Every day, after school, 6-year old Jason would tune in at the same Bat-time, on the same Bat-channel to watch reruns of the 1960s Batman show. Almost half the time, I’d be watching it with my older cousin Justin and we’d pretend we were the caped crusaders and make up our own Bat adventures while the show was playing in the background. Me being the youngest, I was always Robin to my cousin’s Batman.
I was too young to follow the show’s continuity, especially when I was mostly distracted playing make-believe. Then when the TV station began to air the third season and introduced Batgirl in the new opening credits, my eyes were glued to the television screen.
Let me add this little backstory: probably at the early age of 4, my dad would wake me up each night to watch Benny Hill. Also, back in the day, my dad rented a bunch of videos from Canadian Tire (of all places) and let me watch all the Police Academy movies, bikini flicks, and even the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I’ve seen a questionably unhealthy share of voluptuous women as a child.
So here comes Batgirl, this stunning superhero who can fight off goons as well as Batman and Robin and even rides a cool motorcycle! Definitely, a huge standout compared to the other girls I was accustomed to watching on screen. And sure, I’ve gazed at Catwoman in the previous seasons but she was a bad guy (err, villainess) and 6-year old Jason who liked to pretend he’s Robin knew that imaginary relationship wouldn’t work out. Batgirl was someone I fantasized of marrying and fighting crimes together.
Yvonne Craig carried the perfect voice for Batgirl, always jovial and cartoony especially when dealing with Batman’s rogue gallery. I thought Barbara Gordon had a better disguise than Bruce and Dick with the clever use of a red wig. Of course, no one would think bookish Barbara Gordon would have such a wild side. But if I had to choose between Batgirl’s ravishing red hair and Barbara Gordon’s neatly-wrapped brunette beehive, I’d choose both!
Another layer of Batgirl/Barbara Gordon that intrigued me was her librarian job. She was a true advocate for books. Another sidenote: my dad took me to the public library on a weekly basis as a kid, as well! I used to believe Batgirl read all the books at her library job to know so much stuff and use that knowledge to help Batman and Robin solve those mysteries. She was a crime-fighting, ass-kicking encyclopedia!
As I got older and even past my pubescent stage, I still grew fond of Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl. Seeing her essence portrayed in the Batman: Animated Series and reading Batgirl: Year One in college kept that crush alive. Also, finding out Ms. Craig played an Orion exotic dancer on Star Trek and seeing her pictorial as a bikini model on the internet helped, too.