This coming Wednesday, June 24th features the major debut of the Superman animated series villain, Livewire in DC Comics, post-Convergence. Writer Brenden Fletcher and artist Babs Tarr will be bringing her to life in the Batgirl world of Burnside. She’s one of my favorite characters and my favorite villain of all time, she was voiced by Lori Petty who will be a guest at this year’s Rhode Island Comic-Con, and will certainly be a great addition to Batgirl. Issue 41 arrives at local comic shops this Wednesday and here’s your first look at the initial redesign concepts for the character, courtesy of artist Babs Tarr.
In an interview with Comicosity, Babs Tarr said “YES! I am so excited! Live Wire is coming up first. She’s in issue #41. I think her old costume is pretty cool still, but it just needed more details since this isn’t the Animated Series world. It’s the Batgirl of Burnside world. I had eight different costumes for her, and we settled on one. I think her old silhouette was really cool, so I tried to keep true to that. I kept the lightning bolt cut-out, as well as the long sleeves and one-piece short thing. She already has this cool haircut, so I kept that and just shaved it on the bottom a little bit. I added more hardware to the costume to make it more badass. It’s going to look really cool.”
Livewire is a fascinating character as she has a very similar background to that of fan-favorite, Harley Quinn. Just Like Mistah J’s girlfriend, Leslie Willis a.k.a. Livewire was created by Bruce Timm as an original character for Superman: The Animated Series. Some time after her animated debut, Livewire was finally brought into the DC Universe by Gail Simone and John Byrne. (Action Comics issue #835) If you ever get the chance to speak with Gail Simone, as I was able to during last year’s NYCC, it’s worth asking her about the process of bringing the character from the screen to the page. She spoke about the legal issues concerning the rights to the character and was quite open about her enjoyment of the villain.
Some time last year, Livewire’s first comic appearance, Superman Adventures issue 5 (the 1997 comic based on the cartoon) became a highly sought after book by collectors and comic dealers. Her slabbed first appearance has grabbed upwards of $250. With rumors swirling that she may cameo in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, releasing August 2016, and getting the proper post-Convergence and New 52 introduction, it would appear as if Livewire may be getting her overdue time in the spotlight.
I’m a huge fan, myself, and I cannot wait to sit down with Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr issue 41 of Batgirl this coming week. Until then, a fun little tidbit about myself is that at every convention and artist signing, I’ve made it a personal habit to commission various artist interpretations of Livewire. I’ve had the pleasure of obtaining originals courtesy of Des Taylor, Brian Buccellato, Shane Davis, Khary Randolph, and more. She’s a great villain and provides a fun alternative to some of the more doom and gloom villains of the DC Universe. While it would be great to see her interact with Superman once more, I am certain Livewire will make a great addition to the world of Batgirl.
While I cannot speculate on whether or not Batgirl issue 41 will be a highly sought after title, in the tradition of Superman Adventures issue 5 and Action Comics issue 835, it is a title you may want to check out. For comic book speculation, please check out ComicsHeatingUp.net as they provide up-to-date and informed speculation. I wouldn’t be surprised if writers Tony and Mel have something cooking in their own, personal Fortress of Solitude. Until then, enjoy the weekend and read plenty of comic books.