Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Batgirl: Collected Editions

I've posted a number of times recently just how much I've been enjoying the current Batgirl series written by Bryan Q. Miller with art by Lee Garbett, Trevor Scott with Sandra Hope. In fact, I've been enjoying it that much that I've not only added the regular Batman title back onto my pull-list and picked up the back-issues I missed but I've been looking into what Batgirl collected editions are available for me to read.

First published as a 'monthly' title I believe in April of 2000, this first series of Batgirl ran through 73 issues plus, in December of that year, an Annual, with the last issue published in April of 2006. Following a break of almost two and a half years Batgirl, still at this point featuring Cassandra Cain, returned for a six-issue monthly series entitled 'Redemption Road'.

More recently, as we know, the Batgirl title was relaunched in October 2009 with Stephanie Brown taking over from Cassandra Cain in the title role.

In terms of collected editions my 'extensive research' (a couple of enjoyable afternoons spent browsing!) suggests that many of the monthly Batgirl issues have been collected across a number volumes.

The first of these volumes, Batgirl: Silent Running, was published in March 2001. With a story written by Scott Peterson and Kelley Puckett and pencils by Robert Campanella and Damion Scott, this edition featured issues #1 to #6 from the original series.

Volume two, Batgirl: A Knight Alone, was published in November 2001 and featured issues #7 to #11, and #13 and #14. With Kelley Puckett continuing with writing duties pencils were by Damion Scott and Koi Turnbull.

Eighteen months or so later - August 2003 - we saw the publication of the third volume, Batgirl: Death Wish, which contained issues #17 to #20, #22, #23 and #25. Written by Kelley Puckett and Chuck Dixon with pencils from Damion Scott.

In May of 2004 Batgirl: Fists of Fury, the fourth collected volume, was published. Featuring a story from Kelley Puckett and Scott Peterson and pencils by Vince Giarrano, Phil Noto and Damion Scott this collection included issues #15, #16, #21 and #26 to #28.

[click on the images to enlarge]

Another 18 months later, in October 2005, the fifth volume Robin/Batgirl: Fresh Blood was published and included issues #132 and #133 of Robin along with issues #58 and #59 of Batgirl. This crossover story was written by Andersen Gabrych and Bill Willingham with pencils by Ale Garza and Damion Scott.

January 2006 saw the publication of Batgirl: Kicking Assassins, the sixth volume of collected editions featuring issues #60 to #64. Andersen Gabrych took solo writing credits with pencils on this occasion by Ale Garza and Pop Mhan.

Finally from the original series came Batgirl: Destruction's Daughter in September 2006. Once again the story was provided by Andersen Gabrych with pencils from Francisco Rodriguez de la Fuente, Ale Garza, Andy Kuhn and Pop Mhan. This volume featured issues #65 to #73.

In 2008 DC relaunched Batgirl with a 6-issue mini-series written by Adam Beechen with pencils from Jim Calafiore. In June of this year the issues were collected and published as Batgirl: Redemption.

[click on the images to enlarge]

During the Cassandra Cain run as Batgirl, in February 2003, a nine-issue Barbara Gordon Batgirl 'origins' mini-series - Batgirl: Year One - written by Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon with pencils by Marcos Martin, was published as a collected edition of the same name.

All of these volumes were published in paperback form and appear to still be widely available.

So there we are - my first venture into documenting a series' back catalogue - I don't think Chris Marshall at the
Collected Comics Library has anything to worry about!

Needless to say, the
DC Comics website has tons more information, story synopses and previews, and was one of number of sources for this feature. That said, any and all errors and omissions are mine and if you spot something that's incorrect or incomplete then I'd be grateful if you'd contact me - either email me at the usual address or leave a comment below this post - and I'll amend this feature.

I've obviously concentrated on books under the Batgirl title, at the expense of appearances in other books - I understand the character first appeared in Batman #139 published in 1961.

I'm currently reading Batgirl: Destruction's Daughter and in a future post I'll comment on my first journey into the Batgirl back catalogue.