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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Batgirl Key Issues


Fulfilling another request I got by email, this key issues series will deal with Batgirl key issues. It will not be a long one and only a three parter.

Some of these I've already discussed in the Batman key issues series, but some I've yet to. Anyways, this will deal with those who have taken up the mantle. You may learn something new or not, but anyways, Batgirl is a pretty popular female comic character. Hopefully, I can do her some justice.

Alright, here's part one to this Batgirl key comics list.




BATMAN #139
1st appearance of original Bat-Girl

Betty Kane or later Bette Kane is known as the original Bat-Girl. As I mentioned a while back in the Batman key issues list, the book the Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham accused Batman and Robin of being gay lovers.

Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent spearheaded a backlash towards comic books, and would eventually lead to the famous Senate hearings. I've discussed the ramifications before and that simple book at the time almost led to the downfall of the comics industry.

Not only was the Comic Code Authority established by all the major comic publishers of the time in order to save the comic industry by censoring it, the character of Betty Kane as Bat-Girl was actually created as a love interest for Robin the Boy Wonder.

This was an attempt to offset the gay allegations produced by Fredric Wertham's book. The ironic thing is that Betty Kane's aunt Kathy Kane as the original Batwoman was created for the sole purpose of shaking off the gay allegations directed towards Batman as well.

When Batman comic sales were declining, editor Julius Schwartz would eliminate her character from the Batman family. The character would later be revived during the 70s or Bronze Age of comics as Bette Kane.

Batman #139 and the first appearance of Bat-Girl Betty Kane was published April, 1961.

eBay - Wow, I didn't see very many copies at all, even raw ones. Actually, I only saw two so far and no slabbed ones.




BATMAN #141
2nd appearance original Bat-Girl
1st appearance of Clockmaster

Batman #141 holds the 2nd appearance of Bat-Girl and Betty Kane. Not sure whether this Silver Age key issue is over-looked in the market or not. I highly doubt it's over-looked since it is an early Silver Age Batman key issue.

Bat-Girl or Elizabeth Kane was created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff. Batman #141 was published August, 1961.

eBay - Definitely more options here than the previous comic featured on this list, but the selection is still pretty lacking. There are about a handful of raw copies and only one CGC. It's a 4.5 VG+ copy.

NewKadia - One FN raw copy here at the moment and the only one in stock.

ComicConnect - Two copies here and both are raw. One is currently up for auction and it is a FN minus. The other is available for immediate sale and it's a FN/VF copy.




DETECTIVE COMICS #359
1st appearance of Batgirl
Origin of Batgirl
1st Silver Age appearance of Killer Moth
Here's something I didn't know. The Silver Age Batgirl known as Barbara Gordon was actually created because of the Batman television series from the 60s.

In season three, the producers of the show approached then Batman editor, Julius Schwartz, and asked him to develop a female character for the show in hopes to attract a female audience. Executive Willaim Dozer suggested that this female character be the daughter Jim Gordon and eventually adopt the identity of Batgirl.

Julius Schwartz was the editor that had previously judged several of the Batman family characters like the original Bat-Girl, Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite too silly, otherwise lame, and should be removed from the series. During this time, Batman comics were declining in sales.

Carmine Infantino came up with the character's design and won over the producers of the show. Barbara Gordon as the new Batgirl became so popular on the show that the character almost starred in her own spin off series.

With character's popularity from the show, it made complete sense to add her to the comics. Enter, Detective Comics #359, the first appearance of Barbara Gordon as the Silver Age Batgirl.


In the original version which mirrored the television series, Barbara Gordon was the daughter of James Gordon. As most fans know of the modern characterization, she would be later retconned as Gordon's niece.

This issue also hold the first appearance of Silver Age Killer Moth, whom is the main baddie of this storyline promptly and correctly titled, "The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!". Absolutely no doubt this is a major Silver Age key issue and definitely a solid comic investment to snag.

Detective Comics #359 was published January, 1967.

eBay - A few copies of this major key up on the mighty eBay. Of course, there are quite a few raw copies to ogle. There's also quite a few slabbers as well and the highest is a 9.2 NM. No cheap buy anymore from mid-grade on up!

mycomicshop - Three CGC copies and two raw copies here at the moment. The CGC copies are a 7.0 FN/VF, a 4.5 VG+ and a 4.0 VG. Raw copies are both in the GD range.

