Batgirl and Beyond: The Dynamic History of the Heroines of Gotham City (Hardcover)

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Explores the history of Batgirl from her groundbreaking comics debut to her disappointing live-action appearances and beyond.

For over sixty years, every woman who took on the mantle of Batgirl has been a powerful, independent heroine, belying the sidekick status the name implies. Betty Kane, the original Bat-Girl, was a hero for young girls at a time when the genre was leaving them behind. Barbara Gordon embodied the values of the women's liberation movement and became a powerful figure in disability representation. Cassandra Cain was a woman of color in the traditionally monochromatic DC Comics universe. Stephanie Brown was a perpetual outsider, a voice for those who never belonged but kept trying regardless.

Exploring the history of the Batgirls and their unconventional fans, Batgirl and Beyond: The Dynamic History of the Heroines of Gotham City showcases the turbulent evolution of the superhero industry and its female heroines, as well as the importance of the legions of fans who pushed the genre forward to become more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming to all. Tim Hanley traces how each Batgirl dealt with a litany of mistreatment from a publisher who didn't understand their distinct appeal and didn't care to learn. From erasure to benchings to grievous injury and even death, Batgirl has been subject to the genre's worst excesses--and she has not fared much better on television or in movies. However, Batgirl always comes back stronger and more resilient, and has remained a staple in the DC universe for decades. A must-read for fans new and old, Batgirl and Beyond is a tribute to an iconic character and a call to action for media to better embrace and represent female heroes.

About the Author

Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020), Not All Supermen: Sexism, Toxic Masculinity, and the Complex History of Superheroes (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022), and more. His work has appeared in the Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Comics Journal. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, between his massive stacks of comic books.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781538192429
ISBN-10: 153819242X
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publication Date: November 19th, 2024
Pages: 216
Language: English