In January 1967, DC Comics put out Detective Comics #359, which introduced a new Batgirl to the Dark Knight mythos. Barbara Gordon wasn’t the first Batgirl in the publisher’s history, but she’s the one that’s best known to most people. She’s gone on to have a long, dramatic career as a superhero over the last 50 years, as both Batgirl and meta-hacker Oracle. Time to share your top Babs sequences, folks.
Barbara Gordon’s a great example of how, with the right stewardship, a character can grow into a hero with their own unique appeal. Her creation can be credited to both the 1966 Batman TV show and the Batman comics of the time. She started as a woman’s lib creation, a stilted attempt to address the changing social realities of the 1960s.
After a bunch of relatively straight-ahead fare, then she became one of the worst examples of female victimisation in superhero comics. Thankfully, Kim Yale and John Ostrander’s work turned her into Oracle, and the dozens of creators who followed added layers to Barbara’s fictional self. She’s bounced between those two identities over the last two decades, growing in depth and skill as time marches on.
The fantastic artwork of Marcos Martin, Alvaro Lopez, Javier Rodriguez and Will Schubert made Batgirl: Year One — written by Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon — one of my personal favourites. In particular, I love that series’ reinterpretation of Babs’ first meeting with Batman and Robin.
So what about you, dear reader? Is your favourite Barbara Gordon moment one where she’s Oracle or Batgirl? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to pull from any medium she’s appeared in.