Batgirl’s Sexy Sexy Fun Time! (Also, Attempted Murder)

One of the perils of trying to come up with something entertaining to post every day is that I often have a pretty hard time figuring out what I’m going to write about on any given night. This may come as a shock to you, given that most people are probably not familiar with the nigh-Herculean effort it takes to scan one panel of Jimmy Olsen, write a joke about it, and hit “Publish,” but as Mark Hale will no doubt attest, I usually spend my evening muttering, gnashing my teeth, and complaining that I have nothing funny to write about.

This is because I’m an idiot, and I often completely forget that I have a whole bookshelf of black-and-white reprint books six feet from where I work.

Seriously, for today’s modern comics blogger, those things are worth their weight in gold, because you can pretty much just pick one up, flip to a random page, and start writing about what you read.

And that, dear friends, is exactly the process that led us here tonight.



From the pages of 1969’s Detective Comics #388, I bring you “Surprise! This’ll Kill You!” by Frank Robbins, Gil Kane, and Murphy Anderson–reprinted, of course, in the much-maligned Showcase Presents Batgirl v.1–and while I can’t really think of any reason why I wouldn’t stop to read about a story featuring a giant (?) Batman getting ready to shoot a miniature (?) Batgirl who was riding around on a disc of light, that’s not the panel that caught my eye. But I’ll get to that later.

The story itself–which has nothing to do with a gargantuan Batman, as it turns out–opens with Barbara Gordon being titillated by a personal ad.

No, seriously. See for yourself:



You know, you can take the nerd out of the library, but you just can’t take the library out of the nerd.

Incidentally, I also have a special offer for friendly red-haired girls, but that’s neither here nor there. All that matters for Barbara is living rent-free in Gotham City, but when she finally gets to the address in question, there’s a whole hallway full of friendly redheads in front of her:



Well, friendly for Gotham, anyway.

The competition, however, is short-lived. Each girl is briefly interviewed through the peephole and sent packing, until Babs gets her turn. No sooner has she gone up to the door, in fact, when it’s thrown open to reveal… BATGIRL?!



The ersatz Batgirl is actually Darlene Dawson, and as one should always expect when offered a rent-free apartment from a classified ad in exchange for just being a shapely redhead, there’s a catch. Babs suspects as much, though, and uses her finely-honed detective training to identify herself not as Barbara Gordon, but as Barbara Gorman. Good call, Babs. They’ll never crack that code.

Fortunately, the catch doesn’t seem too bad. See, Darlene’s a stewardess, and needs to attend both an awards ceremony/masquerade ball and her grandfather’s 85th birthday on the same night, and needs someone to double for her.

This does absolutely nothing to explain why she’s been wearing the Batgirl costume for the entire time that she’s been interviewing potential replacements, but whatev.

Considering that she was just going to put on a Batgirl costume later anyway, Barbara agrees, and then she and Darlene–the stewardess and the feisty librarian–spend a good five panels exchanging clothes and working out the terms of their apartment-sharing deal.

That, for the record, was the page that caught my eye, and also makes this the single greatest comic story ever printed.

Sadly, the fun times couldn’t last, so once Darlene’s back in her “air hostess” clothes, she bugs out and leaves Barbara to hang around and wait for her escort to the Airline Awards, who is of course dressed like Batman. Now I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never actually seen a costume shop in my entire life, and I think that has something to do with the fact that I’ve also never heard of anyone having an honest-to-God masquerade party outside of the month of October.

Were they really popular forty years ago? Did I just miss out on an era when you could bop down Main Street and buy a Batman costume so unerringly accurate that it could fool even his fellow crime-fighters? Will there ever be a time when–Huh? Oh, right: Fight Scene!



As it turns out, the Batman at the door is significantly less heroic than the standard model, and comes in swinging. Making matters worse, the whole thing with the free rent was just a set-up by Darlene to buy time while she skips town. Which still does not explain why she was wearing the Batgirl outfit while she was trying to find a suitable patsy to take the fall, but Babs has other things to worry about at the moment, like being kicked in the face by faux-Batman.

