Oh hey there fellow Agents, it’s great to see you down here in the celebrated Comic Crypts of Precinct1313. Now if you’d just like to follow me, we are about to take a short trip to our validly vicarious Video Vaults, where we shall indulge in another round of cool unboxing. This enthralling episode we shall be introducing you to the vampire vixen variant version of the bombastic ‘Bombshells Batgirl’ statue! And so, without further ado, let the unboxing commence…
Thanks for watching fellow fans of fantastic fiction, we have another unboxing video incoming rather soon which will star our absolute favourite fiery alien Princess – Koriand’r of Tamaran, or more popularly known as Starfire (yes indeed, a brand new Starfire statue… so exciting!) So stay tuned, the disembodied hands of master unboxing talent shall return, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel…
In 1967, at the behest of the producers of the classically camp sixties Batman show a new Superhero was born, Barbara (Babs) Gordon, better known as the feisty flame haired vigilante – Batgirl!
Bab’s creators – Julius Schwartz, William Dozier, and Carmine Infantino called for a female analogue to the Caped Crusader, who could be simultaneously introduced into both the comics and the popular television series. Technically though, Batgirl wasn’t a new character, she was a variant of the original Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff created persona from earlier that decade. The original Batgirl appeared in Batman #139 in April 1961, the niece of Kathy Kane aka Batwoman.
Batwoman and Batgirl were originally created to be romantic interests for Batman and Robin, as well as costumed crime-fighting associates. In 1964, Batman editor of the time Julius Schwartz erased Batwoman, Batgirl (and other supporting characters – Ace the Bathound and Bat-mite) from the timeline on the grounds that the characters were “too silly”. Both Batwoman and her niece Betty (now known as Bette) Kane eventually and triumphantly returned to the DC Comics timeline, with Kate Kane reprising her role as Batwoman (with a few fundamental changes to her character) though Bette returned not as Batgirl, but as Flamebird, a role that had previously been inhabited by several other DC creations that included Jimmy Olsen and Kara Zor-El.
Babs Gordon though has always been seen and celebrated as the Batgirl by her millions of adoring fans, debuting in Detective Comics # 359 in a story entitled “The Million Dollar Debut Of Batgirl” by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. Babs was introduced as the daughter of long time Batman aide – Commissioner James Gordon, she retains a doctorate in library science, is employed as the head of the Gotham City Library and possesses a photographic memory and genius level intellect.
Aside from being a popular recurring character in many DC publications, Babs didn’t get her first starring role until the “Batman Family” comic series in 1975, where she took centre stage alongside other members of the bodacious Bat clan including original Robin, Dick Grayson.
Bab’s continued her well loved run as the masked avenger up until Alan Moore’s Eisner winning one-shot “The Killing Joke“, where, in a controversial sequence of events, she was shot through the spine by the genocidal jester himself, The Joker, ultimately causing paralysis from the waist down, with the paraplegia signalling the end of her crime-fighting career… or did it?
A subsequent storyline by John Ostrander and Kim Yale established Babs in a new role, as the wheelchair bound Oracle. Forming a formidable team of female Superheroes (that includes amongst its members – Black Canary and The Huntress), Babs became a behind the scenes leader and information collator as her Birds of Prey fought crime and corruption on a global scale. During this time two other ongoing versions of Batgirl took over the mantle – Cassandra Cain and then later Stephanie Brown, both had a modicum of success as the character.
In 2011, DC Comics heralded a comic wide reboot of their entire Universe of characters known as “The New 52“, the major revamp followed the “Flashpoint” paradox which brought extensive changes to their classic cadre of characters, including Batgirl/Oracle. Babs was eventually given back the use of her legs after receiving experimental surgery at a South African clinic and through rigorous physical rehabilitation. The decision to allow Babs to regain her mobility was seen by some fans as somewhat of a shame, as she had become one of the few very prominent disabled heroes in comics, but most fans were (myself included here) ecstatic to see the Batgirl prowling the rooftops of Gotham once more.
And so “Happy Birthday Babs” and here’s to another fifty years in your awe inspiring presence, oh and “hey DC Comics, how about some live action love for Babs huh? the only actress who has ever done her justice onscreen was the lovely and very much lamented, Yvonne Craig, I think it’s about time… Batgirl Returned!”
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts, and this week’s captivating cover celebrates the 50th issue of Batgirl’s latest ongoing monthly series. Babs has gone through quite a significant change since this new series was introduced way back in the 2011 DC reboot – ‘The New 52’.
