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Batgirl: Year One

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This graphic novel reflects on how Barbara Gordon became the first Batgirl. It begins with Barbara having internal dialogue while fighting Killer Moth at a party. The story soon flips to Barbara's personal life, focusing on her inability to convince [[James Gordon

Storyline TemplateInformation-silk
Batgirl: Year One

Official Name
Batgirl: Year One
Storyline Aliases




First appearance
Last appearance


This graphic novel reflects on how Barbara Gordon became the first Batgirl. It begins with Barbara having internal dialogue while fighting Killer Moth at a party. The story soon flips to Barbara's personal life, focusing on her inability to convince James Gordon to allow her to become a cop. Instead she is forced to work in the Gotham City Police Department library. Barbara, being good with computers, hacks her way into the Justice Society of America's headquarters and later breaks in, just to ask to train under Black Canary. She is caught up to by Wildcat. He dismisses her which fuels her to become upset about people putting her down. When Barbara realizes that Gordon was invited to a costume party, the Million Dollar Masquerade Ball, she decides to create a girl-version of Batman's costume, just to upset Gordon. At the party, before she reveals herself to Gordon, Killer Moth and his henchmen crash the party, gunning for Bruce Wayne, who is secretly Batman. James Gordon is taken out quickly so Barbara decides to step in. Bruce Wayne was previously shoved out of the way by Barbara so that she can protect him and her unconscious adoptive father, thinking that Bruce is but a helpless bystander. She defeats Killer Moth, breaking a heel in the process. She was later named Batgirl by Killer Moth, which stuck, even though she states that she would have preferred Batwoman. Directly after the confrontation by Killer Moth, Batgirl meets Batman and Robin. Batgirl's first encounter with Batman and Robin proves to be unpleasant. While she is angry with Batman's automatic dismissal of her capabilities, she is repulsed by Robin having a romantic interest in her. Soon after that, Batgirl attempts to swing from rooftops, being saved by Robin, who tells her that regular rope is not good for diving from forty feet in the air. Later, Robin sends Batgirl equipment, pretending that he believes in her and Batman doesn't. In reality, Robin is sending them on the orders of Batman. She is later captured by Batman and Robin to be tested, an examination she failed in Batman's eyes, not being able to save the innocents in a holographic containment chamber. Batgirl later teams up with Black Canary, her idol, and she finally gains some respect from Batman, while Robin still harbors a small crush on her. She is introduced to James Gordon as Batgirl, one of Batman's proteges.


Issues in storyline are unknown.


Items: None known.
Vehicles: Both the Batmobile and Black Canary's motorcycle are featured, along with the R-Cycle and several bikes that belong to Batgirl.
Weapons: Batarangs, grappling hooks, and several other weapons are shown, along with Killer Moth's gun.


  • No special notes.


  • While taking a martial arts class, her instructor belittles her on the basis of gender. Although Barbara pretends to be intimidated by her sensei, she quickly overtakes him with relative ease.
  • When applying for an internship with the F.B.I., her interviewer tells her she does not meet the minimum height requirement to become a field agent.
  • Barbara argues with her uncle/adoptive father over her choice of career. While she wishes to join law enforcement when she is old enough, James Gordon scoffs at the idea and insists he will not allow his daughter to become a cop.
  • This story takes place around Year Six or Seven of Batman's career; given that Robin mentions he has been around for four years now. (Robin enters Batman's life in Year Three.)
  • Barbara's age and height are significantly changed. In the Silver Age origin, Barbara was 21 years old and stood at 5'11. She was generally depicted as an empowered and independent woman. In Batgirl: Year One, Barbara is at least 17/18, having graduated from college (early) and applied for field duty with the FBI, which rejected her application on the grounds that she was too short (the GCPD rejects her on the same grounds). She is portrayed as a constant victim of sexism, which in itself plays its part in her developing an interest in vigilantism, to prove a point.
  • Batman is no longer Barbara's idol. While the Silver Age Barbara Gordon fashioned a Batgirl costume out of admiration for the Dark Knight, in Batgirl: Year One she does so as a practical joke to play on her father. The Black Canary serves as her source of inspiration.

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Batman Blind Justice TP
Batman Family Storyline
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This event or storyline is specifically related to Batman, or to members of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Batman Storylines category.

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