How has it taken DC Comics nearly six years to have its current iterations of Batgirl and Supergirl meet? It seems like a no-brainer to team up the two superheroines most heavily associated with DC’s biggest franchises, and it’s finally happening in next week’s Batgirl Annual #1. After tracking a villain to Supergirl’s home turf in National City, Batgirl finds herself in a tricky position as the wiser, older hero who is asked for assistance on a mission that isn’t very well advised. Supergirl wants Batgirl to help her break a potentially Kryptonian psychic prisoner out of a Cadmus black site lab, and while there are a lot of ways this can go wrong, Batgirl would rather offer the teen Kara support than let her do this on her own. Written by regular Batgirl scribe Hope Larson with art by Inaki Miranda and colorist Eva De La Cruz, this Batgirl Annual team-up sets the stage for a new friendship that will be carrying over to the main Supergirl title, which welcomes Batgirl for its new arc beginning next month.
Batgirl Annual also features a story reviving Riot Black, the tattooed douchebro who embodies the worst things about the Internet. Written by Vita Ayala, a graduate of DC’s 2016 Talent Development Workshop, with art by Eleonora Carlini and colorist Matt Lopes, this back-up channels the style and tone of the previous Batgirl creative team more intensely than Larson’s work on the current series. That makes sense, given that this story takes place before Larson’s run begins and features an artist that worked on multiple issues of the previous volume. And this exclusive preview highlights how Batgirl has changed since Larson took over. The pages for Larson and Miranda’s story have a different aesthetic that isn’t as bright and cartoony, but the voice of Barbara Gordon has stayed consistent. She’s still sassy, compassionate, and always looking out for the people around her, making her a great mentor for the younger Supergirl.