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Top Five Most Iconic Batgirl Covers

Here are the top five most iconic covers featuring Batgirl (with iconic being determined partially subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of Batgirl, but first being determined with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character). The notable exception is no covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in)! Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.

Enjoy!

First off, while I’m exempting first appearance covers from the countdown, it’s only fair, I suppose, to share them here before the countdown begins, so here is the first cover appearance of Batgirl from her first full appearance, Detective Comics #359…

Artist: Carmine Infantino

5.

Artist: Damion Scott

I figure the Cassandra Cain fans have suffered enough, here’s a spot on the list for the Cass fans out there!

4.

Artist: Nick Cardy

Nick Cardy sure knows how to draw dynamic covers!

3.

Artist: Neal Adams

This was the second issue of Detective to feature Batgirl as the co-lead, and the first where she actually appeared on the cover with her cover credit.

2.

Artist: Gil Kane

This Gil Kane cover nicely captures the relationship dynamic that existed between the Dynamic Duo and Batgirl back then.

1.

Artist: Carmine Infantino

Secret identities and Batgirl were, for whatever reason, a major cover motif in Batgirl’s cover appearances (which were surprisingly infrequent, all things considered).

56 Comments

Man, Batgirl has some fugly covers. They’re all tiny and show only a red “X.” Even good artists fail when it comes to Batgirl!

these artists aren’t as good as i’ve been led to believe.
DFTBA

Hmm..I wonder what went wrong with the images? I believe they’re working now. How odd.

Aside from no. 5, I’m skeptical that any of the other Barbara covers would spring to the forefront of many people’s minds when thinking of Batgirl. That being said, no. 1 is an interesting window onto attitudes towards women in comics at the time.

I want to meet the Buford von Stomm who had the cajones to pin that sign to Batman’s cape. He should have written “kick me” under the death threat, just to add insult to injury.

That Neal Adams cover is sweet even if the motif is pure 60’s era DC schlock. I love that logo and Batgirl looks great.

No Williams covers from Detective?!? I know they’re new, but every one of the recent ones is far superior to any of these, don’t you think? Let’s call them pre-iconic!

For giggles, I’m throwing out there Batman Family #1, with Senator (yes, Senator) Barbara Gordon versus Benedict Arnold: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fc/BatmanFamily01.jpg

That’s Batwoman, Dave!

Just out of curiosity, if you chose not to have a Cass Cain cover what would have been your 5th Batgirl cover.

Probably the Mignola cover for Batgirl Special #1.

nice to see both babs and casandra get some love though some of the covers do not do her justice except for neil adams one and too bad that since babs is on this list as batgirl she can not be done as oracle

Wow, I’ve never seen any of these before.

What about the covers from the Batgirl: Year One miniseries?

For giggles, I’m throwing out there Batman Family #1, with Senator (yes, Senator) Barbara Gordon versus Benedict Arnold: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fc/BatmanFamily01.jpg

Congresswoman Barbara Gordon actually. And yes, I probably would have picked that cover too!

Hmm, first ones that came to mind for me were:
The infamous Detective Comics #371: http://cache.coverbrowser.com/image/detective-comics/371-1.jpg
and World’s Finest #169: http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/worlds-finest/169-1.jpg

Where the heck is Detective #371? When I saw the title of this post, I immediately assumed that would be #1.

That ridiculous faux-Batgirl in the Damian Scott cover shouldn’t even be on this list. There, I said it.

How many of top 4 covers here make the top 5 Iconic Barbara Gordon covers?

Detective #371 should definitely be on the list. It encapsulates the ’60s-era take on Batgirl.

What about the covers from the Batgirl: Year One miniseries?

Agreed. Year One is probably my favourite Batgirl story. And the art is gorgeous.

My “problem” with Detective #371 is that I really don’t think it DOES encapsulate how Batgirl was treated, on the whole. I think it was a sort of embarrassing aside rather than actually representative of how she was treated in the comics.

If it WERE representative, then sure, it would definitely deserve a spot on the list.

The art on Batgirl: Year One IS gorgeous, but I don’t find any of it particularly iconic – Batgirl “iconic” phase was really the late 60s/early 70s.

My “problem” with Detective #371 is that I really don’t think it DOES encapsulate how Batgirl was treated, on the whole. I think it was a sort of embarrassing aside rather than actually representative of how she was treated in the comics.

If it WERE representative, then sure, it would definitely deserve a spot on the list.

It’s mostly embarrassing out of context. In the story it was a cunning ruse that she used to snare criminals in a way that Batman could never have pulled off — and THAT is completely representative of early Batgirl stories.

To me, Batgirl is the character most closely linked with the 60s TV show. I have never read an line of dialogue written for Barbara Gordon (or Batgirl) and not heard Yvonne Craig’s voice in my head. She is really one of the few comic book characters who are defined that strongly for me by one actor.

So, Batgirl has always been a character that I have viewed as being both very smart and very sexy, while maintaining a wry, ironic distance from the superhero world. She is self- aware and self-assured enough to thrive in both the superhero and real worlds. That was why the Joker assaulting her was so uniquely horrifying.

In the comics, Batgirl was always used as the outermost limit of the circle of trust within the Batman Family. That aspect in Covers #1 and #2. She was constantly either trying to pull Dick Grayson out into the world outside Wayne Manor, or trying to earn Batman’s trust to entrench herself more deeply within the Batcave. It was an interesting dynamic.

