Batgirl

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Batgirl is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, depicted as female counterparts to the superhero Batman. Originally created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff, the first incarnation of the character, the "Bat-Girl" Betty Kane, debuted in Batman #139 (1961). The Bat-Girl character was removed from publication a few years later and was subsequently replaced by the "new" Batgirl Barbara Gordon, who debuted in 1967.

While the introduction of Batgirl into the Batman television series failed to save it from cancellation, her comic book counterpart gained popularity and makes regular appearances in Detective Comics, Batman Family and several other books produced by DC until 1988. In that year's Batgirl Special #1, Barbara retires from crime fighting; soon after, she is shot by the Joker, leaving her paraplegic. Barbara later returns to crime fighting as Oracle and in 1999 passes the Batgirl title on to Cassandra Cain. In 2000, Cassandra became the first Batgirl to star in an eponymous monthly comic book series as well as one of the most prominent characters of Asian descent to appear in American comics. The series was canceled in 2006.

The Batgirl series was revived in 2009, with Stephanie Brown stepping into the role of Batgirl. The series ended in 2011 with DC's New 52 relaunch, after which a de-aged Barbara Gordon returned to the Batgirl costume.

Barbara Gordon[edit]

Barbara Gordon: 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."
  • Batgirl: Year 1, issue 1

Barbara: Dad thinks I'm too short. My Sensei thinks I'm too "girly". But just like the principles of jujitsu— 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."
    • Batgirl: Year 1, issue 1

Barbara: I'm strong enough and smart enough for anything you throw at me.
Batman: Then answer one question. Why?
Barbara: Well, I... I...
Batman: I thought so. This isn't a game. Time to go home, little girl.
Barbara: Is that it? I fail the final because I can't tell you in fifty words or less why I want to do this? You may have all the tools of the trade, but you don't have a monopoly on wanting to help. I'll tell you why, you big scary goon... because I can.
  • Batgirl: Year 1, issue 3

Cassandra Cain[edit]

Batman: She was perfect. Not 'good'. Not 'better than expected'. Perfect. I would've surveyed the room before charging in. She didn't have to. Her strange training enables her to... read opponents. Body language is a real language for her. Her only language. With one glance, she already knew what they'd just started to think about doing. The fight was over before her feet touched the ground. But that's not what impressed me. Those people were scum. Cold-blooded killers. They'd fired at women and children, killing dozens. Batgirl knew this. She also knew how I felt about it. How little I'd have minded any extra... zeal... on her part. But... there wasn't any. At her speed it must've been difficult, but she did just enough to take them out. No more. She was... it wouldn't have looked this way to anyone else, mind you, but she was... Gentle. Even with them. Perfect.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 4

Cassandra Cain: Gotham City. Gotham. City. That just... sounds right. Mailbox. Van. Razor. It's strange how naming... changes things. I've walked these streets... every inch of this city... but I never had the words. I never knew the names. Now... it's like it's all changed. All new. Or maybe... Maybe it's me that's changing.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 6

Cass: A special ability to predict my opponent's moves. That doesn't begin to describe it. Time... ran together. The future... blending... into the moment. A blink of an eye... the knife thrust that follows... both one. It was like... like I could predict my opponent's moves. Okay, that does describe it. But it doesn't do it justice.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 7

Cass: People... dying! My... life... worth... more... than... theirs?
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 7

Lady Shiva: I'd heard you were good. Very good. Imagine my surprise when I found that not only is your defense pitiful... but that you won't even fight like we both know you can. I saw the moves you didn't make. Lethal moves. You're obviously a trained assassin. Why did you keep play-fighting?
Cass: I don't kill.
Shiva: A waste. I'd hoped someday, years from now, you might've posed a real challenge. If you'd let lose, a death-duel... Could be interesting. As it is, I leave you to your like-minded mentor. My bracelet, please.
Cass: Come... get... it.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 8

Cass: I don't kill. But I don't lose, either.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 8

Cass: I... need... a favor.
Shiva: A favor? After that little trick you pulled last time? You'll be lucky to leave this roof alive.
Cass: You... see... moves. Before... they... happen. I... used... to. I... want to... again.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 9

Cass: I'll never take another life. Not even hers. So I'll pretend to go all out... and then I'll die. I don't have to do this. I can still study Batman's method. I can be good enough for the costume. I can be... mediocre. For a lifetime. Or perfect. For a year.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 9

Agent: There's no place for you to run. We'll have your address, phone number, dental records and favorite ice cream by the end of the day.
Cass: [smirking] Chocolate.
Agent: This isn't a joke. We can destroy you. We can take your whole life— your family, friends... and turn them against you.
Cass: [laughs] My friends? My friends... will find you.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 13