Barbara Gordon had not donned the Bat suit since the tragic events of the 1988 ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ storyline where she was shot and paralysed by the Joker. Undeterred by the event Babs became the wheelchair bound character known as the Oracle, and used her vast intellect, photographic memory and extensive knowledge of criminal networks to continue her crime-fighting career, beginning by anonymously offering her services to Amanda Waller’s Task Force X (aka – The Suicide Squad) before eventually forming the Birds of Prey team, that included lifelong friend Black Canary and The Huntress in its initial line up.
In 2011 Babs triumphantly returned as Gotham’s flame haired guardian after the company wide relaunch of its new continuity following on from the ‘Flashpoint’ mini series saga. In this new and revised version, the Killing Joke incident happened three years previously, and whilst she had still spent time in a wheelchair as the Oracle, she had regained mobility in her limbs through experimental surgery in a South African private clinic. Gail Simone, the writer tasked with bringing Babs back to the costumed avenger fold remarked that her fictional recovery was based upon real life cases of paraplegia, and instances of PTSD experienced through traumatic life events, which gave the series a more realistically grounded and emotional set up.
In 2014, Batgirl’s title underwent a minor reboot, with a new creative team brought onboard that included, Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart on writing duties, with the cool and quirky art style by the appropriately named Babs Tarr. Injecting more humour and giving the readership a somewhat lighter approach to the character, effectively enabling Babs to escape, to a certain degree, from her trauma at the hands of the Joker. This soft reboot has proven popular amongst fans, bringing Babs back in line with the fun loving masked adventurer seen previously to the Killing Joke incident.
Batgirl #50 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart. Art by: Babs Tarr, Roger Robinson, John Timms and Eleonora Carlini. Cover art by: Babs Tarr, Variant covers by: Kevin Nowlan.
New comics Wednesday is upon us once more, my comic collecting cohorts, and our spotlight of the sublime this week falls upon “Batgirl #48” and this fantastic Babs Tarr illustration featuring two of Gotham’s greatest guardians.
“When Batgirl gets taken down, Black Canary once again comes to her rescue. Babs and Dinah team up in an attempt to determine the identity of the malicious mastermind making their presence felt in Gotham’s Burnside district.”
Babs’ awesomely quirky anime influenced art has been a real selling point for Batgirl since she took over artistic duties in issue #35. Batgirl’s change of pace and direction has been helped immeasurably by Babs’ style, which greatly suits the fun and upbeat nature of Ms Gordon’s nightly escapades as the feisty red-headed avenger. The refreshing change of pace ultimately suits the character, if you like your Bat-family adventures dark and brooding then you still have Batman and Batwoman to fall back upon, but if you want to read a fun, feel good comic with striking artwork, then why not let Batgirl be your femme-fatale of choice.
Batgirl #48 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now. Written by: Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher. Cover and interior art by: Babs Tarr.
Network President of TNT, Kevin Reilly gave an update yesterday on the long in development live action TV series of DC’s popular Teen Titans. Reilly stated that, “The television landscape right now is well serviced on the superhero front, so we need to find a space for this show to inhabit. What we and co-writer, Akiva Goldsmith, really want to do is stay true to the source material, this really was a groundbreaking comic when it first began”
Reilly went on to say, “There were consequences to things that happened in the comic, there was the first superhero to become an addict (Roy Harper, Green Arrow’s former sidekick “Speedy“), plus a coming of age story for Robin, who feels that Batman has betrayed him”
Exciting and interesting news indeed, fellow DC fanatics. Apparently the show will focus mainly on DC characters, Barbara Gordon (currently unknown whether she’ll be Oracle or Batgirl), Hawk and Dove, Raven, Starfire, and Robin.
Even though there have been several different characters that have inherited the mantle of Batgirl since her introduction by Batman co–creator Bill Finger in 1961, the most famous and without a doubt popular of these has always been Barbara (Babs) Gordon, the flame haired daughter of Gotham City’s very own Commissioner Gordon.
And so, in honour of one of the world’s premier female crime-fighters, Sideshow Collectibles is readying to launch their very own tribute to Babs, with this astonishingly detailed premium format statue that captures everything we love about the ravishing red-headed vigilante.
Standing an impressive 22.5″ in height and clad in her iconic black and blue costume, batarang in hand, this is yet another meticulously detailed and seriously impressive piece from the masters at Sideshow. Based on an original design by comic book artist supreme Stanley Lau, and sculpted by Sideshow’s impressively talented staff, this is a piece no fan of Gotham’s favourite daughter should be without. Moulded in high quality polystone and lovingly hand painted by expert painters, Kate Sapene and Mireya Romo-Bowen, Babs is available to pre-order right now, is limited to just 1500 pieces and will ship in September 2015.