THE BASICS OF BATGIRL’S HISTORY
Via DC: Wikia, we have the brief history of Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl!
Barbara Gordon is a vigilante super-hero operating as a member of the Batman Family, and (depending on which continuity) the daughter or niece of Gotham City‘s Police commissioner James Gordon. Beginning her career as Batgirl working alongside Batman and the first Robin, she is an extremely intelligent detective and martial artist who maintains a civilian identity as a librarian.
Following the events of The Killing Joke where the Joker paralyzed her from the waist down with a gunshot, she began using the name Oracle to help Batman and other heroes using a massive world-wide communications and espionage network. There are several others who take up her mantle as Batgirl during this time, including Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown whom she mentors, but she is eventually able to walk again and returns to her position.
She is a founding member of the Birds of Prey, but has also been involved with the Justice League, the Suicide Squad and the Seven Soldiers of Victory. Barbara Gordon was created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino, first appearing in Detective Comics #359. (1967) John Ostrander reinvented her as Oracle in Suicide Squad #23. (1989)
Now onto the review!
BATGIRL REBIRTH: #1 – Beyond Burnside Part One
As the issue opens, we see Barbara Gordon walking in the streets of Japan; checking into a hotel called “Drum House” and encounters her childhood friend, Kai. He asks her what she is doing there, and her reply is to interview a superheroine called Fruit Bat (a.k.a. Chiyo Yamashiro) who fought crime in the 40’s, and was unmasked in the 80’s.
This issue features a nice little flashback of her, Kai, and her father James Gordon expounding on how much trouble they would get into around each other. They then go to the food court, eat some octopus, drink some beer, and Kai gets food poisoning.. Damnit, Babs!
The next day sees our traveling hero in Saion Square, attending the 10,000 Eisa Dance Parade. Barbara is finally getting the chance to interview Fruit Bat, but her jerk of a son keeps making offhand comments about how Fruit Bat is just an old bat now (She’s only 104 years old!) Fruit Bat’s son wanders off to explore the parade and leaves Barbara in charge of his mother.
Barbara asks Chiyo if her son always talks to her like that, and reveals how she was in a wheelchair, and how they have many things in common… But, then!
Barbara hears Kai being rough-housed by a, in her own words, “Sailor Clown.” The jacked up ninja mime tells Barbara (who is now in full Batgirl garb.) that this is not her fight and to go back to America.Batgirl expounds on this saying “It’s not his fight either.” The Sailor Clown asks her if she truly believes that, and then tells her, her brain is as slow as her feet!
The ninja is showing off her speed and jumps over Chiyo Yamashiro, and with much surprise to Barbara and her current foe, gets slammed to the ground by Fruit Bat! As Batgirl gawked in wonder at Fruit Bat, the ninja reveals that she respects her skills, but does not have time for this fight. She lunges a knife at Fruit Bat, and then Chiyo catches it, throws it back at her, and cuts her ribbon stating “That was just a warning. Go home, little girl.” The would be assassin runs in terror, and Fruit Bat tells Batgirl that she must find a teacher. Fruit Bat then collapses as her son comes to her “rescue.”
Upon walking the streets, Barbara sees a sign as she is speaking of the future. The future being that of “The Future of MMA in Singapore.” Later that day, Kai goes back to Drum House and sees Barbara laying down and asks where she was, and how he saw Batgirl. Barbara plays it off and says “Really? What was she doing there?” To which his response is that he believes it is her, who is Batgirl. He tells her how there is always a guardian around her, and how her father is close with Batman. The issue concludes with Barbara asking Kai if he would like to go to Singapore.
THE BATGIRL TEAM
Written by: Hope Larson
Art by: Rafael Albuquerque
Coloring by: David McCaig
Cover by: Rafael Albuquerque
Variant Cover by: Francis Manapul
BATGIRL REBIRTH: #1 is a very well done and well thought out concept, that will seem to build around the characters introduced in the debut issue. The art is quite eye-catching, the writing is superb, and I definitely look forward to reading more. You can pick up the first issue now through Comixology or at your local comic book shop.
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