""Batgirl"": Barbara Gordon is sitting in the back of a police car, reading a newspaper article about the sudden mysterious apperance of a "Batgirl" who stopped Killer Moth from attacking a bunch of Gotham's wealthy elite at a dinner party. One of the cops tries to make small talk with her but i
- It's funny. Never thought of joining the force 'cause I thought it would be too violent. Then this happens. Didn't know what I was missing.
- — Batgirl
Batman: Batgirl is a one-shot published in 1997. It was published on May 21, 1997.
Synopsis for "Batgirl"
Barbara Gordon is sitting in the back of a police car, reading a newspaper article about the sudden mysterious apperance of a "Batgirl" who stopped Killer Moth from attacking a bunch of Gotham's wealthy elite at a dinner party. One of the cops tries to make small talk with her but is suddenly interrupted by a message over the police radio, a 420 (assault with a deadly weapon) is in progress. While they are the car closest to the crime scene, the officers are reluctant to do anything dangerous while the commissioner's daughter is with them. Snatching the radio away from one officer, Barbara responds to the call and tells them they are on their way.
The three of them reach the area, and Barbara is told to stay in the squad car. At first she watches the scene intensely, looking for a chance for Batgirl to appear, but the standoff is over quickly and the cops get the situation under control, much to her dissapointment. Suddenly, one of the suspects makes a run for it and Barbara kicks a squad door open, slamming into the criminal and stopping him.
When they return to the police department, the cops ask her not to tell the Commissioner what happened, because they are "just not sure he'd understand the circumstances." The Commissioner happens overhear this, and is not pleased. He takes Barbara into his office and tells her that the last thing he needs is to hear that she's been commandeering squad cars, citing the he has twelve men out sick with the flu, a full moon occuring that night, and that Batman has gone missing again. There is a 911 call that suddenly comes in, the Joker has broken into Barbieri Candies and Gordon sends out several units to the scene. Barbara goes too and reasons that the Joker will know police procedure and try to sneek out a back way. She goes around back to investigate, but finds nothing in an empty parking lot. Things take a turn when she is nearly hit by a speeding car trying to get out of the parking structure. She attempts to stop it by closing the overhead door, ripping off the top half of the car. The driver still manages to drive away, but Barbara finds a blueprint in the wreakage left by the escaping car. It has the name and home address of Peter Barbieri, owner of Barbieri Candies. Barbara tries to show it to her father, but the factory explodes and Commissioner Gordon sends her away to a safer location before she can explain what she has found.
Barbara calls the police to warn them about the Joker's attack on Barbieri's house, when they ask who is calling she simply says "Ask Killer Moth" and the next page shows her as Batgirl. Batgirl hides in the woods surrounding the Barbieri's house, where she barely avoids being found by the armed thugs on guard for the Joker. She gets her chance to get inside the house after a squad car pulls up. Initially it is overwhelmed by the thugs, but Batgirl attacks one of guards, giving the police a chance to fight them off. This fight distracts the thugs and the police long enough for her to get away. She crashes through a window and hurts her shoulder, calling for Mr. Barbieri to get out of the house. She is attacked by Mr. Barbieri, who tells his wife to call the police because Batgirl broke into their home. Another thug enters the room with a gun and threatens Mrs. Barbieri with it, Batgirl picks up a fire poker and hits him in the head, killing him. Horrified with what she's done, she is unable to react when the Joker walks into the room and shoots Mr. and Mrs. Barbieri. He then knocks Batgirl out with the butt of his gun, but not before she sees a little boy-the Barbieri's son- crouched behind a chair.
When Batgirl regains consciousness, she finds herself locked in a room with the boy, who won't say anything. She determines that they are at some kind of amusement park, meaning that the building they are in has a false floor. She rips up floorboards and finds a hollow crawlspace to escape into. The crawlspace leads them to a chute that Batgirl says she cannot fit through. She attempts to find another way around, this time picking up a pipe and preparing to knock out the henchman standing guard in the doorway. She is reluctant to do it because of the henchman she killed earlier, but tells herself that she's doing it so the little boy can escape. As she prepares to hit him, another henchman appears. The first says that he didn't know anything about kidnapping girls and little kids when he took this job, but the second tells him "That little girl'd crack your head open if she could. Look what she did to Roth."
Batgirl decides to go through the chute rather than hit anyone again. As they crawl through the chute, Batgirl can hear a room full of henchmen talking about their morgages and ex-girlfriends, finding it weird that "they sound just like guys at the station." After making it all the way out of the chute, she realizes that the henchmen can see the exit from where they are. She tells the boy to count to ten, then run outside and keep running until he finds a phone and to call the police. Batgirl uses herself as a distraction, getting all the henchmen to chase after her. She thinks she is in the clear after she looses all of them in the amusement park, but she takes a wrong turn and stumbles into the shooting gallery, with the Joker waiting for her.
Joker explains that he killed the Barbieris because he had eaten a piece of Barbieri Nougat Surprise and found that there was cherry in it. "What kind of freak puts cherry in nougat?!" He then asks Batgirl if she's not disgusted by the "meaningless waste of human life" he caused. She says yes, the Joker places a gun in front of her and asks why she doesn't do anything about it. At that moment, a henchman rushes in to tell the Joker that the kid had escaped and they needed to leave. Joker insists on having "a little fun" with Batgirl first.
Joker has Batgirl bolted to a spinning wheel, while he prepares to throw knives at her. When he is just about to throw his first knife, one of Batgirl's restraints is cut by a batarang. Batman appears and takes down the Joker's thugs. The Joker pulls out a gun and begins to fire randomly, he hits Batman, causing a large gash on the side of his head. Batman goes down, bleeding profusely. Batgirl reaches for his mask, he grabs her wrist to stop her, but Batgirl notices his grip is very weak. The Joker tries to finish Batman off with another shot, but Batgirl grabs his gun. She calls him nuts and begins to laugh at him, enraging the Joker. The police arrive immediately grab him, while a gurney to pulled onto the scene for Batman, as he asks Commissioner Gordon for Dr. Thompkins.
The Commissioner arrives home later to find Barbara in bed. She asks him if he thinks his job is exciting. He replies that after a while, it's not about good or bad, it's about people getting hurt or not. He does concede that if he was as young as Barbara, he might see things differently. Barbara tells herself she's not that young anymore either, as her reflection in her bedroom window looks back as Batgirl.
Appearing in "Batgirl"
- This issue was released as one of four one-shot graphic novels to coincide with the release of the 1997 Batman and Robin movie. The covers to all four issues interlock to form one composite image in the order (from left to right): Batman: Bane, this issue, Batman: Mr. Freeze and Batman: Poison Ivy.
- Events in this issue are retold in DC First: Batgirl/Joker #1.
- Batgirl Recommended Reading