I love the original Bat-Girl. I first discovered her on a cover of Teen Titans #51 in a back issue bin sometime in the late eighties. One of my favorite comics to read through back issues at the time was Batman Family, which was in the habit of reprinting old stories and bringing back classic characters (like the 1950's Batwoman). Yet somehow the Betty Kane Bat-Girl had eluded me. The origins of Bat-Girl and Batwoman are amazing. In an all-too-brief summary, in the height of 1950's McCarthyism, a scare book called Seduction of the Innocent was published which claimed, among many other things, that Batman and Robin's relationship was turning American children gay. DC's remedy? Girlfriends! Along came Kathy Kane and her niece Betty to don colorful costumes and camp-up Batman comics for a good decade. They were silly, but they paved the way for some of my favorite heroines down the line. Betty Kane eventually morphed into a different character, Bette Kane (aka Flamebird, aka Hawkfire), who happens to be the cousin of Kate Kane the modern Batwoman. Gotta love revamps. Let's check out Bat-Girl below!
In the mid-2000s, DC Direct did an amazing job putting out tons of classic Silver Age characters.
The Karen Palinko sculpt is pretty much perfect. Her articulation is a bit blocky and her "Utility Purse" hangs off her shoulder a bit stiffly, but I wouldn't trade her for the world.
Here are a bunch of Bat-Girl images snagged from the web (and, yes, the hyphen in Bat-Girl is intentional and specific to this version of the character, by the time 1960's Barbara Gordon Batgirl came around, the hyphen was no more).
Time for a Comparison Pic!