Cass: Here. Tickets. ID. A new life.
Johnson: Look. I... don't deserve this. I was a part of them, you understand? I helped them—
Cass: Ssh. The boy.
Johnson: What?
Cass: The boy. Remember? I saw you. Running. The boy. Up ahead. No time... to think. Just instinct. You jumped. They didn't. Instinct. That's... who you are.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 13

Kid: My dad... he's bad, isn't he?
Cass: [hesitates] Yes. He is. But... you're... not. Okay?
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 16

Cass: Nobody dies tonight.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 19

Barbara: What if this isn't her blaze of glory? What if she just thinks she can win?
Batman: She knows Shiva will win.
Barbara: Come on— if you were seventeen years old and could beat up ninety nine point nine nine percent of the world... how conscious would you be of that other point zero zero one?
Batman: She knows. She can't help but know. Batgirl reads body language like you read the newspaper. She sees everything Shiva does. Every detail, every nuance of her perfect technique. Batgirl could watch Shiva stand still and know she'd lose the fight. No, she's going through with it because she knows she can't win.
Barbara: Suicide-by-Shiva.
Batman: Shiva is the best. Batgirl wouldn't be the first to consider it an honor.
Barbara: There's still something we're missing.
Batman: Nothing to miss. Her obsessive training, her recklessness, not allowing herself a private life— everything points to one cause: guilt. She was raised by an assassin to be an assassin and that's still how she thinks of herself. A parent's legacy... can be a hard thing.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 23

Cass: Oracle. I want to... thank you. For everything. You were... like... like a... mother...
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 25

Shiva: So tell me... What was it like? Death, I mean.
Cass: I... don't...
Shiva: Never mind. Difficult question. What I don't understand is why. Why did you want to die?
Cass: I... killed a man.
Shiva: Just one?
Cass: I watched... him die.
Shiva: So? You mean to tell me— Ah. Your gift. Reading your opponents' intentions. You saw him die... as he saw it.
Cass: Terror. Then... nothing.
Shiva: And having understood the true nature of what you did, you realized you must pay the same price. Karma. That I understand. So. Now that you've sacrificed yourself... How do you feel?
Cass: [smiling fractionally] Different.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 25

Cass: You... have to stop.
Shiva: I'm Shiva. I can't be stopped. But perhaps... [she draws her sword] you'd like to try.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 25

Cass: I see you, Shiva. Searching... the world. For your death. [she knocks Shiva to the ground] Keep searching. [Cass collapses]
Shiva: [weakly] I'll... kill you.
Cass: Not tonight.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 25

Stephanie Brown: Nice job, Elvira. Hey, how about a rematch on the rooftop tag? Double or nothing.
Cass: Oh, but... I have... no money... [smirks, teasing] Oh, wait... that's right. You... always lose. You're it.
Steph: I swear to God, next time... I'm rooting for Shiva.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 27

Steph: Batman was training me, but he's... gone or something. So I was wondering if... maybe you could show me... some of your moves.
Cass: No. Too busy.
Steph: With what?
Cass: My training.
Steph: Oh, come on... You can take a couple of days off. I mean... you already beat Lady Shiva. Who are you training for, Superman? Pretty please? I'll be your best friend.
Cass: You... won't last.
Steph: [smiling gamely] Try me.
[Cass proceeds to beat Steph effortlessly, until Steph finally has to stop and throw up.]
Steph: Wow. So... Same time tomorrow?
Cass: [eyes her thoughtfully, then smiles] Sure.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 28

Steph: I... You wouldn't understand. You probably don't know... My father was a supervillain. The Cluemaster. Like the Riddler, but with dumber hints. He's the reason I started doing all this. To stop him. He used to... well, anyway. Not important now. I was on my way over here when I saw a sign for Father's Day, and I just... I don't know. It came back to me all at once. You can't imagine what it's like... to live with someone like that. To look up to him and then find out... [beat] Nobody ever talks about your parents. What was your dad like?
Cass: Assassin. David Cain.
Steph: [beat] Are you serious?
Cass: Yeah.
Steph: [bursts out laughing]
Cass: What?
Steph: You've been listening to me whine about having the Cluemaster for a dad, when you're dad's like... the scariest killer on the planet?
Cass: [smiling slightly] Yeah.
Steph: When my dad was mad at me he'd lock me in the closet— What did yours do?
Cass: Shot me.
[They both burst out laughing.]
Steph: Oh, man. I can't beat you at anything.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 28

