Batman #139: "Bat-Girl!"

Batman #139
April, 1961

Bill Finger: Script
Sheldon Moldoff: Pencils
Charles Paris: Inks

There's a new crimefighter in Gotham City! The Dynamic Duo and Batwoman
are in for a surprise when a teenager decides to join them in the fight
against the underworld as...Bat-Girl!

The Cobra Gang has struck at a new scientific equipment exhibit, but so
has the Dynamic Duo. Two of the gang have fallen to their fists, while
another is thrown for a loss by the Batwoman. The fourth member of the
Cobra Gang has taken the opportunity to turn on the electronic-ring upon
the caped crimefighters. The ring of electricity will tighten around
them until... Before this can happen, Bat-Girl makes her entrance via an
open window. Swinging down from one of the curtains, she kicks the
startled Cobra Gang member off-balance. After switching off the
electronic-ring, Bat-Girl makes her exit.

While the Caped Crusader punches out the stunned snake, the Boy Wonder
wonders who this Bat-Girl really is. Back at her lair, Batwoman is
greeted by her niece, Betty, and learns that she has uncovered her aunt's
secret identity. Days earlier, Betty was visiting her Aunt Kathy, and
the heiress hoped that her nighttime activities wouldn't arouse her
niece's suspicions. Days later, Betty is brushing her hair, and watching
a news exclusive about the Batwoman in action. Crooks stealing from the
safe at a school supplies manufacturer got more than they bargained for.
The female crimefighter hurled eight stools at her pigeons.

Their fall causes several cartons containing gold stars to be overturned.
The fleeing hoods were soon caught by Batwoman. Back in the present,
Betty tells her Aunt Kathy that it was when she brushed her hair with
this brush, there were some gold stars on it. Kathy must have used the
brush on her own hair after she caught the crooks. Tonight, Betty made
herself a costume, and followed her aunt. Kathy admires her cleverness,
but tells her not to be Bat-Girl again. Reasoning that if her aunt can
be Batwoman, then she can certainly be Bat-Girl, and they could be a team
like Batman and Robin. Knowing how dangerous crime-fighting can be,
Kathy decides to get some advice from the Caped Crusader. On the roof of
police headquarters, Batwoman tells the Dynamic Duo about how her niece
is a fast-learner, but also headstrong. Robin knows that an
inexperienced teenager is liable to get hurt chasing criminals. Batman
suggests that Batwoman pretend to be training her as Bat-Girl, but only
until it's time for her to go home.

Soon, Betty is learning how to walk on the tightrope, and the days that
follow finds the young teenager being assigned almost more work than she
can handle. Realizing that her aunt is only stalling her, Betty decides
to check over one of the clues left by a member of the Cobra Gang. The
shoe's interior reveals some particles ripe for chemical analysis. Under
a microscope, she recognizes it as cellulose acetate. It is used in the
manufacturing of gunpowder, rayon, and other products. Betty figures
that the Cobra Gang's hideout must be somewhere where cellulose was being
used. Her Aunt Kathy might not think that she's ready, but Bat-Girl is
going to find out the location of the Cobra Gang's hideout.

Later that night, Bat-Girl finds that an abandoned rayon plant is the
secret headquarters of the Cobra Gang, and peers in a window at King
Cobra addressing his gang. She knows that she should tell her Aunt
Kathy, but she's not going to, and uses a self-inflating balloon from her
crime compact to scare them. The balloon succeeds in startling the Cobra
Gang, but the lit cigar from their boss's hand pops the balloon. They
grab Bat-Girl and lock her up in an unused office. She'll be used as a
hostage to make Batman release their jailed gang members.

After crying over what her predicament has wrought, Bat-Girl decides to
try, and make up for her own mistake. After cutting up some carbon paper
into the shape of bats, she places them into a ventilator, and an updraft
sends them through an exhaust vent on the roof. A shoeshine boy spots
the paper bats, recognizes them as a type of Bat-Signal, and calls the
police. Later, the Dynamic Duo and Batwoman burst into the hideout of
the Cobra Gang. As the Caped Crimefighters wade into the gang members,
their leader is ready to use an ace.

He returns with a gun drawn on Bat-Girl. For a moment, it looks like the
poor girl is about to faint. But as she collapses, her right hand knocks
the gun from out of King Cobra's grip. Now there are four crimefighters
to take on the Cobra Gang. The Boy Wonder compliments the teenager on
her fighting style. A right hook from the Caped Crusader causes King
Cobra to surrender. After the Cobra Gang have been turned over to the
authorities, Bat-Girl admits to the others that she's learned her lesson,
and vows never to act so foolishly again. Batwoman admits that her niece
has shown what a good crimefighter she can be, and maybe they will go out
as a team in the future. Bat-Girl can hardly wait for that day. Maybe
she and the Boy Wonder can go out together on a case. As she smiles at
him, Robin is at a loss for words, and his face matches his red tunic.

This story was reprinted in Batman: From The Thirties To The Seventies.

Good guys are nonsmokers, while bad guys smoke cigars.

An exhibit of new scientific equipment is enough to fill the space of an
entire domed room.

The electronic-ring device resembles an ordinary camera on a tripod.

Thanks to the timely arrival of Bat-Girl, it's curtains for the Cobra
Gang member, and not for the Dynamic Duo.

At the school supplies manufacturing factory, two hoods got a bad case of

Betty got a gold star for figuring out her aunt's dual identity.

In trying to be a carbon copy of Batwoman, Bat-Girl exhausted her
resources, and her presence be known.

During the Silver Age, Nick Fury battled the hordes of Hydra, and Thor
battled the cunning Cobra.

Steve Chung