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Batgirl: Year One

(Batgirl: Year One (2003) #1-9)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  6,924 ratings  ·  246 reviews
A look into the action-packed origin of the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon! This volume collects the 9-issue miniseries that uncovered Gordon's transformation from average citizen into costumed super-heroine.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by DC Comics
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,924 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Executed to near-perfection, Year One recalls Barbara 'Babs' Gordon's tumultuous and never-boring debut year while wearing the cape & cowl. It's stylishly illustrated with bright, popping colors, and appearance-wise is reminiscent of the Batman: The Animated Series TV show from the 90's. It's has a great mix of drama and action, with even a few touches of romance and horror thrown in as well.

There's also the humor. Batgirl's voice-over narration (thought boxes, but you know what I
Paz R.M.
3 Stars
I really wanted to love this...
I was expecting more of this. Look, this is an origin story so there are things this book should have accomplished and it didn't. I know that Babs is a very well known character, more as Oracle than as Batgirl, but still, I wanted to know more of the character, I wanted to root for her from the beginning and see the motivations that inspired Barbara become Batgirl. But, you know what I got?

When Barbara tells his father her wish to become a police officer
Where it all began, as told by Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon.

Barbara Gordon, daughter of then-Captain James Gordon (absence of a mother and younger brother here), was a student wanting to go into the police force and set up her own detective agency. But no one, not even her dad, will take her seriously because she's "too short" (right). She takes people underestimating her to her own advantage, and is secretly more capable of espionage and butt-kicking than most full-grown adults. A couple of men
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, superhumans
I like Babs, a lot. But I know her much better as Oracle (a role she filled beautifully) than as Batgirl. I was excited to read Year One, to get to see more of her in the role that she's recently picked up again. (Haven't decided yet how I feel about that...)

Babs is a great character to lead the narration. She's witty and perceptive, and entirely determined to, in some way, follow in her father's footsteps. But she's too short to join the police, or even the FBI, so costumed crime fighting it
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
After reading the New 52's Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection, I've had a renewed interest in Barbara Gordon's origins. I've always thought of her as the real Batgirl, even though I also thought that as Oracle she was one of the most interesting characters in the Batverse.
Batverse...I'm so clever! Ok. Somebody probably thought of that before, but still...
This was a pretty darn good origin story for Babs. In fact, the only real downside in Year One was the less than awesome (to me)
James DeSantis
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This was pretty good!

Babs is kind of hot that weird? Probably. How old is she? Is she out of HS atleast? I hope so.

Anyway that out of the way. I really enjoyed most of year one. It was just a cool way to see how Babs transforms into Batgirl. All the little fuck ups, all the work to get to be a major part of the batfamily, all the success and even her own villains. It stayed interesting throughout with some solid art as well. Also her and Dick are so cute together. More please.

Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was (I think) my first standalone Batgirl encounter and I really liked her.
The artwork in this took me a few pages to adjust to, since it was so different to the style of the Superman story I last read, but it quickly grew on me and now I love it. An introduction at the beginning of the book calls it 'deceptively simple linework focusing on characterisation and acrobatic movement', and I found it to be very effective.

Over the course of this, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon quickly established
Hannah Heath
May 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. It's a bummer, because I loved the artwork and coloring. However, Batgirl was just plain annoying. She had a very in-your-face feminist mindset that I thought was actually kind of demeaning to women. I mean, yes, girls are just as great as guys. Obvious. So stop shouting about it every chance you get. Her reason for going vigilante seemed shallow at best: just to prove she could? And, ya know, because she wants to help, but that was her secondary reason. I liked all of the surrounding ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Batgirl: Year One follows in the same footsteps as Batman: Year One and Robin: Year One in that the book goes back to the origin story of the character and reinvents him (or her in this case). To me, Batgirl has always had more of a fluid origin story. You can't mess with Batman's too much because the hard facts are always that his parents got killed and he takes on the villainy in Gotham City as a way to both avenge and honor them. Batgirl feels more open to different interpretations as to why ...more
Emily Green
Mar 10, 2013 rated it liked it
We all have our origin stories, even us regular people. The tales we tell people when we are getting to know them in order to explain why we are the way that we are: I won the Spelling Bee in eighth grade, the recruiter came on the wrong day and didn’t offer me a scholarship to state college, my grandmother was murdered when I was twelve—the good and the bad moments that make us think and act as we do. The more interesting you are, the more we expect from origin stories, and superheroes being ...more
Rob McMonigal
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Collecting the nine issue series written by Dixon and Beatty and drawn by Marcos Martin and Alvaro Lopez, this is an attempt by Dixon to re-write continuity into his preferred history of the Batverse...