Batman: What is it?
Cass: We didn't... do anything. That little boy...
Batman: We captured his killer. Brought him to justice. He'll pay for what he did. That's something.
Cass: Not enough.
Batman: What about all the other boys, girls... men and women. The people they would've killed. People they won't kill now. Dozens of lives saved, because of what you did. Isn't that enough?
Cass: No.
Batman: Good. Now you're ready to be a detective.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 34

Barbara: What have you found out about that arms shipment?
Cass: Nothing.
Barbara: Well, get to it. I'll be busy, so don't call me unless you have to. If you want to show Batman you can be a detective, you need to start thinking like one.
Cass: Uh-huh. So... I'll... um...
Barbara: [sarcastically] Of course, you can always just beat up every mob in Gotham until you find the right one.
Cass: [liking this idea] Hm.
Barbara: [facepalms]
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 35

Cass: Don't worry. I'm... a detective.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 35

Cass: You can change. You can.
  • Batgirl volume 1, issue 36

Tom Lavino: Why are you doing all this? Did you... did you lose your parents, too?
Cass: [beat] I... think so. Yes.
Tom: Am I going to have to go to prison?
Cass: I... don't know. Probably. But not... forever. And you... need to... remember. You did... one bad thing. But you're... not.
Tom: Do you really believe that?
Cass: I try to.
  • Batgirl: Secret Files and Origins, issue 1

Stephanie Brown[edit]

Stephanie Brown: Here we go!
  • Steph's battle cry; Batgirl volume 3; issues 3, 7, 11, 16, 23 and 24

Steph: [narration] "Who are you?" Just a girl playing pretend in a hand-me-down costume... A girl breaking promises she never should have made. Who am I? I'm just—
Crystal Brown: [off screen] Stephanie Brown!
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 1

Steph: Waffles. Mom's new way of bonding when she comes off shift. She just transferred to West Mercy Hospital. Yes, Gotham has multiple Mercy hospitals. This should surprise no one.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 1

Steph: Fight or flight... I choose fight.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 2

Steph: My name is Stephanie Brown. I've been a Robin. I've been a Spoiler. And now, I'm... I'm seeing something through. Which is kind of a big deal for me.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 3

Steph: I am who I choose to be.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 3

Steph: A guy asked me a question the other day... about why people run when things get tough. That's easy - you can become someone else, wherever you land, right? Who's gonna know the difference? So why stay? Why set yourself up for more failure? For more pain? Also easy - because we don't know how to do anything else. So why stay? Why open yourself up to all the bad you've tried to leave behind? 'The only variable you can control is yourself.' You can forget who you are, or you can be who you want to be. That's why you stay. You stay for a second chance.
Scarecrow: But if you stay, you're forced to face yourself. No one is brave enough to face who they really are!
Steph: I am—
Scarecrow: And who might that be?
Steph: I'm Batgirl.
Barbara: [monitoring from the Bat Cave] She just might be...
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 3

Barbara: Bruce and Dick made a promise to each other on this very spot, a long time ago. He gave Dick an opportunity to leave his old life behind, a chance to make sure justice was served... Dick didn't take the easy way out. He didn't let his pain win. He used it. I know you've already made that choice. This oath isn't about you... it's about me. I became Batgirl on my own. But the world is different now than it was then. And I'm in this chair as proof. I pledge to you, Stephanie Brown— my guidance. Support. For as long as you want it. When you go out at night, you won't be alone.
Steph: I've got your back, too. Neither of us is alone in this. Ooh— what's that?
Barbara: Something you've earned the right to wear. [Steph looks over to see a new Batgirl costume waiting for her]
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 3

Steph: I'm a dutiful college student... a devoted daughter... and a magnet for trouble. Among other things. My name is Stephanie Brown, and I'm Batgirl.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 4

Stephanie dons her new Batgirl suit for the first time.
Barbara: Uplinking now.
Steph: Uplinking what?
Barbara: Everything. Heart rate, blood pressure... the whole nine yards.
Steph: Does it tell you what I ate for lunch, too?
Barbara: Do you want it to?
Steph: No.
Barbara: Now, if you'd stay in the Cave for a night or two I could monitor your stats and the suit's performance in person. But as you're being stubborn—
Steph: And thirsty for justice—
Barbara: —and thirsty for justice, I'll just have to keep recording your vitals on the fly.
Steph: I dunno, I kind of like the mystery of the whole "field test" thing. You didn't happen to drop and iPod jack into this thing yet, did you?
Barbara: [beat; deadpan] I suppose you'll just have to hum.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 4

Steph: I'm almost fifty per cent sure nothing could go wrong.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 4

Steph: I just watch two guys stealing TVs run into one another. Sadly, both televisions were lost... On the bright side, they'll each have a friend in jail.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 4

