Batgirl (also unofficially known as Batgirl Rebirth) is a 2016 monthly comic book published by DC Comics as a part of their DC Rebirth rebranding initiative, written by Hope Larson with art by Rafael Albuquerque.
The series is a direct sequel to Batgirl (2011), which ended with Barbara Gordon (the original Batgirl) heading off to Japan to undergo more combat training, as her skills and motivation had begun to wane during the last few issues of that title.
The first arc follows Babs on this journey of self-improvement as she hops around Asia, facing various talented fighters in pursuit of the mysterious Teacher. She is joined on her travels by an old friend she happens to meet in Japan, who may not be what he seems. This first arc takes place prior to the beginning of Batgirl & the Birds of Prey, another Rebirth title.
Barbara returns to Burnside after her trip to find new tech startup companies springing up everywhere, leaving the neighborhood even trendier than before. As Barbara readjusts to life back home, she meets a new potential love interest: a smart, handsome tech wizard named Ethan... Ethan Cobblepot.
The series began on July 27, 2016 and ended in October 2020 after 50 issues, at the end of the Joker War event.
Batgirl provides examples of the following tropes:
- Ballroom Blitz: In "Art of the Crime", villain Grotesque attempts to bomb an art exhibit hosted by the Gotham City Museum of Antiquities.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted in issue #3. Babs has a black eye after her MMA fight.
- Bit Part Bad Guys: In the 2017 Annual, eco-terrorist villain Red Spur shows up in the two first pages and is chased away by Batgirl and Supergirl before the beginning of the main plot.
- Canon Immigrant: Sort of. Ethan Cobblepot seems to be based on the version of Penguin who appears in Batman: The Telltale Series, given his more attractive appearance and his skill with computers.
- Consulting a Convicted Killer: In "The Brightest Star in Heaven", Batgirl visits her murderous brother, James, in his cell to ask him how she might identify and catch a copycat killer.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Babs decides to train in MMA after interpreting a cryptic clue from Fruit Bat. After spending a week training, Barbara enrolls in her first bout... and gets KO'd with one punch.
- Fiery Redhead: Barbara keeps being a very emotional, quick-tempered redhead.Barbara: Oh, I'm not here to be a ring girl. I'm a fighter. I was hoping to-
Receptionist: Can't help you. ADAPT no longer signs female fighters.
Barbara: Wow. I came to Singapore because I heard ADAPT was the future of mixed martial arts, but you guys are moving back in time.
- If I Had a Nickel...: In the 2017 Annual, Kara tells Barbara about some telepathic messages she has been receiving:Supergirl: There is a girl there. A prisoner. Test subject. She needs our help.
Batgirl: And how'd you find out about her?
Supergirl: Long-distance telepathic transmission. Only I can hear her.
Batgirl: Ah, the old incarcerated psychic trick. If I had a nickel for every time—
- Lovely Angels: With Supergirl in the 2017 Annual.
- Loving a Shadow: Batgirl tells a childhood friend in love with her alter ego that he doesn't know anything about Barbara's current self.Kai: I'm sorry. I never meant... I love her.
Batgirl: You don't even know her, Kai. You're in love with a memory.
- My Parents Are Dead: In a flashback issue, Batgirl gets all steamed up about her father and Robin implies he doesn't know what to have a parent-son argument is like. Barbara asks if his parents aren't around, and Dick answers he's orphaned.Robin: Parents! They're are the worst, right? I mean, so I hear.
Batgirl: Your parents are out of the picture? Are you, like, a foster kid?
Robin: Kind of. I mean, technically, I'm an orphan.
Batgirl: What?! Oh God. I'm sorry.
- Mythology Gag: During her MMA training, Babs uses the name "Amy Beddoes". This is the exact same alias she used in earlier continuity when she worked with the Suicide Squad.
- Old Master: Barbara is initially in Japan to get advice and training from an elderly former vigilante named Fruit Bat, who had been active in the 1930s and 40s. At the time Barbara meets her she's 104 years old and has no trouble fighting off an enemy who is about a fifth of her age.
- "Open!" Says Me: In the 2017 Annual, Batgirl and Supergirl sneak in a clandestine black site to free a prisoner. They have to open a cell door but they've not got the key, so Kara rips the door off its hinges.
- Painting the Medium: In-universe non-English dialogue is translated to English and colored red, rather than simply <in English with brackets around it>, as is usual in comic books.
- The Peeping Tom: In issue #2, Batgirl captures one who had been spying on her hotel room with camera drones.
- Playboy Parody: Issue 25 features Menagerie, which Mad Hatter associate March Harriet worked for as a thinly-disguised Playboy bunny. She eventually discovered that her boss (a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Hugh Hefner) was marketing stolen Hatter tech. When explaining why he would even have a tech launch, she notes that "''Some'' people ''do'' read ''Menagerie'' for the articles".
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Barbara as Batgirl berates Kai for putting deliberately in danger the girl he claims to love:Batgirl: I'll get it back— on one condition. Leave Barbara alone. You put her in danger, and I can't tolerate that.
Kai: What?! But nothing happened to her! Nothing ever happens to her! There's always someone to protect her—
Batgirl: You used her to keep yourself safe. You used me. And who's protecting Barbara while I'm protecting you?
- Recycled Title: This series is DC's fourth to be titled Batgirl.
- Remember the New Guy?: Kai, a new character introduced in the first issue, is a childhood friend of Barbara's despite the fact he's never been seen or mentioned before. This is somewhat of a Running Gag with Babs at this point.
- Retool: Issue 25 starts an arc in which the chip that allows her to walk is damaged by a villain, causing Barbara to have epileptic style fits and memory lapses. Babs ends up leaving Burnside and moving back to Gotham, where she adopts a different costume - the prototype she started her superhero career in. The chip soon gets replaced, causing a one month timeskip while she recovers from the operation - during which Dick Grayson is removed from the picture (he got shot in an issue of Batman and ended up amnesiac). Also, by this point the Rebirth branding had been dropped.
- Shower Scene: In issue #2, Babs takes a shower while she wonders what kind of mess she has got into this time.
- Squee: In the 2017 Annual, Supergirl lets out a high-pitched, literal squee◊ when Barbara agrees to help her solve a case.
- Wedgie: In the very first issue, Supergirl accidentally wedgied Batgirl by grabbing her by her pants when she's about to fall.