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Celebrating Ten Years of Batgirl: May 2000

December 1, 2010

Our heroine featured in a few comic books in May 2000. Besides her own book, she guest starred in Azrael: Agent of the Bat, Young Justice, and Batman: Gotham Knights. Let’s take a look at those why don’t we? Let’s start with Azrael: Agent of the Bat #66 by Denny O’Niel and Roger Robinson.

azrael066p11

While she only appears in one scene, it was great to see her show up here as I loved what O’Niel and Robinson had done when she last showed up in this book. They created a great bond between Batgirl and Azrael, and I like how Jean-Paul is happy to see her. Robinson draws a great Batigirl as usual.

azrael066p12

I love how annoyed she gets with him here! He quickly figured out that she was asking why he wasn’t in costume and wasn’t talking about herself at all. Batgirl has no life outside of the costume at this point – I can understand why she wouldn’t expect Jean-Paul to either.

Stats and Facts
Issue Firsts:

None

Sneak Attack Count:

0

Total Sneak Attack Count:

13

Significant Creator Count:
Writers:

Kelly Puckett    6
Denny O’Niel    5
Scott Peterson    4
Devin Grayson    2
Janet Harvey    1
Greg Rucka    1
Chuck Dixon    1

Artists:

Roger Robinson    5
Damion Scott    5
Dale Eaglesham    2
Sergio Cariello    1
Deodato    1
Steven Harris    1
Paul Ryan    1

 

Knock-Out Count:

0

Total Knock-Out Count:

29


Her next appearance was in Batman: Gotham Knights #5 by Devin Grayson and Dale Eaglesham and featured another team up of Azrael and Batgirl!

Gotham Knights #5 pg03

Justice Leauge villain, The Key, has put a lockdown on Arkham Asylum. Batman is fighting him, but Batgirl immediately knows something is different about her mentor.

Gotham Knights #5 pg04 

He’s become too violent and is close to killing The Key. Because she is AWESOME and reads body language, Batgirl knew this before he even started the real violence. This leads to a little father-daughter fight.

Gotham Knights #5 pg05

She may see him as her father and mentor, but she will not let him break his own rules and go too far with the villains. In fact, if he did, I imagine it would destroy her on an emotional level.  He gets away from her, but Batgirl follows him and even saves a thug that Batman haphazardly throws off a roof!

Gotham Knights #5 pg09

They later discover Batman’s emotions are being manipulated by the Key himself. Batgirl isn’t there when this happens – I am sure someone explained it to her though between panels.

Stats and Facts
Issue Firsts:

First Encounter with The Key

First Physical Fight with Batman

Sneak Attack Count:

0

Total Sneak Attack Count:

13

Significant Creator Count:
Writers:

Kelly Puckett    6
Denny O’Niel    5
Scott Peterson    4
Devin Grayson    3
Janet Harvey    1
Greg Rucka    1
Chuck Dixon    1

Artists:

Roger Robinson    5
Damion Scott    5
Dale Eaglesham    3
Sergio Cariello    1
Deodato    1
Steven Harris    1
Paul Ryan    1

 

Knock-Out Count:

0

Total Knock-Out Count:

29


Next we have Batgirl’s first appearance in the wider DCU (Okay she was in the previous issue but that doesn’t really count, does it?) in Young Justice #21 by Peter David and Todd Nauck.

YoungJustice21

The book opens with the perfect splash page hinting at what is to come.

YoungJustice21p01

Apparently, the group starring in this issue was a replacement Young Justice…which Arrowette mentions in the issue is missing a dark and angsty member like our heroine.

Batgirl encounters the team while they are fighting Klarion in Gotham (Called the angst capital of the world by the narration)

YoungJustice21p13

In a book so focused on comedy, it’s interesting things gets serious the second Batgirl shows up. From the get-go, one can tell this is a character who really doesn’t belong in this book but can make a fun guest star.

YoungJustice21p17

Pre-Crisis, Flamebird Bette Kane was Bat-girl, but in current continuity she has always been Flamebird, so this is kind of a continuity mistake but I will let it slide for the in-joke. The fact that she was once Bat-girl does make the first meeting between these two characters all the more interesting though.

At first, Batgirl thought they Young Justice were picking on a normal little boy. But after she realizes who the villains is, she lets loose!

YoungJustice21p19 And perfectly in character, she disappears at the end of the issue…..Only to be scolded by Batman (He sure acts like a jerk in this scene doesn’t he?)

YoungJustice21p21

So no she never joins the team and I am not sure she would have worked in the tone of this series as a regular, but it was still fun to see her interact with the other young heroes even for a brief time.

 

Stats and Facts
Issue Firsts:

First Encounter with Flamebird, Beast Boy, Captain Marvel Jr., Lagoon Boy, Lil’ Lobo, and Klarion the Witch-Boy

First encounter with a superhero team

Sneak Attack Count:

1

Total Sneak Attack Count:

14

Significant Creator Count:
Writers:

Kelly Puckett    6
Denny O’Niel    5
Scott Peterson    4
Devin Grayson    3
Janet Harvey    1
Greg Rucka    1
Chuck Dixon    1
Peter David    1

Artists:

Roger Robinson    5
Damion Scott    5
Dale Eaglesham    3
Sergio Cariello    1
Deodato    1
Steven Harris    1
Paul Ryan    1
Todd Nauck    1

 

Knock-Out Count:

0

Total Knock-Out Count:

29


And finally we come to Batgirl’s own book with Batgirl #4 by Kelly Puckett, Scott Peterson, and Damion Scott. This issue introduces some huge changes for the Dark Knight Damsel!

Batgirl 04 (00)

As Batman and Alfred try to figure out if the video sent to them last issue is a real or a fake…Batgirl goes out on patrol by herself and saves a man from his would-be killers. But this is no ordinary man…

Batgirl 04 (13)

Batgirl 04 (15)

What did he do to her?  Batgirl is thinking in words!

Batgirl 04 (18)

I remember when this issue first came out there was some people annoyed that Batgirl didn’t just learn language slowly on her own. Those people clearly have never taken any developmental psychology classes before. It’s debated, but it is generally thought that there is a window of opportunity for the human brain to learn language because of the sad case of the girl named Genie. At 17, it was probably too late for Batgirl to acquire language in any advanced form. I wonder if Puckett and Peterson knew this and that is why he chose to have this man, Wilson Jeffers, alter her brain with his powers. Either way, this would be a great topic for a psych paper.

Batgirl 04 (19)

The fact that she could now think in words did not completely change the character though, because they establish right away she has difficulty speaking. This was a great idea as it allowed the writers to keep her as the “Silent Knight” member of the bat family but still allow us to see her thoughts.

But Jeffers messing her brain is not without its side effects…

Batgirl 04 (20)

She can’t read body language like she did before and therefore can not predict what her opponents will do next! Can our heroine overcome this? Stay tuned

 

Stats and Facts
Issue Firsts:

First Time She Is Able To Think In Words and Understand Language

Sneak Attack Count:

2

Total Sneak Attack Count:

15

Significant Creator Count:
Writers:

Kelly Puckett    7
Denny O’Niel    5
Scott Peterson    5
Devin Grayson    3
Janet Harvey    1
Greg Rucka    1
Chuck Dixon    1
Peter David    1

Artists:

Damion Scott    6
Roger Robinson    5
Dale Eaglesham    3
Sergio Cariello    1
Deodato    1
Steven Harris    1
Paul Ryan    1
Todd Nauck    1

 

Knock-Out Count:

3

Total Knock-Out Count:

32

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