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- The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl! (Batman, Robin and the debut of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl / written by Gardner Fox
Nine months before making her television premiere on "Batman" a new Batgirl appeared in the paged of Detective Comics and would become one of the more popular characters to emerge from the Silver Age of Comics. Yet the idea for the debut of Barbara Gordon, according to editor Julius Schwartz, was attributed to the television series executives' desires to have a character that would appeal to a female audience and for this character to originate in the comics.
Hence, writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino collarborated on "The Million Dollar debut of Batgirl!" Barbara Gordon was a brainy librarian with a brown belt in judo. She was nothing like her teenage predecessor, Betty Kane, who relished being a hero; in fact, the daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon only donned a Batgirl costume for a policeman's masquerade ball.
However, when she stumbled upon an attempt on the life of millionaire Bruce Wayne by Killer Moth, Barbara sprang into action, fending off the attackers and feeling a crime-fighting spirit awaken within her. The spirit awakened again following what appeared to be Wayne's murder at the hands of the Killer Moth. Unfortunately, Batgirl soon discovered that "Wayne" was a dummy set up by Batman and Robin to draw out Killer Moth, and her arrival had interfered with the operation.
Though dejected, Batgirl quickly made amends for her rookie mistakes, tracking Killer Moth to his hideout and rescuing the Dynamic Duo from a gravity free chamber that made them helpless targets. She had been wearing perfume during their previous tussle and some had rubbed off on Killer Moth. She was even able to scent down the criminal mastermind when he attempted to evade capture.
The Caped Crusader told the impressive Batgirl that he would welcome her help whenever the need arose, though she wasn't the type to wait for an invitation. Furthermore she was intent on refuting the perception of the "weaker sex" and refused to take a back seat to anyone. Although she partnered with TV's Dynamic Duo for only one season, Batgirl became a regular fixture in future comic book adventures.
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