Batgirl is another DC Comics creation in addition to the Batman family. She's a success in the comics, making several guest appearances and earning an occasional backup feature in DC. She has an identity purely by imagination, yet it is a testament for women's strength who has worn the cowl that Batgirl has endured for over 40 years and more. Not just bats with breasts, these women have infused the cape and cowl with vibrancy and wit, making the Batgirl much more than just a chick version of Batman
In many various incarnations, Barbara Gordon was the most popular and she debuted in 1967. She was also featured regularly in Batman-related comics. However in 1988, the supervillain Joker made her lower body paralyzed when he shot her in the spine. Subsequently, she reinvented herself as Oracle, the premiere information broker of the DC's superhero community.
Although the first and original heroine was called Bat-Girl and introduced in the year 1961 as Batwoman's niece. She was intended as a romantic interest for Robin, Batman's sidekick. But she essentially vanished from the Batman stories after May 1964 together with Batwoman, which were a revamp under Editor Julius Schwartz that eliminated elements in an effort to make Batman a more contemporary character.
The first incarnation was introduced, April 1961 in issue #139 of Batman. Her alter-ego was Betty Kane and called herself Bat-Girl and was created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff, creators of other Batman family like Batwoman and Batman. She was introduced as Batwoman's niece and was blackmailed by her aunt to take her on as a partner after discovering that her aunt Kathy Kane was Batwoman. They were both the female counterpart of Batman and Robin, but were not as driven as the men.
Bat-Girl appeared few times in the sixties and was intended as Robin's love-team. There were scenes in the comics of Bat-Girl kissing Robin while he blushed and sweated with embarrassment. Robin resists, commending the example of Batman, who had renounced romance while he was a crime fighter.
She retired together with Batwoman after a few years to concentrate on their private lives, with Betty becoming a champion tennis pro. In the meantime, Betty's rare appearances as Bat-Girl included her founding membership in the Teen Titans expansion team, Titans West. The group, like Betty's costumed comeback, was short-lived. She continued to devote her time to tennis thereafter. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Batwoman and Bat girl were deleted from DC history for the fact that Editor Julius Schwartz eliminated them in an effort to make Batman a more contemporary character. Her place in revised Titans history was eventually taken by a new post-Crisis version of the character, Flamebird.
Bat-Girl wore a red dress costume with green belt and cape. She also had a big red mask to cover her alter-ego as Betty Kane. She carried a "crime compact" and "smoke screen spray" as her weapon against evil.
From 1967 to 1988 she was the superhero known as Batgirl; since 1988 she has been known as Oracle. Barbara Gordon was the most well-known heroine incarnation and mistakenly known as the first and original Bat girl in DC Comics.
Bat girl appeared in Detective Comics #359, January 1967 and created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. Her alter-ego was Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Police Commissioner James Gordon of Gotham City. She admired superheroes since she was a kid and decided how to become one. Since she was about thirteen years old, she has been skilled in espionage and has always had a photographic memory, which she got by studying maps and statistics. She spent high school and college doing gymnastics, judo and keeping fit. She has a master's degree in Library and Information Systems which makes her extra good at finding information. Her abilities and skills helped her keep on top of things like computers, technology and lead to her concluding day job as a research librarian.
Her first experience as a superhero started as an accident. She had decided to go to the masquerade ball dressed as a female version of Batman, as her idol. The villain, Killer Moth, interrupted the party as Barbara intervened in a kidnapping attempt on Bruce Wayne, attracting the attention of Batman and leading to a crime-fighting career. She tried fighting the evil and Batman was not pleased with her donning the cape and cowl and tried to convince her to stop, but she was too headstrong. Batman decided that it was better to train her than watch her inexperience and get killed.
As she had her crimefighting career, she still works in the morning and fights at night. She also had her personal life dating with men and the most popular partner was Jason Bard, a Vietnam veteran and turned private investigator. Her responsibility as a heroine sometimes puts Barbara at an emotional crossroads. She was raised with respect for law and order as the daughter of the Police Commissioner, but her actions as hero technically label her a vigilante. If she was ever caught and unmasked, the scandal would certainly destroy Commissioner Gordon's career. Still, Gotham is a city that breeds an extreme kind of criminal and crimefighters are needed to handle situations regular cops can not. Barbara believes the good she does, as Bat girl is worth the potential risk to herself and her father.
In the mid 1970s, Barbara revealed her secret identity to her father, who already had discovered it on his own. They both ran and won an election to the U.S. House of Representatives. She moved to Washington, D.C., and intended to give up her career as a superhero. However, due to the demands and the popularity of her, she and Superman teamed up, and also with Supergirl and became good friends. She became one of the main features in the Batman Family comic book where she and Dick Grayson as Robin, teamed as the Dynamite Duo. Soon they discovered each other's alternate identities as well. Batwoman also became her partner.
