If you’re familiar with Batgirl at all, you probably know the red-haired Barbara Gordon—daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon. But there was another Bat-Girl before her, and for some reason there was a hyphen in her name.
Long story short, Batwoman was introduced in 1956 to quell any uncertainty about Batman’s sexuality, and 5 years later Bat-Girl showed up as a love interest for Robin. And if you think Batman was uncomfortable with the romantic advances of Batwoman, you should see the way Bat-Girl made Robin squirm.
Heiress Kathy Kane and her niece Betty helped (and often accidentally hindered) the Dynamic Duo as Batwoman and Bat-Girl until 1964, when a new editor threw out all the goofiest trappings of 1950s Batman stories. So long to Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Ace (Batman’s Bat-Hound), and Bat-Mite!
Just three years later, at the request of the Batman TV show’s producers, a new Batgirl (sans hyphen) was launched and she proved much more popular than the Batwoman/Bat-Girl team. It’s kind of surprising how quickly poor Kathy and Betty were forgotten.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Tomorrow: Tin—the next to last of the Metal Men!