It’s the very first appearance of Batgirl in The Animated Series
! We’re excited to discuss Barbara Gordon’s superhero origin story and her introduction into the Bat-family! In this 2-part episode, “Shadow of the Bat,” Commissioner Gordon is arrested for suspected corruption, and a new Deputy Commissioner in town, Gil Mason, has his eye on replacing him. With the return of the devilish villain Two-Face, and the incarceration of her father, Barbara knows she must reach out to Batman for help. But, he has other plans and literally instructs her to stay out of the matter. (Rude!) Batman’s dismissal of her and the impending threat to her father’s life lead Barbara to take things into her own hands. She knows there is only one way to save her father– become Batgirl!
What makes Batgirl’s decision to put on the cape and cowl different than Batman or Robin’s? She’s encountered adversity and loss just like them – but her determination comes from necessity, not vengeance. And, how accepting are Batman and Robin when she asks to join the Bat-family? Seems like she has to work extra hard to win their approval!
As we explore some of the more violent elements of the episode, we discuss the propensity to engage in murder and the real relationship between mental illness and homicide. Fact: A small percentage of persons convicted of murder have a mental health problem. Fact: Most persons with mental health problems will never have a violent episode. Fact: The best predictor of future violence is past violence, not any single mental health diagnosis. To learn more about this episode and the psychology behind it, click the link below!