Batman has been one of DC Comics' greatest characters, but more than just telling great stories, the Dark Knight has been the vehicle upon which a plethora of amazing characters have been introduced. From his amazing rogues' gallery to the many people involved in the so-called "Batman Family," Batman's characters stand as some of the best in comics with Batgirl standing out as one of the greatest.
Batgirl is more than just a young woman who picked up a costume and became a superhero; she is a complex heroine with her own issues and accomplishments. If your only knowledge of the character stems from her appearances in film and television series, you may not know Batgirl as well as her most ardent fans. She has been appearing in comic books since as far back as 1961, which means there are a ton of graphic novels, trade paperbacks, comic book issues, incredible adventures, and impressive story arcs to her name. Looking through such a long history can be intimidating, but this list is here to help! These are the 20 best Batgirl storylines that have ever been written, illustrated, and put to paper so don't forget to find your favorite and vote it up to see which of Batgirl's amazing stories rises to the top!
Story Found In: Batgirl: Year One #1-9
While Batgirl has her debut issue and her origin has been explained countless times over the years, this 2003 maxi-series fleshed out her origin in a way it had never been told before. Batgirl has always relied on the help of others for inspiration in being a superhero, but this new take on her origin story plays out much differently.
After being turned down by both the FBI and Gotham City Police Department, she attends a masquerade ball as a female Batman. Inevitably, she runs afoul of a villain known as Killer Moth, and a new superhero is born! This story tells of Barbara Gordon's path to becoming Batgirl as she makes her own choices instead of having others make them for her.
It was beautifully illustrated by Marcos Martin with words by Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon. This is a 'must-read' for anyone looking to learn more about the newest incarnation of Batgirl in the comics.
Is this a great storyline?
- Publisher: DC Comics
Story Found In: Batgirl #19-25
In a harrowing instant, Batgirl must make a decision that will tear her family apart as she is forced to kill her own brother, James Gordon, Jr! Though he was a sociopathic murderer, this doesn't sit well with police Commissioner Gordon who begins a manhunt to find the person responsible for his son's death and bring them to justice.
The only problem, the woman responsible is none other than his own daughter! Will Barbara be able to protect her secret identity as Batgirl and keep her family from falling apart while her own father hunts her down across the city?Is this a great storyline?
Story Found In: Birds of Prey #8
Many of the characters in the "Bat Family" interact on multiple occasions, but for some, that interaction is a bit more... intimate. This adorably fun story written by Chuck Dixon with pencils by Greg Land and Drew Geraci details the events of none other than Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson's first date!
It's a fun story and one that must be read by anyone who is a fan of both characters. DC never reprinted this book in any other compendium, and thanks to it being such a great story, the value/cost of obtaining a print copy is far higher than it would be otherwise.Is this a great storyline?
Story Fond In: Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: The Killing Joke is less of a Barbara Gordon story and more of a Joker story. That being said, Barbara's part had a significant role in her life, but also to the world of DC comics. Alan Moore's critically-acclaimed graphic novel has the Joker capture Barbara, torture her, take pictures of it, and he also shot her in such a way that she becomes paralyzed.
He does this to prove that a seriously bad day can completely ruin someone's life and make a good man into a bad one. He tries this against Barbara's father, Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, but his plan fails, and Batman steps in to stop him. Barbara's part in this story is the victim, but it establishes a change in her life that alters her path from this story onward.
From here, she goes on to become Oracle, a superhero who aids and instructs many other superheroes as she directs things from on high.Is this a great storyline?