: RIP, TV show.

Maybe you guys could get the show going again since you are already TV writers.
JULIE: That”s what I”m saying, let's do it. (laughter)

SHAWNA: We would love the opportunity to do that.

Yes, you guys should be writing all these issues as if one day you're going to get to translate them onto the small screen. We'll get The CW on the line. (laughter)
JULIE: That would be great to use these as a template. Wouldn't that be amazing?

Image Credit: DC Comics

It would! After the reading the first issue, you guys definitely have the villains down. You both created new bad guys that we are seeing in this issue, yes?
JULIE: Yes. You are absolutely correct. It's a new villain. We've been trying to not use pronouns for the last three or four months talking about it. To me, you hear a ‘gangster” and you automatically think a dude in a fedora. It was cool to sort of flip that a little bit at the end of the first issue, to show it was a woman who's actually your big bad in this arc, which is really cool. She”s hired these guys and gals to help her out. More of that happens obviously, but you at least see The Asp in this one, which is pretty cool.