When she lost on her re-election bid, she then returned to Gotham City and took a social worker job, fighting villains including Lady Snake and the Velvet Tiger. Supergirl also visited Gotham and shared an adventure with her. The heroine was shot and nearly killed by the Commorant; this caused her to have a serious crisis of faith and she briefly retired her heroine career. But after a talk with Batman, she returned to face down and capture the villain, and she continued to thrive.
The Crisis on Infinite Earths changed DC Universe continuity in a lot of ways. Barbara Gordon was now the daughter of Roger and Thelma and lived in Chicago. Her parents died when she was young, so she moved with the family of her Uncle Jim at Gotham City until the time she doubted that Jim Gordon dated her mother Thelma before she married Roger, and there is a strong chance that Jim Gordon is indeed her biological father, although he is not aware of that. When she became superhero, Batman and Robin had much more active role in her trainings.
In the year 1988, Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke, Joker decides to go after Commissioner Gordon and tracks him down to Barbara's flat and ring the doorbell. But when he arrived to his flat, it was Barbara who opened the door and Joker shot her in the stomach. The bullet severed her spine and she almost bled to death leaving her paralyzed from the waist down, while a more insane than ever Joker was taking pictures of her. The irony is that Joker had no idea she was the heroine. He was merely shooting the commissioner's daughter in an attempt to drive him crazy. Batman showed up and rescued both Gordon and her, but Barbara was bound to a wheel chair for the rest of her life. Many thought that this would be the end of her heroic career.
The next major event in Barbara Gordon's life would make her such an extraordinary character and worthy of attention. In 1989 of January, she first appeared in Suicide Squad #23 Vol. 1 as Oracle. Oracle became a mainstay in the DC Universe and is currently one of the Birds of Prey.
When Barbara became paraplegic, initially she took it bad. She did not want to see anybody, or to talk about her feelings. She secluded herself in her flat and broke with Jason Bard, the man she was engaged to. However the time comes when she turned her disability into a fresh beginning. She later reinvented herself as Oracle, the premiere information broker of the DC's superhero community. She is brilliant, mastered in computer and the nascent Internet to become the master hacker. She became a cyber-vigilante, searching out information and exposing crime on the Net to help Batman, the Suicide Squad and the Justice League. She has also trained herself under the tutelage of Richard Dragon to engage in combat usually escrima from her wheelchair for her protection.
Barbara first used the Oracle identity to assist her father on an extremely difficult murder investigation, and later took it to the Suicide Squad. For a time, she relocated to Belle Reve prison in Louisiana to work with the team under the alias of "Amy Beddoes". Once she left the Suicide Squad, she returned to Gotham City and began aiding Batman and many other heroes. She joined the Justice League and was an active member for some time, serving as both an information and communications resource. She is also the founder and brains of female group heroes known as Birds of Prey, possessing a massive information network and expert hacking skills. The group includes Black Canary, Huntress (Helena Bertinelli), Lady Blackhawk and Lady Shiva. Together they are far more effective despite their obvious differences. The mutual influence of one another could also be soothing for their past pains.
After the incident of the destruction of Barbara's home and headquarters in the clock tower, she decided that it was time for her to move on, and leave Gotham. She had her trip around the world with her team and moved to Metropolis after she cut connection with Batman. But destiny happened; she could now move her toes due to the side effects of the virus that infected her from Brainiac. At long last, Barbara and Dick Grayson, who was now the superhero Nightwing re-enkindle their love affair, as he proposed and she accepted. However their romantic reunion was cut short by the Infinite Crisis storyline.
After the events of the Infinite Crisis one year later, Oracle and her team still continued working in the Metropolis, although a lot of changes occur. Current stories about Dick and Barbara's engagement was broken, although the cause is yet unknown.
During the late 1990s, Batman: No Man's Land story debuted, a new heroine emerged. She was revealed to be the Huntress, Helena Bertinelli. The modern Huntress has had two conflicting stories, but the latest story in the 2000 limited series Huntress: Cry for Blood, is considered the accepted one. In Both origins, she still is Helena Bertinelli, born into one of Gotham City's most prominent Mafia-connected families, the Bertinellis.
An earthquake dismantled Gotham City. The US government declares the city a "No Man's Land," and Batman disappears. To give order to the city, Huntress temporarily adopted the mantle of Bat girl, as she discovered criminals dread her more as she compared when she was still the Huntress. When Batman returned, he said if she failed him she would have to give up the costume.
At the end, Huntress failed to protect Batman's territory from Two-Face and his gang of more than 200 criminals. Batman holds her responsible and formally strips her away the title of Batgirl. After Gotham was restored to its natural self and the No Man's Land was ended by Lex Luthor, Huntress decided to still fight the good fight, despite that she was shot with bullets three times by Joker and Harley Quinn near the end.