Clearly, there is only one way that this fight can end. Fake Batman…




And then he chucks her out a window.

Oh relax, she’s fine. In fact, she let him win so that she could get to the bottom of the mystery. Apparently, Darlene–who was completely honest with Babs other than the small matter of trying to get her killed–was smuggling diamonds for a gang of crooks dressed like super-heroes who appear to have been imported from the last-page reveals of EC Horror Comics:



Despite their skill at choosing costumes, the criminal masterminds present no real trouble for Babs, and once she tracks Darlene to the house where her machine gun-weilding ex-bootlegger grandfather lives and beats Fake Superman up some more, everything eventually works out okay.

Well, except for the fact that everyone knows she’s the real Batgirl and Darlene (who manages to avoid the hail of bullets issuing from her senile old man) has seen her face and knows her as “Barbara Gorman,” but aside from that, it’s all good in the ‘hood for Jim Gordon’s little girl.

No word on whether or not she keeps the apartment, though.

18 thoughts on “Batgirl’s Sexy Sexy Fun Time! (Also, Attempted Murder)

  1. Loupes are not supposed to bend like that, is all I’m saying.

    Also, I was mildly disappointed when, after Babs walks into the room full of titian-haired thrushes, the story did NOT turn into a blatant ripoff of The League of Red-Headed Gentlemen.

  2. You know I was always bothered when my grandfather would make me run around the backyard serpentine while unloading a clip of AK-47 towards me. I feel better that someone else had to endure that pain.

  3. It also reminded me of The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, except without Jeremy Brett’s awesome Queenbury rules style fight sequence.

    Conan Doyle got a lot of use out of that plot didn’t he.

  4. Oh man… imported from the last page reveals of EC Horror Comics… that’s too much. Geez I gotta stop reading your blog at work! Keep it up Chris!

  5. >>I’ve never actually seen a costume shop in my entire life.

    Hello? Cromers? Sort of an institution around these parts. You never went to the one in the mall that had the live monkeys in the back? Right above all the costumes?

  6. Also, I was mildly disappointed when, after Babs walks into the room full of titian-haired thrushes, the story did NOT turn into a blatant ripoff of The League of Red-Headed Gentlemen.

    Me, too. Except instead of “blatant ripoff” I was hoping more for “sexy, porn-esque homage”.

  7. There’s a Costume/magic shop in Champaign, IL, called Dallas & Co. It’s kind of neat, they put on a haunted house every Halloween with all the gags you can rent. There’s also an unobscured 15 foot gorilla statue hidden in the store. You’ll never actually see it if you don’t look for it though.

  8. Did you not scan the panel that made this the greatest comic of all time?? What gives!

  9. We have a lot of year-round costume hsops in Montreal (and no, I don’t understand the economics either). Not one seems to carry superheroic costumes good enough to fool fellow crime-fighters. But they’re a DC institution; Iris and Barry Allen went to a party filled with masquerade-heroes the nigh Iris was killed, right?

  10. Mike: Small world! I live in Urbana and work in Champaign!

    Jacob: The old Superfriends comic had some sort of crazy costume party shenanigans in it. I think that story ended up in one of the trades they released a few years back.

  11. Titian? Now THAT is an adjective I was not aware of. I’ll be sure to use it from now on in horribly inappropriate ways.

  12. It’s a little known fact that between feastings, Galactus would force his most favorite herald into a Batgirl costume and dress himself up as a giant Caped Crusader.

    That’s just how the big G rolls.

  13. I’ve not only seen three different costume shops here in Toronto, but I ended up buying stuff in two of them. Sad as that is, at least it wasn’t for LARPing or cosplay… >_>

  14. I came to this site after watching g4’s Attack of the Show and it does not disapoint.

    Dallas and Co. is a cool place not only for the giant ape but also for the Predator standing around.

  15. There are a bunch of costume stores in New York City. They seem to get by in November through September from “adult” costumes.

  16. Is that…is that a Bat-Purse? Did Batgirl’s costume actually come with a Bat-Purse?