Ladies and gentlemen let us dawn our cowls and jump into this Superhero Sunday with Batgirl.
The legends that are Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff with DC comics created Batgirl in 1961. Though it wasn't til 1967 and Barbra Gordon took the mantle that Batgirl would gain her iconic status.
First appearing in Detective Comics #359- "Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl." She would continue to appear in Detetive Comics and become a member of the "Batfamily" which included the likes of Nightwing and Robin.
Its a shame that it wasn't until 2000 that Batgirl recieved a solo series but since then her popularity has only grown and she has really become a staple of the Bat-Universe at DC.
Batgirl has been the name for many women in the DC universe this will focus on Barbra Gordon who has the longest time under the mantle and is the current Batgirl for DC (But heres the list of all to hold the name Batgirl). Barbra Gordon aka 'Babs" is daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon. Her 1967 appearance was helping stop the kidnapping of Bruce Wayne by villian Killer Moth, while she didnt know that this attracted the attention of the Dark Knight and helped stop the villian. Barbra was only getting started. Barbra would continue to prove she was tough and willing to be a hero. Dressing as Batgirl she would fight and eventually Batman takes her under his wing. Batman originally disapproved but she was determined.
Batgirl would fight in team-ups for years but her popularity went down and Alan Moore in 1988 wanted to write a book that would try to break Batman and have the Joker show Batman that anyone can be morally broken, The Joker tries to prove his point when he takes photos of Barbra Gordon and paralyzes her in order to ruin Jim Gordon and provoke Batman.
Barbra though paralyzed wasn't broken she only came back stonger willing to help Batman as information genius Oracle. While she was Oracle she would help the team take down villians and a new Batgirl in the form of Cassandra Cain would come along.
Later after the events of Infinte Crisis Stephanie Brown (The Spoiler) would take the mantle of Batgirl and it would go back to Cassandra too.Then the events of Flash Point occur and reset the continuity of the DC Universe it is here that Barbra regains her mobility with an experimental surgery and takes back the role of Batgirl. She continues as Batgirl in todays continuity as well in the NEW 52. Even in her revamps Barbra Gordon/Batgirl stay fresh and have creative teams,
Why this hero?
This is simple there have been many to take the name Batgirl but there is only on Babs. Barbra Gordon is the reason to like Batgirl and the wonderful people who refused to let her become a simple plot device or just a "female robin" She has help her own in DC stories and titles.
Batgirl has fought villians, faced the Joker, tussled with Batman and paralzyed but her mantle has stayed true to being a strong female character in a male hero world.
I remeber her on Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond. I always enjoyed the character and this s porobably because I love the Bat-Family as a whole but she fits in the family perfectly. So go check her out.