Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about the various heroines who have taken up the mantle of Batgirl!

Note: DC Comics are divided by publishing eras, determined by a point where they set the issue number (and sometimes, continuity) of a series back to #1. ‘Post-Crisis’ is everything from 1986-2011, the New 52 from 2011-2016, and DC Rebirth from 2016-2021.

Who is Batgirl?

Batgirl is the first female ally to the Bat-Family, joining Batman, Robin, and Nightwing in the fight against crime in Gotham City. Three different women have been Batgirl in the history of DC Comics: Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain, and Stephanie Brown.

Barbara Gordon

The first Batgirl is librarian Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City police chief Commissioner Gordon. Barbara fought alongside the Caped Crusader for many years until an attack by the Joker left her paralysed. Using a wheelchair from then on, she set up a hi-tech headquarters in a clock tower and reinvented herself as Oracle, the ‘mission control’ for the Bat-Family and the Birds of Prey.

New 52

Batgirl. Volume 1, The darkest reflection / Simone, Gail (also on Libby) 

Batgirl. Volume 2, Knightfall descends / Simone, Gail

Batgirl. Volume 3, Death of the family / Simone, Gail

Batgirl. Volume 4, Wanted / Simone, Gail

Batgirl. Volume 5, Deadline / Simone, Gail

Batgirl. Volume 2, Family business / Stewart, Cameron

DC Rebirth 

Batgirl. Vol. 1, Beyond Burnside / Larson, Hope

Batgirl. Vol. 2, Son of Penguin / Larson, Hope

Batgirl. Vol. 3, Summer of lies / Larson, Hope

Batgirl. Vol. 4, Strange loop / Larson, Hope

Batgirl. Vol. 5, Art of the crime / Scott, Mairghread

Batgirl. Vol. 6, Old enemies / Scott, Mairghread

Batgirl. Vol. 7, Oracle rising / Castellucci, Cecil

Batgirl. Vol. 8, The Joker war / Castellucci, Cecil

Other Barbara Gordon books

Batman adventures : Batgirl : a league of her own

The Oracle code : a graphic novel / Nijkamp, Marieke

Cassandra Cain

After Gotham City was struck by an earthquake, a new Batgirl appeared on the scene: Cassandra Cain, the daughter of a pair of assassins who trained her to become the world’s deadliest fighter. Rebelling against her parents, Cassandra became a trusted member of the Bat-Family as Batgirl, and later Black Bat as a part of Batman’s global super-team Batman Incorporated. In the New 52, Cassandra goes by the moniker Orphan.

Batman: No Man’s Land, Volume 1 (only on Libby)

Batgirl : destruction’s daughter / Gabrych, Andersen

Batgirl. Volume 1, Silent Knight / Peterson, Scott

Batgirl. Volume 2, To the death / Puckett, Kelley

Batgirl. Volume 3, Point blank / Puckett, Kelley

Other Cassandra Cain books

Shadow of the Batgirl / Kuhn, Sarah

Stephanie Brown

Finally, the role of Batgirl passed to teenager Stephanie Brown, the daughter of the lesser-known Batman villain ‘The Cluemaster’. First appearing as the vigilante Spoiler, in order to ‘spoil’ the clues to her father’s crimes, she impressed Batman and Barbara Gordon enough to become the next Batgirl.

Batgirl : the lesson / Miller, Bryan Q

Batgirl : Stephanie Brown. Volume 2 / Miller, Bryan Q

Teams

Birds of Prey

As Oracle, Barbara Gordon was the mission control for the Birds of Prey, a small team of heroines including Black Canary and the Huntress.

Post-Crisis

Birds of Prey : murder & mystery / Simone, Gail

Birds of Prey : perfect pitch / Simone, Gail

Birds of Prey : blood and circuits / Simone, Gail

Birds of Prey : end run / Simone, Gail

Birds of Prey : the death of Oracle / Simone, Gail

DC Rebirth

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Vol. 1, Who is Oracle / Benson, Julie

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Vol. 2, Source code / Benson, Julie

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Vol. 3, Full circle / Benson, Julie

Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain were members
of the Bat-Family team in James Tynion IV’s run on Detective Comics.

Batman : Detective Comics. Vol. 1, Rise of the Batmen / Tynion, James

Batman : Detective Comics. Volume 2, The victim syndicate / Tynion, James

Batman : Detective Comics. Vol. 3, League of shadows / Tynion, James

Batman : Detective Comics. Vol. 4, Deus ex machina / Tynion, James

Batman : Detective Comics. Volume 5, A lonely place of living / Tynion, James

Batman : Detective Comics. Vol. 6, Fall of the Batmen / Tynion, James

Batman : Detective Comics. Vol. 7, Batmen eternal / Tynion, James

All the Batgirls were members of Batman Incorporated, a global effort by Bruce Wayne to put ‘a Batman in every city’.

Batman, Incorporated / Morrison, Grant

Batman, Incorporated. Volume 1, Demon Star / Morrison, Grant

Batman, Incorporated. Volume 2, Gotham’s most wanted / Morrison, Grant