She recently decided to retire as a vigilante but not before one final case. The case of her family's death was not solved. After being framed for murder, Huntress eventually tracked the source to a friend of her father's. It turned out her wife-beating gangster uncle is truly her father, and ordered the hit on her parents, but the assassin got confused and instead of killing Helena, he killed her mother instead.
· Undercover Operations
· Public Speaking
· Deep Learning Techniques
· Special Education
· Marksmanship (throwing stars, crossbow, battle staff)
· Hand-to-Hand Combat
Her absence from the present-day action of Gotham City has only increased demand for a new Batgirl. The most recent Bat girl, a deadly yet troubled Asian teen, is as different from Barbara Gordon as Barbara was from the 1950's huperheroine. Despite these differences, Barbara Gordon had taken her heroic namesake under her wing, helping her to adjust to a life of crimefighting.
This hero is Cassandra Cain, also called Cassie for short. She was the last incarnation having taken on the role with the approval of both Batman and Barbara Gordon. She is the daughter of assassin David Cane and Lady Shiva. She first appeared in Batman #567 (1999), and was created by Kelley Puckett and Damion Scott. Cassandra was trained by her assassin father to be the ultimate martial artist and assassin. He raised her without words but rather fists. Initially, her training was so devout that she was denied the privilege of speaking and she could not talk; instead she learned to read and understand the opponent's movements and body language and predict, with uncanny accuracy, their next move.
When Cassie was eight, she helped her father take out a gangster boss by ripping out his throat with only two fingers. Looking at the dead man and seeing the blood on her fingers made her realize that killing was bad. And so she ran away from her father and eventually ended up in America and decided to live in Gotham City, where she met Barbara Gordon alias Oracle, just before Gotham had its famous Earthquake. When Gotham was declared as a No Man's Land, Cassie along with others, acted as Oracle's agents scouting Gotham to provide Oracle with information. In return, Barbara tried to help Cassandra learn how to speak.
She became the superhero, when Batman knew how good she was at fighting and saving Commissioner Gordon's life. He gave her the mantle after the reign of Huntress as she failed Batman's expectations over her powers. Cassandra had earned the right to wear the costume. And so she continued her quest of fighting crime in the new, rebuilt Gotham City. At first, she started to work with Batman on all of her cases, but slowly she started to work less with him, proving that she could do it by herself.
In 2000, Cassandra became the first heroine to get her own ongoing self-titled comic book series. A telepath rewired her brain to think with words, but at the cost of her ability to predict and read people. Unable to defend herself although she could still perform the moves, she was now being caught permanently off-guard in combat due to her reliance on her ability to read moves, she stopped using the costume. Lady Shiva later taught her how to read people's moves again in the consequence that, one year later, the two would fight to death. Cassandra accepted and Shiva taught her again. After a year, they both kept the appointment, but she died. Then Shiva restarted her heart, having realized that Cassandra wanted to die, and wishing a fight Cassandra would try to win. In the ensuing battle, Cassandra realized that Shiva had her own death wish, and defeated her, although she spared Shiva's life.
Cassandra took on the role of a villain by becoming the head of the League of Assassins following the DC's One Year Later continuity jump. She has used her position as head of the League to draw in Tim Drake, the third Robin, as an ally. She began killing former-students of her father, David Cain whom she deemed unworthy and used Robin to free David and reunite with him. She then urged Robin to kill David, and join her in leading the assassins, but when Robin refused, she shot her father herself. She and Tim then eventually engaged in a final battle where she maintained the upperhand. The fight came to an abrupt end, however, when an explosive device detonated, leading Cassandra and Robin to flee in different directions. Cassandra has not been seen since.
· Catwoman: Catwoman has always been one of Bat girl's most formidable foes. Her real name is Selena Kyle. Catwoman and Bat girl have also tangled in the 60's TV series, and they did once in the Animated Series. Catwoman is one of Batman and Bat girl's oldest enemies. She began as a woman of the night and a thief villain only for the money.
· The Joker: The Joker is one of the first villains Batman ever faced. He also shot the heroine that made her paraplegic. He has a sick sense of humor, finds most death funny, and has a dangerously unstable psychological status. In essence he is a homicidal clown.
· Two-Face: Two-Face literally has two faces; half of his face is normal and the other half is a greenish-blue color and deformed. He is obsessed with duality. Everything he does including his crimes has two parts. He has a coin, which he uses to make all of his decisions.
· Poison Ivy: She carries toxins in her blood stream that can make her touch poisonous. Her preferred method of attack is her kiss. She is also has a hyperactive immune system. She can also create truth serums and love potions. In the comic book series based on the animated show, Bat girl tangled with Poison Ivy and Harley during a kidnapping attempt.