Francisco: Look, I appreciate the concern, but I don't like talking about my dad much.
Steph: I can totally relate. See, look how much we have in common.
Steph: [narration] OHGODTHATWASOUTSIDEVOICE.
Francisco: Yeah... so I've got to get to class.
Steph: Who doesn't, right?
Steph: [narration] Just stop, Steph. Curl into a little ball under that bench and stop. Let the snow bury your faux pas.
Francisco: Maybe we can hang out later?
Steph: [narration] !!!
Steph: Won't Jordana mind?
Francisco: She isn't my girlfriend.
Steph: [narration] Yes, you're confused. But look on the bright side, spending time with him gives you the chance to monitor for suspicious activity. He's staring. Say yes, Freakshow.
Steph: I accept.
Steph: [narration] Foreheadslap.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 5

Steph: What do you want, Damian?
Damian: Just trying to figure out what makes "Stephanie Brown" tick. You're a bit of a mystery to me. You certainly aren't very skilled in... anything. No interest in vengeance to speak of. Can't tell what good you are to anyone, really.
Steph: I don't think you'd understand what Barbara and I are trying to do. Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too."
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 5

Steph: We're gonna play this "bad cop, worse cop".
Damian: I get to be the worse cop!
Steph: Attaboy.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 6

Steph: Here's the deal, I'm a 'punch first, ask questions later' kinda gal. Him? He's a stabber.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 6

Barbara: You're going to have to improvise. That's kinda your thing, isn't it?
Steph: [narration] Damn straight.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 7

Damian: How can you gallivant about town with your hair out like that? It's not only a tactical error, but you're leaving yourself wide open to having your identity revealed.
Steph: You don't tuck your hair away, now, do you? Neither did Nightwing...
Damian: Yes, but—
Steph: Or Tim...
Damian: Well—
Steph: Or Superman... Wonder Woman... Kid Flash... You need me to keep goin'? 'Cause I can pull out an encyclopedia.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 7

  • Tim Drake: You swore to me you'd stay out of costume.
Steph: You demanded I stop being Spoiler.
Tim: "So, what, you're still playing dress-up, then?
Steph: Let’s not throw stones, Boy Wonder. I'm not the one dressed like Dr. Mid-Nite.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 8

Steph: So what you're saying is—
Barbara: We're about as screwed as you can get.
Steph: C'mon. This could be worse, right?
Barbara: You ready for this?
Steph: No. You?
Barbara: No.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 10

Wendy Harris: You think this plan is gonna work?
Steph: From where I'm standing, it looks like I’m taking the 'gravity' then 'fists' approach. Given that's how I usually approach everything... This time's just a bit... this is bigger. And I know Oracle would come after me. She's got my back. I promised her I'd have hers when we started this. And I don't break promises. Not anymore.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 11

Detective Nick Gage: I'm all out. What do you got?
Steph: A utility belt full of crap and a positive outlook?
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 13

Kara Zor-El: What should we do first? Keg party?
Steph: Those never end well for me.
Kara: Pillow fight?
Steph: Kara, what college movies have you been watching?
Kara: Um, all of them.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 14

Steph: Mom, I appreciate the thought... but you saw my grades.
Crystal: I look at them every day, Stephanie.
Steph: That B-hive on the fridge is not proof of an overstressed academic life.
Crystal: It’s proof that you're getting there. We both are. We’ve come a long way, you and I, and I feel like we're this close to everything changing.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 15

Gage: Your boomerang—
Steph: —Batarang.
Gage: You realize that sounds more ridiculous, right?
Steph: Ridiculously awesome.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 16

Limbo Town witch: Per guidelines set in Alchan’s Book of the Damned, Third Edition, Twice Removed— it shall be a standard duel. As such, what spells would you like to start with?
Steph: Um... Accio fist? [punches her]
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 18

Steph: We've been on a few of these things together now, right?
Gage: Crime scenes?
Steph: I'll continue to call them 'forbidden work dates', but sure.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 19

Steph: Don't worry! I'm Batgirl! [security guards start shooting at her] Maybe I should have said I wasn't trying to rob you first. I'll own that.
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 20

Steph: Regardless of all the places I've been, and the places I've yet to go... Right here... Right now... This moment is mine. And once tomorrow is here, there's no more today.
Barbara: So why are you crying?
Steph: Because today, I'm happy. And the sunrise is purple. Which is pretty magical if you're me.
Barbara: I figured that had something to do with it. Pollution's a wonderful thing, is it?
Steph: You can call it "pollution". I call it serendipity.
Barbara: That's my girl— Pollyanna to the very end.
Steph: It's only the end if you want it to be.
[Steph fires her grapple gun and swings away across the rooftops.]
  • Batgirl volume 3, issue 24