Thwip!’s Retro Tuesday – Batgirl – Year One

Tuesday means that Thwip! goes “retro” and talks about collections/storylines that we think were awesome (and still are) – today we talk about Batgirl – Year One.

While there is much hoopla about Batman – Year One, I want to direct your gaze to a more fun, hip, and youthful Year One story, Batgirl’s, written by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, and art by Marcos Martin.

There are many things to love about this comic. The first thing is that it is a reminder that Barbara Gordon is a strong, independent woman (or girl, rather). She dons her Bat-garb mainly because she wanted to stick it to her father, the Comissioner, and also was inspired by the do-gooding acts of Batman (and Robin…I guess). I love that idea, that she is paying tribute to the Batman, rather than being a blind, aimless follower of his brand (in a way she is very similar to Batwoman).

The story is pretty neat and simple, letting the reader spend time with Barbara as she works her way into becoming an official member of the Bat-family. Her adventures of breaking into the Justice Society headquarters just to get Black Canary’s attention (she gets it, but not in the way she wanted it).

There are many elements to Batgirl’s origin story that help to flesh out who Barbara Gordon is, and really is a great bridge to her incarnation as “Batgirl of Burnside” (though the two don’t have any relation, just it seems that her comics have gone full circle in a sense).

Marcos Martin’s style for this series is spot-on, combining a Bruce Timm aesthetic and then adding his own spin to it. It makes the series vibrant and energetic, properly mirroring Barbara’s feisty persona.

A great read that shows off a different, underrated member of the Bat-family, definitely one for the Bat-fans and comic lovers alike.


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