· Harley Quinn: She dresses like a jester and is the lover of Joker. She will do anything he tells her, and she loves him. She and she fought in the comic book based on the TV series, when she and Poison Ivy attempted a kidnapping.
· Mr. Freeze: Mr. Freeze carries a giant freezing gun and tends to involve freezing everyone and everything he runs into. Rather nasty, and pointless, actions, except they seem to satisfy his urge to get even with a hard, cruel world.
· Killer Moth: Killer Moth was a semi-prominent villain in the sixties. Armed with moth sticky goo, and an invisible wire that made him seem as if he was flying. He was the first villain Bat girl ever faced.
She carried many weapons and equipment however, her weapons were somewhat limited compared to Batman's. This makes her have to use physical combat more than Batman. The fact that she designed and created many of these weapons herself is even more extraordinary, and of course, she probably just bought some.
· Bat-Bike/Batcycle: The superheroine rides a motorcycle called the Bat-Bike, Batcycle, or Batgirl cycle. It has the bat-logo, and is custom-designed and contains various pieces of special equipment, including a highly sophisticated multi-colored light tracking device. It is also capable of going at extremely fast speeds. Near the end of her career, Bat girl began to sometimes leave her motorcycle behind. She preferred to move on foot through small areas.
· Batarangs: Bat girl carries batarangs in her utility belt. This is a throwing weapon like the boomerang which when thrown returns to her. She also used it to cut things, and knock weapons out of peoples' hands.
· Smoke Bombs: Within her utility belt, she carries many smoke bombs. She uses them to blind her foes and it's one of her most frequently used weapons.
· Tear Gas Pellets: Within her utility belt, she carries capsules filled with tear gas. She can use them to gag her opponent, which she does every once in a while. She can also use them for basically the same purposes that she does for the smoke bombs.
· Bola: Within her utility belt, she carries a bola. A bola is a throwing weapon traditionally used to tie up animals in South America. She uses one to tie up her foes. It looks like four pieces of rope with black balls on the ends. By spinning and accurately throwing, she can tie up an enemy instantly, before they have time to react. The bola is by far one of her most powerful weapons.
· Mini-Binoculars: When she needs to see things more clearly and closely from the top of the building or when she's too far from it.
· Swingline with Grapple: Within her utility belt, she carries a swingline with a grappling hook. By pressing two buttons on the side, she can shoot the grapple out to grab onto something, like the top of a building. In the comics, it is a regular rope and grappling hook. She can use it to swing as if she was flying, or she can use it to climb.
· Computer System: Oracle has one of the best personal computer setups imaginable. She has three computers, inter-connected with a modem and Internet access to dutifully help others with her Information.
· Cowl Lenses: Barbara can press a button on her cowl which puts various lenses over her eyes. She has a clear lens, a telescopic-vision lens, a microscopic-vision lens, a thermal lens, and a multi-light tracer lens. The multi-light tracer device has replaced her Batcycle's function.
In the comic book, the color of her costume was somewhat confusing. Some artists made it grey, and others made it black. It had a yellow bat-emblem on the chest. The part of her cowl that covered the front of her face was black, but the back of it was blue which contained several different lenses that she could bring over her eyes by pressing a button. She wore a yellow high-healed boots and gloves. She also wore a long blue cape with her yellow utility belt which is also similar to Batman.
In the animated series, Bat girl wore a grey jumpsuit created from a modified Batman costume. The face of her cowl was black and the back was blue. Her boots were blue, and so were her gloves. Her blue cape is waist length instead of long and flowing, than in the comic books. Her utility belt did not have visible compartments. It has been changed, however in the new series. It has the same basic design, but it's only black. The gloves and boots are yellow, and the gloves have bat-fins.
In the TV Series most of her clothes were purple. Her jumpsuit, boots, and gloves were all purple. The jumpsuit was obviously some sort of skintight rubberized spandex material. Her boots were high-healed, unlike in the animated version. Her short cape was purple and yellow and her cowl was purple and black.
In the movie, the heroine wore a black rubber costume, very similar to Robin's. It emphasized muscles, legs, breasts, and hips. It had the same basic blue color with the gloves, mask, cape, and boots. She wore a cowl for a short part of the movie, but a sleek eye mask mostly.
· Batman Television series (1967)
· Batman TV series
· Batman and Robin (1997)
· Batman Begins (2005)
· The Batman/Superman Hour (1969)
· The New Adventures of Batman (1977)
· Batman: The Animated Series,
· Batman: Gotham Knights
· Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero
· Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman
· Gotham Girls
· Batman Beyond
· Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
· The Savage Time, Justice League episode
· The Batman