Birds of Prey | Book Club Wks 7-9 | SPOTLIGHT | Batgirl: Year One 1-9

Hey there, bird watchers! It’s time for our first Spotlight, and that can only start w/ one lady: :bat::muscle: Welcome to Batgirl: Year One!!

Batgirl: Year One 1-9

This series explores our intrepid leader’s early days, carving out her place in the vigilante business. Both light and dark, through thick or thin—Barbara ‘I’ma do it anyway’ Gordon, comin’ through!

For this round we’ll take 2 weeks (or as much time as you need) to read (2/15–2/28), and start discussion on the 3rd week (3/1–3/7). Drop your thoughts below when you’re ready, and Welcome to the Birds Nest!

:birds_of_prey_club_oracle:You can join or learn more about Birds of Prey HERE

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If I haven’t griped about this story before, remind me during the discussion week so I can gripe about this story some more. :stuck_out_tongue:

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It’s been a while since I read this one and I remember it having things that annoyed me – mostly the constant Greek history monologues that just hits you over the head with a mallet that she becomes Oracle later.

But, I’m looking forward to going back, giving it a fair shake and see what I feel with some older and hopefully semi-more mature eyes. And if not hey, at least @AlexanderKnox won’t be alone in his griping. :laughing:

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Hey @AlexanderKnox! :wave: Glad you’ll be joining us!
I’m looking forward to a reread. When I first read this, I loved it. Curious how I feel now, but I’m not exactly expecting a massive shift in opinion. Maybe that’s the difference between a women/young ladies reading it, and everyone else? :woman_shrugging:t2:

When “they” don’t give girls a lot of options, and there’s only a small handful of comics for us, we don’t exactly get the luxury of being picky. :neutral_face: And we’re likely going to identify more.

@Jay_Kay Yeah, a LOT of “foreshadowing” on Oracle that was :thinking: a bit heavy-handed I guess, BUT I love Oracle, so it wasn’t unwelcome, …if that makes sense. Anyway. See ya both in a couple weeks! :purple_heart:

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Oh, and I remembered something interesting – this series back in 2013 was actually adapted into a “Motion Comic” series that were popular during it’s day. Only watched the first episode of it and it’s cool during the action moments, though it looks…weird when it focuses on people talking.

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Ooh, thanx @Jay_Kay!! :hugs:

I should add, I’m certain this where the “Men! …and Cheryl. gag w/ Gordo comes from on HQAS. :laughing:

Ahh, Cheryl. :coconut::cup_with_straw:

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:laughing:

I love Cheryl because I love anything coconut and my family at this point is exasperated with me and coconut-flavored/scented things.

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:laughing: They’ll survive. You keep that coconut flowing! :coconut::metal:

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For me, the big issue is that Barbara has more of a chip on her shoulder than she had in previous versions of her origin story. Her need to prove herself in a misogynistic world despite being the smartest person in the room has always been a major component of her character, but she’s usually less…bitter at this point. I think Chuck Dixon was going for “defiant” and ended up with “resentful,” probably because he was more used to writing her as Oracle.

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@AlexanderKnox Yeah. I went back through the first issues before I posted the thread and I definitely see this a bit more- I completely understand her attitude, tho.

Definitely a sign of the times, imo. I can vouch for the bits of fury that come along w/ being ‘the Cheryl.’ :roll_eyes::woman_facepalming:t2:sigh Or not even getting that far. She shouldn’t have to wait her turn, because of a biased, broken system. That’s what I see.

Anyway. Agree, changing gears for a younger version of her may have been hard, but her fire and drive is what I like, so I don’t know I’ll view it quite that way once I’m done. We’ll see. Times change and so do I. :wink:

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So, I haven’t read this before and I’m about to start but I have a quick question first. I thought Barbara was Gordon’s daughter but these latest issues have said she was adopted by him? Was this something that was changed at some point. I’m confused. :sweat_smile:

Sorry if this has been asked before.

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Basically it was a retcon that had to be done because of Batman: Year One, and Miller having a “Barbara Gordon” be Gordon’s wife and his only child being James Jr. It made it next to impossible for there to be a Barbara Gordon that could be Batgirl in Bruce’s lifetime.

So they changed it to her being the daughter of James’ brother (there has to be a better way to say that but I don’t remember it) who James took in after her parents died.

That was basically how it was accepted until the New 52, when they put Barbara back as his daughter and she grew up with James as a younger brother.

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Ah, thank you. I figured it was something like that. I had always heard of her as his daughter so this new to me.

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Yeah, it’s one of those things where even when this take was still going on, every other version we’d see was her as Gordon’s daughter – with one notable exception which we won’t get into…

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I would suggest reading Secret Origins #20 (1987) for a straightforward presentation of Barbara’s post-Crisis origin story, complete with the “real parents” retcon.

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Neice? :joy: :purple_heart: just teasing

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That’s it! For some reason I always get it confused with cousins.

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@Jay_Kay We all knew what you meant.:hugs: No worries. Sometimes words escape us—especially when we’re talking about comic history and retcons.

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I liked this story. I read it in Batgirl: A Celebration of 50 Years. The hardcover only had an issue or 2 from this series so I read the missing issues on DCU and then jumped back and forth between the book and my tablet.

Also, thanks to this hardcover I have read her first appearances in Detective Comics. Both in Detective Comics and Year One, the main bad guy is Firefly. Year One did a better job with handling him than Detective Comics and also did a better job of handling Babara Gordon. In the original appearances of both Batgirl and Bat Girl, two different characters, they both had something to prove but would go about it in an annoying way. The original Bat Girl was Kate Kane’s niece (Betty Kane?) and she would get in the way, leading to her own capture. The moral of her story is for girls to listen to grownups and do what they are told. Meanwhile, Batgirl’s (Babs Gordon) first story was very similar to what was told in Year One, except it was the Cliff Notes version of this. There weren’t too many changes that I can remember outside of a fleshed-out story.

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Phew! I thought I was late to this discussion, but I’m not! I’m just late to all my other discussions… lol!

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