Friday, February 18, 2005

Detective Comics #359

1st appearance of Batgirl

The story opens with Barbara Gordon, daughter of Police Commisioner Gordon, sewing her costume for the Policeman's Masquerade Ball that night. On her way to the Ball she sees several Moth-men attempting to kidnap Bruce Wayne. Barbara leaps from her car dressed as Catwoman, and using her learned Judo skills fights the Moth-men. This allows Bruce Wayne to escape and change into his identity as Batman. Suddenly Killer Moth flies in via a strong wire suspended from an unknown source. Killer Moth overpowers Batgirl, until Batman shows up and saves Batgirl, while Killer Moth flies off.

The next morning Bruce Wayne learns from a letter mailed to him that Killer Moth plans on attacking Bruce Wayne until he pays him #100,000. Bruce, as Batman, learns that Killer Moth has sent similar letters to all the millionaires in Gotham City. Batman devises a plan to capture the Killer Moth.

Meanwhile, Barbara has been in training to keep herself in top physical shape. Later she receives a rare book that is on hold for Bruce Wayne. She decides to deliver the book in person. Upon arrival in the house she witnesses Killer Moth shooting Bruce Wayne in the back and killing him. Ingeniously she has developed her costume to be disguised as her clothes. Her beret pulls down to become her mask, her skirt pulls away to become her cape, her handbag becomes her utility belt, and her boots unfurl to reveal Bat-boots. Batgirl fights the Moth-men, while Killer Moth escapes. Batman and Robin watch from inside a side room and come out to help her. Batman reveals to Batgirl that it was a trap for Killer Moth, they used a dummy which was shot and Robin placed a homing device on the Moth-mobile. Batman & Robin leave Batgirl to track Killer Moth.

Batgirl removes a motor-bike from her truck, which she has modified into a Batcycle. When Batman & Robin at Killer Moth's hideout, a trap is sprung capturing them. It's up to Batgirl to rescue them from the trap. Upon release all three heroes search the hideout for Killer Moth. Batgirl is able "smell" Killer Moth behind a fake wall. Batman deduces that during her fight earlier, some of her perfume rubbed off onto Killer Moth. So she was able to smell it on him from the other side of the fake wall.

Quote from this issue: "Holy Interference!" - Robin

Credits: Gardner Fox (Script), Carmine Infantino (Pencils), Sid Greene (Inks)

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