Fan art resurfaced by John Keaveney depicts Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl in a series of the hero’s most iconic costumes, setting Twitter ablaze.
Since its first appearance in 1961, bat girl has worn many iconic costumes, as depicted in a spectacular new set of fan art. From Betty Kane to Barbara Gordon, the Batgirl mantle has been owned by several women, all bringing a distinct flair to their costumes. After more than 60 years of Batgirl stories, some costumes have remained loyal to fans, gaining classic status.
First introduced as Batwoman’s Robin, original Batgirl Bette Kane was eventually cast aside by DC editorial to reconnect Batman with her darker roots. Bette was later replaced by Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara Gordon, who became the most famous iteration of the hero. Barbara became Oracle after being controversial and tortured by the Joker in Batman: The Killing Joke. As Batgirl is a core member of the Bat-Family, the identity was later taken over by characters such as Helena Bertinelli, Cassandra Cain, and Stephanie Brown. During The New 52, Barbara reprized her role as Batgirl in some hugely popular storylines, including Burnside’s Batgirl. More recent stories show that Barbara primarily operates as Oracle, but still disguises herself as Batgirl when necessary.
Art by artist John Keaveney depicting Barbara in various iconic costumes has recently resurfaced, popping up all over social media as fans rediscover the stunning art originally sold and shared on Twitter by Bottleneck Gallery in 2019. These costumes include Bette Kane’s original red and green Batgirl costume and Barbara Gordon’s Bronze Age classic black and gold and Burnside costumes. The fan art is done in a pin-up style, with Bette and Barbara posing alike to show off the seamless progression of their famous Batgirl costumes. The differences in their poses subtly communicate the different attitudes of the women in each costume.
For example, Bette Kane’s Batgirl has one hand on her hip and the other against her chest as if pointing at herself. She looks confident and happy in her colorful costume, making her a perfect counterpart for Robin. Next came Barbara’s Bronze Age and classic black and gold costumes. In these drawings, Barbara appears to be swinging across rooftops, honoring her skills as a crime fighter. Additionally, these versions of Batgirl’s costumes are inspired by Batman’s costume but are still unique, implying that Barbara is a more independent hero than Bette’s Batgirl. Finally, Batgirl’s Burnside costume fan art depicts her leaping into action while holding up a peace sign. The pose, along with the more modern costume, highlights the reimagining of Barbara’s character to align with the trend Burnside’s Batgirl Course.
As an impactful character with a rich history, it’s fantastic to see such a talented artist showcasing some of Batgirl’s most iconic looks. With so many other Batgirls, each with their own classic costumes, it would be amazing to see how they translate to Keaveney’s style. For now, fans can appreciate the changes in Bette Kane and Barbara Gordon’s acclaimed film. bat girl costumes that Keaveney’s art exemplifies.
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Source: Bottleneck Gallery
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