Best Batgirl Comics to Read Before the Movie

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Although 2022 will feature a number of DC heroes on the big screen – including The Batman, black adamand Shazam! Fury of the gods – HBO Max will also welcome the first movie of a DC heroine with the premiere of bat girl. Featuring Leslie Grace like Barbara Gordon, the film will also see the return of Michael Keaton like Bruce Wayne/Batman and JK Simmons as Barbara’s father, James Gordon. Details for the film are scarce, but it will more than likely focus on Barbara’s origin as Batgirl as well as her rivalry with the arsonist Firefly (Brendan Fraser)

As with any comic book movie, bat girl arguably drew inspiration from a wide variety of comics. Here are five titles that not only serve as a solid introduction to the character of Barbara Gordon, but also provide insight into the film’s story.

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Batgirl: Year One


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Image via DC Comics

As the title suggests, Batgirl: Year One serves as the official origin story for Barbara Gordon. Written by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty with illustrations by Marcos Martin and Alvaro Lopez, Batgirl: Year One Barbara turns to vigilantism after her father and the FBI ban her from law enforcement. When a masquerade party for the Gotham City Police Department is held hostage by Killer Moth, Barbara dons her Batgirl costume and pushes him away. She juggles the criminal elements of Gotham – including Killer Moth and Firefly, who enter into a deadly partnership – the friction of Batman and Robin as she strives to prove herself worthy of fighting crime and keeping her her father’s secret double life.


Batgirl: Year One seems to be the biggest influence on bat girl movie; the plot seems to cover his origin story and Firefly has been confirmed as the film’s main villain. With Keaton’s Batman and Simmons’ Gordon in the mix, it remains to be seen if the Dark Knight crosses paths with Barbara – or if her father will learn of her “extracurricular activities”.

Burnside’s Batgirl


burnside batgirl
Image via DC Comics

The second greatest influence on bat girl seems to be the Burnside’s Batgirl screenplay by writers Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher and artist Babs Tarr. Looking for a change of pace, Barbara Gordon moves to Gotham City’s hippest neighborhood, Burnside, but is quickly drawn back into crime-fighting after a visit from Black Canary. Due to a fire that destroyed her gear and Batsuit, Barbara must make a new Batgirl uniform and use her brains and skills as she is low on funds. The suit in the bat girl the film visually resembles Burnside’s uniform, and set photos showed advertisements for a Black Canary performance.


The film will also see the appearance of Barbara’s friend, Alysia Yeoh, who will be played by Aquino ivory. While Alysia first appeared in the previous Batgirl series written by Gaelle Simone and illustrated by Adrian Syaf, her wedding took place during the Burnside race – with Barbara as bridesmaid. Alysia is also the first openly transgender comic book character in comic book history.

Batgirl: Beyond Burnside


batgirl beyond burnside
Image via DC Comics

During the DC Rebirth era, the bat girl the title underwent a relaunch and saw Barbara Gordon travel to East Asia. During her travels, she encounters an old flame named Kai and a new enemy named the Professor. Writer Hope Larson and artist Raphael Albuquerque put Barbara to the test, as her new enemy is a more skilled fighter than her – and Kai’s presence brings back old memories. And the arc’s finale features a team with none other than Poison Ivy, as Batgirl must stop a prehistoric plant from killing everyone on board; this obviously causes friction with Ivy, who has dedicated her life to protecting all forms of vegetation.


Batgirl and the Birds of Prey


batgirl and the birds of prey
Image via DC Comics

In addition to her stint as Batgirl, Barbara Gordon is best known as an Oracle information broker – a role she took on after the Joker crippled her during the events of Batman: The Killing Joke. While playing the role of Oracle, Barbara also founded the Birds of Prey with fellow vigilantes Black Canary and Huntress. The DC Rebirth era saw the rebirth of the team under the Batgirl and the Birds of Prey comic, with Julie Benson and Shawna Benson take over writing tasks. Batgirl teams up with Black Canary and Huntress when a mysterious figure claiming to be Oracle begins to wreak havoc. The Birds of Prey begin to hunt down the False Oracle while meeting the other heroines and anti-heroines of the DC Universe, including Poison Ivy and Catwoman.

The Birds are already a team in their own right next Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn. With bat girl seeding clues that Black Canary is on a successful singing tour, it looks like Batgirl might cross paths with the Birds sooner rather than later – especially since a black canary The film is currently in development for HBO Max.

Oracle: Year One, Born of Hope


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Image via DC Comics

The events surrounding Barbara’s adoption of the Oracle coat were finally revealed in Batman Chronicles #5, which featured the story “Oracle: Year One”. Written by John Ostrand and Kim Yale with the art of Brian Stelfreeze, “Oracle: Year One” has Barbara working through her trauma by learning the art of swordsmanship from master martial artist Richard Dragon and tracking down the criminal metahuman Interface, who is able to use the internet for her own advantage. Ostrander and Yale had previously featured Barbara as Oracle in the pages of their suicide squad run, because Yale didn’t much like the events that were happening at The killer joke. This story is proof of Barbara Gordon’s unbreakable spirit – whether she’s Batgirl or Oracle, she refuses to let life knock her down.


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