Chuck Dixon is obsessed with the idea that Babs Gordon is the one true love of Dick Grayson. Perhaps he's Xenophobic, I don't know, or maybe Kory's hair just bugs him. Regardless, for almost all of Dixon's run on the batbooks, he's tried to keep Dick and Babs hooked up together, and in this case,
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Put your hands up if you're tired of having to hear about "I'm a GIRL and men HATE GIRLS and they HATE GIRL SUPERHEROES and I have a REALLY HARD LIFE buying expensive computer programming and beating people up and men PICKING ON ME because they're MEN and they HATE GIRLS" shtick. It's weak and outdated and literally THE path of least resistance in building story conflict. As a female person, I actually do have other conflicts in my life than MEN being MEAN TO ME because I have LADY PARTS, so if ...more
Chelsea 🏳️‍🌈
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denise Malta
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Loved loved loved. Great introduction to Batgirl Barbara Gordon. And so many easter eggs and inside jokes for those of us who already know the future of the character and story. I want more more mooooore
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
dick: "the read hair. that little burst of freckles across the bridge of her nose..."
babs: "the boy wonder has a crush on me? ew."
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The dialogue has so many one-liners and puns that it sometimes feels like the 40's. Then again, at least fans of the Batman animated series from the early 90's will enjoy it. The artwork is more modern, borrowed from a more recent tv series. There are murders, arsonists and gangsters that make the story pretty serious, but not too serious. Barbara narrates and often has humorous monologue and a down-to-earth attitude even when dealing with mad criminals and Batman himself. Overall, it's easy to ...more
One of the best batgirl stories ever told!Batgirl year one is just like batman year one or robin year one.Anyways in this story Barbara Gordon wants to be in the CIA yet cant cause she doesn't reach the height to become an agent.I don't get that part because in the other comics shes really tall but i bet she has her other reasons to become a hero,otherwise babs decides to become a crime fighter named batgirl. In this epic comic Barbara will face some criminals and meet with other heroes like ...more
1. i love barbara so much!!!
2. black canary cameos are what i live for
3. dick grayson

that's all thank you
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of all, the art is fantastic. Incredibly graphic (in the artistic sense, not the violent one) and really expressionistic despite the seeming simplicity. I would recommend this is just for a look the great panels and visuals that Martin and Lopez put on the page.
That said, the story is also really good. Babs dresses up as Batgirl just to mess with her dad but ends up finding a way to show the world that the little girl is actually perfectly capable of kicking butts and taking names. We see
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic
So, this is how it all began….

Although Barbara’s motives for wanting to become a superhero (help her dad, help the city, become more than just a regular girl, be recognized for her hard efforts) are somewhat understandable, I found it a bit difficult to relate. She kept putting her life at risk effortlessly and was too competitive to receive help from a man. However, a girl helping was okay?!?

Having said that, the illustrations were easy to look at and the dialogue was on point.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
oh goodness i loved this. i loved barbara a ton and she’s such a good superhero, and i loved seeing the other heroes in this too, especially robin.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
read it during the summer never marked it as read
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
If I am being completely honest with myself this would be more of a 3.5 but the things I loved about it outweigh the bad so 4 stars it is.

The villains were weak; I would have preferred that Batgirl dealt with someone a lot more mythos and personal connection than Killer Moth and Firefly on her first adventure as a caped crusader. I also was never a fan of the Barbara/Dick pairing so most of their interaction fell flat to me. The overall plot wasn't that interesting either if I am being
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result."

Under that basis, why in Hell do I keep putting myself through graphic novels that I know are origin stories when I HATE pretty much every (if not all) origin stories?

Since I started with Steph as Batgirl, I think she'll always be the first one that comes to mind...which I am aware is completely backwards. I am 100% cognizant of the fact that Babs truly is THE Batgirl, yada yada yada. But honestly, I see
Nancy Meservier
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think this might be my favorite Batgirl story so far. Batgirl: Year One tells the origin story of Barbara Gordon. This includes how she stumbled into becoming Batgirl, then began to to form her own identity and purpose. As a similarly diminutive librarian, it was hard not to relate to Babs here (although the writers seem to have a strange idea on how libraries work). One of the running themes is how she is constantly underestimated, despite her skills and strong sense of determination. I found ...more
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A gem of a book I could genuinely pick up at any point in my life and still enjoy reading. Babs has had more than one telling of her story, and this is one I thought did her justice. She's a young woman who wants to make a difference, who can't relate to that. I've been a fan of Batgirl in all her names and incarnations, and this book is quite possibly why. I wish I could remember when I actually first read it. My one complaint is that I believe this was the book that said Babs was too short for ...more
Colona Public Library
This is a great book that shows off Barbara's intelligence and unstoppable ambition. It's good to see Barbara learn about her costume and how to improve it, like getting rid of breakable heels, and getting the information she needs using her ability to access records from the police and her job as a librarian.
Some interesting parallels going on between Batgirl and Killer Moth as wanna-be side kick and wanna-be villain who kinda ends up as a sidekick.

Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21c, superhero, comics
So much fun! Retelling of Barbara Gordon's origin story at Batgirl. The dialogue zings, and the story is totally accessible to newbie readers. At the same time, there are plenty of continuity callouts to keep long-time readers happy: the framing references to Oracle, the flirtation between Robin and Batgirl, the use of the Joker imagery.

Like many, many readers, I have mixed feelings at best about the DCnU reboot of the Batgirl character, but seeing Babs at Batgirl here just makes me smile.
Karrie Stewart
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Batgirl will always be one of my favotite DC charcter's because she is a girl who can kick ass and just happens to be a librarian when she isn't fighting crime.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
the art is gorgeous, the coloring is divine and the writing is fabulous. a must read for fans of Batgirl or those who just love superheroes.
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Scott Matthew Beatty is a comic books writer.

Other books in the series

Batgirl: Year One (2003) (9 books)
  • Batgirl: Year One #1
  • Batgirl: Year One #2
  • Batgirl: Year One #3
  • Batgirl: Year One #4
  • Batgirl: Year One #5
  • Batgirl: Year One #6
  • Batgirl: Year One #7
  • Batgirl: Year One #8
  • Batgirl: Year One #9
“I have to find another path. Divine my own future. One uniquely mine. Not a page from someone else's book. Not a fate that begins and ends on page one.” 1 likes
“I use their expectations against them. That will be their weakness. Not mine. Let them all underestimate me. Let them think they have the upper hand over the little girl. Let them relax while the adrenaline leaks out of their systems. Let them believe they're closing their grips on a shrinking violet. And when their guard is down and their pride is rising... let me kick their butts up around their ears.” 1 likes
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