ComicConnect - Three copies and they are all going up for auction in the future. Two are CGC copies and they're a FN+ and a 4.0 VG+. Only raw copy there is a VF.




DETECTIVE COMICS #363
2nd appearance of Batgirl

The first appearance of Batgirl in Detective Comics #359 is already up there in price. Detective Comics #363 has the 2nd appearance of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, and it's starting to get up there as well.

At the time of this writing, I see a CGC 9.4 NM for $500 bucks on eBay. A VF is well below $200. This can be considered the 2nd appearance of Barbara Gordon as well, and the character as Oracle with a different name is slated to appear in the Teen Titans TV series.

May, 1967 is the publishing date for Detective Comics #363 and the 2ns appearance of Batgirl and Barbara Gordon.

eBay - Pretty limited selection so far. Raw copies available and only two CGC copies for the moment. They're both high grade and are a CGC 8.0 VF and CGC 9.4 NM!

mycomicshop - All low grade raw copies here and the highest are two GD/VGs. Last two options are both a GD+.

ComicConnect - CGC 9.2 NM minus is the only copy here as of this writing.




WORLD'S FINEST # 169
3rd appearance of Silver Age Batgirl
1st meeting of Supergirl & Batgirl
Definitely flying under the radar is this 3rd appearance of Batgirl (Barbara Gordon). This issue isn't all that well-known for that key issue worthiness, but it's also flying under the radar for another reason as well.

Yes, this issue also holds the first meeting between Supergirl and Batgirl. Might be a good one to pick up since Supergirl is slated to have her own TV show and Barbara Gordon has been confirmed to be in the Teen Titans show.

September, 1967 is the publishing date for this late Silver Age World's Finest #169 comic.

eBay - Not incredibly abundant concerning this key issue on the mighty eBay at the moment. Only one CGC 9.2 NM minus and some raw copies also.

mycomicshop - One raw copy in stock and it is a VG/FN.

NewKadia - Only one VG+ copy here.




TEEN TITANS #50 VOLUME ONE
1st appearance of Teen Titans West
Bat-Girl joins Teen Titans West
Betty Kane Bat-Girl revived
Looks like this is the issue that brings back Betty Kane as Bat-Girl. Her last appearance in the Silver Age was in Detective Comics #322.

Actually, it's this issue where Bat-Girl joins Teen Titans West. This would later be retconned and Bat-Girl would be retconned out of existence. Not Betty Kane though. Her character would be revamped. You'll see pretty soon in another issue featured on this list.

Teen Titans #50 from the 1st series was published October, 1977.

eBay - Two CGC copies and they are a 9.4 NM and a 9.2 NM minus. The 9.2 is the old Modern Comics Label. Appears to be no problem finding raw copies so far.

mycomicshop - Only two raw copies in stock at the moment. First is a consignment item and is a FN/VF. The last option is in stock and is a GD.

NewKadia - Only one copy here and it's a FN+.

ComicConnect - Only one raw NM minus copy here at the moment.


Some interesting stuff for sure, and I didn't dwell too much into minor keys. Just the sticking points to this character. There is Part Two to this series, so just click the PART 2 link below for more Batgirl key issues.



4 comments:

  1. Hey Mayhem,

    always appreciate some Girlpowergoodness!
    With all the craze surrounding that Gwen Stacy Spidergirl, I just want to bring the
    attention to Amazing Spiderman Annual 19: Mary Jane in Spiderdress - nice!

    Ace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool Ace, thanks for bringing that issue up. What can I say, I love me some female super heroines, but I do have to admit, I probably wouldn't have done it as soon if it hadn't of been requested.

      How goes your hunt, bro?

      Delete
  2. I am appreciate you because you update me about batgirl comics issues and I really like it batgirl character infect I’m purchase Batgirl Jacket for my sister.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, batgirl is not gonna be popular than batman. I don't know why, but this is true fact! Maybe if writers gonna learn how to do a college term paper outline comics about batgirl would be popular again!

    ReplyDelete