Batgirl Special #1 is the one that springs to mind for me.

This is the opposite of the Wolverine selections — the only image on this page I would consider iconic is Batgirl #1. The rest of them are just…covers. Thanks to all those who pointed out Detective #371, though. I’ve never seen that one before and it is very, very funny.

By the way, is there going to be a Luke Cage iconic covers? I can only think of a couple, and one of them is with Iron Fist. Sweet Christmas!

Detective #371 was iconic enough to be the cover to the Batgirl Showcase Presents trade, which touched off that whole onlne firestorm about sexism in comics.

Batgirl: Year One #9 is a great cover:
http://www.the-trades.com/hprice/BatgirlYearOne9.jpg

I’ve seen Superman # 268 a lot more than Supes # 279, but Batgirl’s not very prominent. I would’ve called it a tie.

That’s a reasonable position, Mark.

” I want to meet the Buford von Stomm who had the cajones to pin that sign to Batman’s cape. He should have written “kick me” under the death threat, just to add insult to injury. ”

You, sir, have earned extra points for a Phineas and Ferb reference.

( And it would be even funnier if it turned out that Alfred was the one who put that on Bruce’s cape, as an April Fool’s Gag. )

FunkyGreenJerusalem

September 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Probably the Mignola cover for Batgirl Special #1.

That’s the one that sprung immediately to my mind when I saw that it was Batgirls turn for iconic covers.

I too would have like to have seen #371’s cover listed here. (BTW, the Showcase volume featured #371’s splash on the cover, and not #371’s cover image.) I loved how the 1967 Batgirl paved the way for Marvel’s “new” Black Widow in 1970 (all of a sudden Natasha sported long red hair and a black bodysuit).

Not a representative Batgirl cover, but I’ve always liked Curt Swan’s sleek Batgirl.
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/worlds-finest/169-1.jpg

Ah, shurwitt, sorry–I didn’t see you’d already cited the World’s Finest cover. Well, it deserves multiple mentions, doesn’t it?

I’ll take DETECTIVE #371 and WORLD’S FINEST #169 over covers #1, #2, or #4, please.

Batgirl has had a few infamous covers and stories. I’m not surprised to see ‘Tec #371. Fortunately, the embarrassing Brave and the Bold #78 was not included, no doubt because Batgirl’s recumbent figure is so tiny!

http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/brave-and-the-bold/78-1.jpg

By the way, I loved those old Curt Swan World’s Finest issues, but can’t remember the big reveal in #169. Are they really Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk in disguise, or something?

Yep, you remembered it well, Mike. There were a couple of “big reveals” here…the gentlemen you named posed as Catwoman and Black Flame impersonating Batgirl and Supergirl respectively. As always, the Swan-Klein art was superb.

What makes you think there’s a big reveal, Mike?

Okay, if you insist:

http://www.thefifthbranch.com/gorilladaze/?p=87

The real villains of the piece now make themselves known….

Damian Scott’s Solo issue was awesome. I need to check out his Batgirl work.

Wow. Those are some… I don’t want to say “lame” covers, but they’re pretty unspectacular. Not a one leapt out at me, except for the first appearance cover. I’m with the folks who mentioned Batgirl: Year One — there were some really nice Batgirl covers on that series.

Have a good day.
John Cage

Some of these covers ARE pretty lame. The only one I’ve seen before is #2. (Well, not counting #5 — which is a just-plain-ugly cover.) Nick Cardy’s dynamic Superman (& Batgirl) cover isn’t lame or ugly, it’s great, but I’ve never seen it before, which makes me wonder about its iconic-ness. Of classic early Batgirl covers, I often think of the JLA cover with Queen Bee.

I completely agree with everyone who’s given a shout out to Batgirl: Year One. In fact, it’s the Batgirl cover that first springs to my mind:

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=209802&zoom=4

And what about this one? (I suppose you could argue it’s not a Batgirl cover but a Babs Gordon (or Oracle) cover … but the Bat-symbol is clearly a key element, and of course the entire cover directly references the turning point in her life that’s inextricably linked with the character. Also, I think it was the first of several covers that tout a rematch between her and Joker.)

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=49096&zoom=4

Yeah, I just figured out that whole Batwoman thing. I was looking at the Detective 857 cover on another article here and went “Duh!” These things happen.

Based on these covers I think the most incomic Batgirl cover came out this month (Thankfully she is putting on the good costume and not the one that appears INSIDE the comic…)

Personally, I’m a Cassandra fan, so I probably would have included at least one of these as well:

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=95143&zoom=4

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=117660&zoom=4

A couple that I think deserve at least an honorable mention:

Detective #422:
http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=25042&zoom=4

Detective #484:
http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=33467&zoom=4

How ’bout some cover love for Betty Kane, the original Bat-Girl (with the hyphen!):
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/batman/139-1.jpg

Batgirl Special (1988 – linked above by another poster) is still my favourite

“Probably the Mignola cover for Batgirl Special #1.”

That’s usually the cover I think of whenever I think of Batgirl.

For me, it will always be Detective Comics #484 (linked above by J. Kevin Carrier). That cover was used in house ads and was the first time I ever saw Batgirl.

EM

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