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Episode #27 - Batgirl Begins, Part 1
Original Airdate - September 17th, 2005 - Third Season Premiere

Barbara Gordon, daughter of the new GCPD Commissioner is The Batman's newest fan. After observing Gotham City's defender, she starts down a path to follow in his foot steps.

Reviews by The Penguin
Media by Bird Boy
Credits
Written by Michael Jelenic
Directed by Brandon Vietti
Music by Thomas Chase Jones
Animation Services by Dongwoo Animation Co., LTD.

Voices
Rino Romano as The Batman
Danielle Judovits as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl
Alastair Duncan as Alfred
Mitch Pileggi as Comissioner Gordon
Piera Coppola as Pam Isley / Poison Ivy
Jim Cummings as Temblor

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Review

"Believe it or not, this my friends, is only the beginning."

Before I get into the episode itself, I must say that I love the new theme song for the series. It conveys a sense of fun by harkening back to the Adam West series, but at the same time, does not betray the new toon. No one can say The Batman doesn't remember its roots.

On to the episode itself, the flashback with Barbara Gordon telling us how she became Batgirl is a slightly different road to take and I would say the right one. Things are a little more interesting this way (how did we get from 'here' to… 'here'?) and since Batgirl is being added to the series in part to attract girls to the show, what better way to introduce the character than to have her talk to them? That being said, I'm expecting the narrative won't go beyond the next episode—the name on the show isn't "The Batgirl."

I do like the addition of Barbara Gordon though. It's a change of pace to have a Batgirl without a Robin and I'm interested to see how that will play out over time. So far I like the younger Barbara as she adds something different to the Batman mythos. Her gymnast background is a nice aspect to the character and looks like it will come in handy.

Mitch Pileggi continues to impress in his role as Commissioner Gordon. Not only is Gordon easier to handle than the over-bearing Chief Rojas, but Pileggi brings a calm sensibility to the role; a younger, less "crusty" version of the character who still has a lot ahead of him as both the police commissioner and the father of a teenager. His interactions with Barbara are fun to watch as both Gordons seem to have a strong grasp of who the other is and they play off each other nicely.

As the "bad guy," Temblor lived up to his name by causing "a shaking of the earth" in his service to Pamela. Veteran voice actor Jim Cummings does a good bringing the hired gun to life. The character might have had some difficulty carrying an entire episode, but he was an excellent second for this story of Batgirl and Poison Ivy.

When it was announced, I questioned how debuting Poison Ivy as a teenager was going to work, but seeing the first half I believe it's going to work out rather well. The dynamic of Pamela Isley being Barbara's friend first should promise to make things more interesting and I see the added pain of adolescents having the potential to make the Batgirl-Ivy story more interesting than the Batman-Clayface one.

 

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