In 1967 a new character in the Batman Family was born. Her hero name was familiar but her back ground and secret identity were new.
During the early 1960's the Bat-man along with his comics were subjected to a complete make over. Out went many characters like Kathy Kane aka The BAT-WOMAN, ACE the Bat-Hound, the Bat-Mite and Betty Kane better know as BAT-GIRL. Out went stories relating to science fiction and fun, in came more grittier stories and more villains and evil doers. On the whole Bat-man went back to basics and most of his stories revolved around him protecting the streets of Gotham City.
By the mid sixties a new Batman TV show was proving to be a success with children and adults alike. The show was more light hearted than the comic books, but its colourful and exciting format worked well. BUT like all good things by the end of the second season ratings had started to reduce. This was mainly due to the limited group of villains that appeared each week. Many thought the stories and situations had started to repeat themselves. It was decided a new Hero was needed, and a female on at that.
In 1967 before the start of the 3rd Season of the Television Bat-man series the producers of the TV programme in connection with DC comics came up with a "New" female Character. She would appear in the comics and also in the TV show. Her name was to be BAT GIRL, But this was not the same Bat-Girl who had graced the pages of the Batman Comics a few years before hand, this was a NEW BATGIRL.
Batgirl was introduced in Detective Comics 359, and would bare no relation with the BAT-GIRL of the past. With Bat-woman now forgotten, and no longer referred to, this meant her junior partner was also erased from memory too. This meant that the new Batgirl could now take centre stage as a brand new hero or is that heroine.
|THE COMIC VERSION OF BARBARA "BABS" GORDON AKA BATGIRL|
The new Batgirl was the daughter of James Gordon the local police commissioner of Gotham City. And as Barbara Gordon she hid behind the secret identity of a mild manner librarian. Complete with her Glasses and Hair Buns she was portrayed as being more of a rounded person as a crime fighter than she was in her civilian life. Much in the keeping with Clark Kent.
The comic version was reproduced in the TV show more or less the same. However whilst comic Barbara and Batgirl were both redheads, TVs Barbara was Dark Haired, but put on a Red wig along with her cowl and cape to become Batgirl. Also no hair Buns for TV Barbara, she had a up to date 60's hair do.
|TELEVISION BARBARA GORDON'S DAY JOB|
|TV'S BARBARA GORDON AS BATGIRL|
Whilst both versions were a success with the fans, the cancellation of the TV show after the 3rd season meant that Barbara, or Babs Gordon would only continue to live on in the pages of DC publications.
As the character evolved more information about her back story were written about. Originally written as being Commissioner James Gordon's daughter, it became known that she was in fact his brothers orphaned daughter who James and his wife Barbara had adopted. Which kind of tied in with the Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson orphaned situation.
Batgirl was a hit with the comic book fans, mostly as she was portrayed as being every bit as clever and skilled as the Bat-man.
Although she was never a full member of the Dynamic Duo, she was a respected member of the Bat-man family. Later on she would learn the secret identifies of Bat-man and Robin, who had learnt her true identity many years before.
As she was about the same age of Robin (who had now been allowed to grow up ), over time Bat-girl and Robin would share many adventures together, and would have a relationship. During the 1970's their relationship would grow, but due to the comics code of that time they never quite made it into the bedroom...... well not that was shown or talked about. This pairing was nicknamed The Dynamite Duo !
|A ROMANTIC NIGHT FOR THE DYNAMITE DUO|
Batgirl went on to have a very successful solo career, and became a major back up character in many of the Bat-man comics.
As her status grew so did her character, gone were the Hair Buns and librarian glasses, in came a more modern looking Barbara. Unlike a lot of heroes both male and female, Batgirl never became connected with the Justice League. Her team mates where basically The Batman & Robin. On occasions she would team up with Supergirl for a female take on the WORLDS FINEST partnership of Superman & Batman. On the whole, this Bat-Lady worked mainly solo.
|Good bye Bat-Purse and Hair Buns, Hello Sexy Babs and Bat-Girl|
Next time we will look at how the popularity of Batgirl lead to the reintroduction of another BAT-LADY.
|During the 1960's the 3 different BATGIRL's|
Until Next Time