You better scram. Take it on the lam. It’s Bat-Girl!

June 8th, 2010 by | Tags: ,

My reaction to the debut of Bat-Girl.

So the issue opens with a poem about Bat-Girl and with Bat-Girl distracting the criminals with a ‘self-inflating balloon’, complete with a scary face, so she can lasso them.  I guess a batarang through the hand was overkill back then.

Batman, Batwoman and Robin are caught in a villain’s ‘circle of electricity’, when Bat-Girl swoops in, takes out the villain and swoops back out.

Later, she finds Batwoman in her ‘lair’ and asks, “Did I do all right, Aunt Kathy?”  This scene, I think, was exactly mirrored in the latest issue of Detective Comics, in which Bette, in the Flamebird costume, finds Kathy after Bette is nearly murdered by a psychopath.

Betty doesn’t find out via traumatic incident in this incarnation.  She just sees Batwoman on TV, decking criminals with a box of gold stars.  Later, when she brushes her hair with Kathy’s brush, gold stars fall out and she makes the connection.

Batman, Robin and Kathy try to figure out how to get Betty to quit being Bat-Girl.  Man, does every Bat-Girl get kicked around like this?  Come on, people!  How about a hearty, “Glad to have you on the team!”  And a muffin basket.  Anyway, the jerks decide that Kathy will ‘train’ Betty hard enough to make her quit without ever intending to let her be Bat-Girl, even though she saved their ungrateful lives on the second page.

Betty figures it out, and  decides to track down the ‘Cobra Gang,’ which she, again, saved them all from in the first few pages.  She tracks them down in nothing flat, and uses the balloon trick that we saw on the first page.  They pop the balloon and capture her, throwing her in an office.  This is why you use a batarang through the hand.  Good sleuthing, though.

While trapped in the office, Betty makes paper bats and throws them out the vent.  A young boy sees them and calls the police.  And boom, the Bat-team arrives.

One of the thugs threatens Bat-Girl with a gun, she pretends to faint (did that also happen in the Detective book?) and smacks him in the arm.  She asks Robin how she’s doing.

“Not bad – for a girl!”

I’m just going to set that phrase on fire and walk away from it in slow motion.

Later, Bat-Girl says she’s ‘learned her lesson,’ but Batwoman says that maybe they will team up someday, since she’s proved herself.  Bat-Girl turns to Robin and knees him in the balls.  I mean, she asks if they can go on a crime-fighting date, but Robin sweats so much, turns so red, and looks so unhappy that I’m just going to pretend that she kneed him and that the date comment was sarcasm.

And that’s the debut of Betty.  Well, she’s no Steph, Barb, or Cass, but she’s a Bat-Girl, she’s shown to be smarter than the rest of the team and at least as good a fighter, and we’ll see what she comes up with next issue.

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4 comments to “You better scram. Take it on the lam. It’s Bat-Girl!”

  1. Were these ever reprinted?

  2. @Kid Kyoto: I’m reading them in a big hardcover entitled “Batman From the Thirties to the Seventies.” Betty showed up in 1961.

  3. Batgirls really are serially tormented, aren’t they? Always unwelcome, always saving the day.
    I love that Bett’e’ is back as Flamebird (though the hairbrush thing sounds silly), but how dare you forget Helena in your roll-call!

  4. @duckface: I didn’t forget Helena. I could make excuses about why she’s not in here, but I think, in the end, she wouldn’t want to be thought of as Batgirl. (I’d give her Batwoman, though. I think DC just didn’t want her to have that title because it hadn’t be rehabilitated yet.)